Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 9, 2014
Grande Champagne Sidecar
Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac is blended solely from aged eaux de vie produced within the 1st Cru de Cognac, specifically from the Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes grown within the Grande Champagne Cognac appellation (region) of France. Although the final spirit has no age statement, according to Guillaume Lamy, (Vice President – North America for Cognac Ferrand), this is because the spirit is blended to meet an age profile that represents a 10-year-old spirit. To maintain product consistency from year to year, the actual average age of the blended cognac will vary depending upon the cellar conditions during maturation and the interactions between the oak and the aging eaux de vie.
1878 Mint Julep
Pierre Ferrand uses only small (25 – hectoliter) copper pot stills to produce their Cognac; and after distillation, the resulting distillate (eaux de vie) is matured in small 270-liter French Limousin oak barrels. During this aging process, the cognac may rest in any of seven different aging cellars (each with traditional earthen floors). Within each of these cellars, the spirit is monitored, and may be transferred several times during its aging life to different cellars and/or to different oak casks (with differing char levels) to maintain the integrity and character of the spirit.
You may of course, read my full review here:
“… I discovered the Pierre Ferrand Ambre has a wonderful freshness featuring both floral and citrus elements which reached out of that glass and teased my nostrils. Mixed into those breezes are firm impressions ripe green grapes and a gentle sweep of vanilla. I also sense an herbal grassy note, as well as a few wisps of spicy raisins, and a mild winding of sandalwood and oak …”
And for those who are willing to throw off the shackles of preconception, I have included two cocktails which were originally created for the Cognac spirit, the Grande Champagne Sidecar (pictured left) and the 1878 Mint Julep (pictured right).
Hopefully, springtime is around the corner, and the snow and cold we see in those pictures is gone soon.
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Cognac, Cognac Review, Mint Julep, Pierre Ferrand, Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Sidecar | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 14, 2014
Hine Rare VSOP is produced from a blend 25 Cognac spirits in the heart of France’s Cognac appellation on the banks of the River Charente. More than 50% of this VSOP blend is distilled from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne cru and the remaining spirit is distilled from grapes produced in the Petite Champagne cru. The Grand and Petite Champagne regions are two of the most recognizable Cognac regions of France known for consistently producing high quality grape harvests.
Hine is one of the oldest Cognac Houses in the commune of Jarnac, (within the Cognac appellation in France of course), and Hine has produced their Cognac since 1763.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following link:
“… the initial nose is somewhat heated with scents of both raw oak spice and white pepper mingled within a fruited caramel aroma. As the glass breathes I begin to notice a growing sense of fresh fruit (peaches and apricots) as well as a few raisins in the breezes above the glass. Some bits of floral perfume seem to be present as well which remind me of camphor, lilac and iris …”
Please enjoy this review and stay tuned as I plan to examine a few more Cognac and Brandies in the coming year!
Note: I would like to thank the good folks at Woodman Wines and Spirits for providing me a sealed 200 ml bottle of the Hine Rare VSOP to sample for this review.
You may click this link to read some of my other Brandy and Cognac Reviews
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: Cognac, Cognac Review, Hine VSOP | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2013
Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula
Cognac Ferrand is the result of a rare opportunity offered to a young man (Alexandre Gabriel) in 1989 by one of the oldest wine growing families in the Cognac region of France. According to Mr. Gabriel,
” I met a small Cognac producer who needed help selling his products to finish off his stock. This was Cognac Ferrand. I fell in love with the product and with the region. It all reminded me of what I grew up around. So when I was invited to become a partner and told that no one was going to continue if I didn’t, I just said….yes.”
Although that beginning may have seemed rather precarious to those on the outside, Alexandre made the most of his opportunity, and now Cognac Ferrand a well-respected producer with sales in more than 40 countries world-wide.
For Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, Mr. Gabriel collected old bottles of cognac that were bottled at a young age and designed his Cognac based upon a particular bottle from 1840 thus replicating a style of cognac which had heretofore been lost to time. In 1840, the appeal for Cognac was much more broadly based. Rather than being an after dinner indulgence consumed in a brandy snifter, those who consumed Cognac regularly mixed it with Seltzer water, and it was even the distilled spirit of choice for cocktails. Although the idea of a Cognac for mixing cocktails may seem rather strange today, Mr. Gabriel is convinced that bringing people back to the origins of cocktail culture through an original style cognac is a winning idea.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… Even before I put my nose to the glass, I could sense the clean scent of fresh green grapes climbing into the air above the glass. When I did place my nose over the glass to inspect the breezes, I received enticing aromas of oak spices which gave me and impressions of freshly sanded oak and sandalwood. Hints of cinnamon stained the oak spices; butterscotch and honey gave the breezes a hint of sweetness; and a fruity citrus zest contributed to an effervescent quality which was apparent in the air …”
Of course I could not help but follow Alexandre Gabriel’s lead and constructed a somewhat heretical cocktail using not only his wonderful cognac, but also a 20-year-old brandy at the conclusion of my review.
Please enjoy the review, and my fantastic cocktail, the Heretic!
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Cognac Review | Tagged: 1840 Cognac, Alexandre Gabriel, Cocktails, Cognac, Cognac Ferrand | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 14, 2012
Alexandre Gabriel (Cognac Ferrand)
Allow me to welcome Alexandre Gabriel, President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand to my website.
Alexandre Gabriel was born in France, on a farm in southern Burgundy near the medieval town of Cluny, where his grandfather taught him how to make wine and distill spirits. He went to university in Lyon, and then in the U.S. as an exchange student, before returning to Paris to attend business school. More than 20 years ago, Alexandre came upon an ancient and almost defunct Cognac house. Through his passion and his vision, Alexandre Gabriel turned this small Cognac House into a specialized house of artisan spirits before the term was even coined. He re-built what is known today as Cognac Ferrand, in the heart of the Grande Champagne district of Cognac.
Mr. Gabriel believes in making spirits for people who enjoy the epicurean life and for the bartenders that make these epicurean libations possible.
I was given the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Alexandre Gabriel here on my website, and to my delight, Mr. Gabriel exceeded all of my expectations sharing his energy and passion for Craft Spirits. Mr. Gabriel shares how he “fell into a barrel of Cognac” when he was “only 2 years into drinking age by American standards”. He explains why craft spirits are so important to Cognac Ferrand, and whether or not he is he is leading the spirits world into the realms of madness.
We discuss not only Cognac, but also Gin, Vodka and Rum, and then Mr. Gabriel shares not only two of his favourite cocktails with me, but also (after a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of the teeth), his favourite or most treasured spirit which Alexandre would wish for if he were to be stranded on a deserted island…
Here is a link to the full interview:
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, Gin, Interviews, Rum, Vodka | Tagged: Alexandre Gabriel, Cocktails and Recipes, Cognac, Cognac Ferrand, Gin, Interview, Rum, Vokda | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 2, 2012
I was asked recently if I would like to begin to review Brandy and Cognac here on my website. Some of the local importers apparently feel that theses spirits do not receive as much attention locally as they deserve. I did not really hesitate in my positive response, as it has always been my intention to continue to grow and learn as much as I can about all distilled spirits.
To kick things off, I have decided that the first review should be a Cognac from my collection, the Camus Elegance XO.
Camus is the last of the major Cognac Houses that is entirely family run, and the House has been ran that way for five generations. The construction of their Camus XO Elegance begins with a selection of different styles of eaux de vie in an effort to create a specific floral character suitable for the final Cognac. Specifically mentioned upon the Camus website are the eaux de vie from the Borderies Vineyards which are included in the blend. The distilled spirit is aged in cool damp cellars until the eau de vie reach perfect maturity.
The ages of the eaux de vie in the Camus XO Elegance blend must be a minimum of six years, although it is reported that some of the eaux de vie in the Elegance XO blend have been matured much longer.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The initial nose brings forward fresh oak featuring fresh woody notes interspersed with oak spices. Vanilla and almond rise from the glass as well with hints of orange peel and canned apricots weaving into the breezes. There is a fruity vibrancy to the nose which is appealing… “
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy my first Cognac Review!
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: Brandy, Camus, Cognac, Cognac Review | Comments Off