Friday, 3 January 2020

Discovering cognac with the Drinks by the Dram cognac advent calendar


Advent calendars have become big business these days, haven’t they? Gone are the days when you could buy a simple chocolate-based advent calendar for your significant other.

This year I was treated to one of Drinks By the Dram’s excellent calendars by my better half - I had mentioned to her that I was interested in learning more about cognac and their cognac-based Advent calendar was the perfect way to learn about it. 24 individual offerings that came in nice wax-sealed 35ml bottle, what better way to treat yourself on those long December evenings then through sampling a lovely cognac?

The educational bit...


Map taken from Wikipedia under CCL
So, before I start taking you through some of the highlights - what is cognac? Cognac is a type of brandy (i.e. a spirit that has been made from the distillation of grapes), it is important to note that all cognac is brandy - but not all brandies are cognac! Cognac production is protected under the French “appellation d'origine contrôlée” system that is used to designate wine production areas like Champagne (see map to the right).

Cognac must be double-distilled in copper pots and aged for at least two years in French oak barrels in order to meet the criteria. Furthermore, to be known as a true “cru” cognac, 90% of the spirit must have been produced using the Ugni Blanc grape. 

There is a grading system that is used in the production of cognac to denote quality, this will hopefully demystify some of the acronyms that you see on the label and provide a bit of context:

  • Very Special (V.S.), which indicates that the youngest spirit in the blend has been aged in wood for at least two years.
  • Very Superior Old Pale (V.S.O.P.), which indicates that the youngest spirit in the blend has been aged in wood for at least four years.
  • Extra Old (X.O.), which as of 2018 indicates that the youngest spirit in the blend has been aged in wood for at least 10 years (before 2018 this was only six years). They are going to introduce a new designation “Napoleon” to indicate drinks that meet the previous six year ageing requirement.

As with wine, the general consideration is that extra ageing in barrel allows the spirit to develop more complexity and more depth.

The selection from the calendar allowed me plenty of opportunities to try different cognacs from across the ageing spectrum, which was exactly what I wanted as my knowledge of cognac was limited and I wanted to try a variety of cognacs to help figure out where my preferences were.

Here were some of the highlights (grouped by producer) for me, for brevity’s sake I have not reviewed all 24! All prices quoted below (unless I note otherwise are taken from Master of Malt):

Ragnaud Sabourin


This was a producer that I didn’t know about at all, but I really enjoyed their cognacs. Their No. 4 V.S. was a revelation, it had a rather exotic nose with sweet spices and a little perfume. On the palate it was nice and light, pretty and delicate. When I found a bottle of this online for £37 on a website called Premiers Grand Crus I ordered it immediately!

I also tried their V.S.O.P. which had a red apple nose with a little sweet spice. Quite complex and decent mouth-feel, which featured a bit of heat - despite this it still possessed a certain elegance. 


Naud


Another new producer for me. Their X.O. had a really beautiful and classical nose featuring slightly sweet, caramel-like notes. I could barely detect any heat on it at all. On tasting you could feel the extra quality, there was definite heat there, but it was really refined and poised with touches of caramel to it. You could get this on Master of Malt for £70/bottle, which is expensive but I think given the prices of other X.O.s which are usually north of £100 this represents a good option if you’re looking to splash out! 

The Naud V.S. was quite a gentle drink, refined on the nose and on the palate - rather elegant. Not a particularly showy cognac, but decent (available on Master of Malt for £31/bottle).

Hine


More of a household name this time!

We started the calendar off with Hine’s “Homage to Thomas Hine”, which had a very pretty and delicate nose. Notably low on heat. Nice sweet notes on the mouth. A very enjoyable drinking experience. However, at £105/bottle, this is certainly on the more expensive end of things!

Later on, we had “H by Hine”, a V.S.O.P., which had aromas of apple, as well as slightly sweet spice notes of cinnamon. I found this to be a beautiful drink, really elegant and refined with nice sweet notes. Priced at £37/bottle, this represents fantastic value and is certainly one that I’ll be looking to buy.

Towards the end of the month we had Hine’s Antique X.O., a beautiful nose full of apple and butterscotch, with accompanying notes of cinnamon and clove. Possessed an exceptional mouth feel with definite heat to it but really refined. At £120/bottle, this is a wonderful drink but certainly at the “special occasion” end of the cognac spectrum.

Hermitage


The name of this brand alone exudes class and quality. We finished the calendar with two corkers from this producer, starting with their 20yo Grand Champagne Cognac which had a really elegant and perfumed nose that was very inviting, but not overtly powerful. There was some heat to it, but very subtle. On tasting, it was quite warming with a really long and pronounced finish featuring a little bit of butterscotch. A punchy cognac, with a price of £100/bottle - I think this is warranted though.

The last cognac on the calendar was Hermitage’s 45yo Segonzac Grande Champagne Cognac. The first thing that I noted was that this was very dark in the glass - sitting a nice mahogany brown. This smelt considerably more powerful than the 20yo and featured caramel notes and dark chocolate. On the palate there was a lot of structure and power, with darker notes and a front palate burn of alcohol, which surprised me, before softening into a long, pronounced finish. This is a box-office drink and comes with a price tag to match: £375/bottle, if I’m honest I actually preferred the 20yo so I’ll be more than happy to not purchase this one!

Conclusion


There you have it a guide through some of the cognacs that I enjoyed during December. This is just the start of my cognac adventure as I want to learn a lot more about this beautiful drink over the next few years.

Thank you to Drinks By the Dram for putting together such an excellent selection and, most importantly, thank you to my wife for treating me to this!

14 comments:

  1. Thankfulness to my dad who informed me relating to this blog, this website is really amazing.ดูหนัง

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thankfulness to my dad who informed me relating to this blog, this website is really amazing.หวยฮานอย

    ReplyDelete
  3. Outstanding blog, in my opinion site owners should acquire a great deal out of this blog its very user welcoming.
    copywriting

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is a good article I think I get new knowledge. From your article.
    บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is a good article I think I have benefited from this article.
    IMIWIN

    ReplyDelete
  6. This article has some vast and valuable information about this subject.top branding agencies

    ReplyDelete
  7. ติดตามเราใน feedly
    นายกรัฐมนตรีประยุทธ์จันทร์โอชาได้กล่าวว่าเขาจะ“ ไม่มีใครว่าง” ถ้าการยิงยิงที่ร้ายแรงในคืนวันจันทร์ในการพนันในกรุงเทพฯนั้นเกี่ยวข้องกับกิจกรรมตำรวจที่ผิดกฎหมาย เขาตอบโต้ต่อการเสียชีวิตจากการยิงปืนของวัดทัศเสษฐ์เนียงประเสริฐผู้ตรวจการสอบสวนที่สถานีตำรวจเขื่อนแสมดำในเขตบางบอนและอีก 3 คนเป็นผู้หญิง 1 คนที่ถ้ำพนันในเขตยานนาวา


    3 ของผู้ที่ถูกฆ่าตายถูกยิงโดยนักการพนันที่สูญเสียจากนั้นก็ถูกตำรวจอีกคนหนึ่งถูกฆ่าตายในขณะนี้โดยการแสวงหา เชื่อว่าเขาหนีไปทางประตูหลังของอาคาร นายกรัฐมนตรีกล่าวว่าเจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจที่ใช้อำนาจในทางที่ผิดเกี่ยวกับคาสิโนหรือการพนันที่ผิดกฎหมาย

    “ ใช่นายกรัฐมนตรีมีอำนาจทั้งหมดในการดูแลตำรวจ ไข่ที่ไม่ดีจะต้องถูกลงโทษ จะไม่มีใครรอด”

    ความคิดเห็นของเขาตามการยืนยันจากหัวหน้าตำรวจของกรุงเทพฯว่าชายชาวจีนคนหนึ่งได้ยิง Watthanaset ที่ตายแล้วและอีก 2 คน เขากล่าวว่ามือปืนคนนั้นก็ถูกชายอีกคนยิงเสียชีวิตซึ่งหนีออกจากที่เกิดเหตุ

    คาสิโนอยู่ชั้นล่างของอาคารพาณิชย์ 4 ชั้นล้อมรอบด้วยกล้องวงจรปิดห่างจากถนนพระราม 3 ประมาณ 300 เมตร มีประตูทึบทึบและการเข้าถึงดูเหมือนถูก จำกัด อย่างมาก มีเก้าอี้และโต๊ะและจอมอนิเตอร์หลายจอบนผนัง ขณะเกิดเหตุมีนักพนันประมาณ 60 คน

    แหล่งข่าวตำรวจบอกกับผู้สื่อข่าวเมื่อวานนี้ว่าอาคารหลังนี้ถูกเช่าหลายครั้งในช่วงไม่กี่ปีที่ผ่านมาล่าสุดชายชื่อทอร์ผู้ซึ่งเปิดสิ่งที่กลายเป็นคาสิโนยอดนิยม เพื่อนบ้านกล่าวว่าถ้ำมักจะ“ ถูกปิด” เมื่อเจ้าหน้าที่บุกเข้าไปในถ้ำเพียงเพื่อเปิดอีกครั้งในภายหลัง พวกเขาไม่ได้ยินเสียงปืนของคืนวันจันทร์เพราะห้องมีฉนวนกันเสียง

    หัวหน้าตำรวจกล่าวเมื่อวานนี้ว่าวัฒนเศรษฐ์ไม่ได้อยู่ในห้องตามหน้าที่ราชการและไม่ได้รับมอบหมายให้จับผู้ต้องสงสัยและในขั้นตอนนี้ตำรวจสงสัยว่ามีความบาดหมางส่วนตัวเป็นแรงจูงใจให้มือยิง หัวหน้าของ Watthanaset กล่าวว่าเจ้าหน้าที่ที่ถูกสังหารมีจุดอ่อนในการเล่นการพนัน
    https://www.imiwin789th.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. The work changed into very thoughtfully achieved and you could tell how thorough and professional the task becomes. kratom capsules

    ReplyDelete
  9. It’s amazing to visit again n again coming to your blogs the superb effort is here.click here now

    ReplyDelete
  10. To feel, hold, and handle, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush may be a top-quality product with a premium finish. Nothing about this device is reasonable, plain, or cheesy. Even the arrangement of control buttons and LED lights reflects the thought and energy invested in its design.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The project team demonstrates great versatility and reliability at a competitive price.UX design firms

    ReplyDelete
  12. 27 जुलै रोजी झालेल्या राजा सॉन्क्रन फेस्टिव्हलच्या वेळी सरकारने भरपाई दिली त्या चार लांब सुट्ट्यांमध्ये हळूहळू लोकांचे वातावरण परत आले आणि राजा राम यांचा 10 जुलै रोजी वाढदिवस चालू राहिला, परिणामी जनतेला मी बँकॉकच्या बाहेर फिरू लागलो. ईशान्य प्रांतातील त्याच्या गावी परत जाणे अत्यंत चैतन्यशील

    खासकरुन फ्रेंडशिप रोडच्या आसपास इनबाउंड नाखों रत्चसिमा पाक चोंग जिल्हा, क्लांग डोंग हिल पॉईंट, क्लांग डोंग सबडिस्ट्रिक्ट येथे मोठ्या प्रमाणात वाहतूक कोंडी होऊ लागली. हायवे पोलिस एक विशेष लेन उघडणे आवश्यक आहे दाट गटार जलदगतीने वेग देण्यासाठी मुआब लेक जिल्हा, सरबुरी प्रांत, क्लांग डोंग उपविभाग, पाक चोंग जिल्ह्यात जाणा the्या क्षेत्रापासून पण तरीही हलण्यास सक्षम

    त्याच वेळी फ्रेंडशिप रोडवर बरेच गुण आढळले लांबी ता खोंग जलाशयाच्या सीमेवर, लाँग ता खोंग जलाशयाच्या सीमेवर, पाक चोंग जिल्हा ते लात बुआ खाओ सबडिस्ट्रिक्ट,27 जुलै रोजी झालेल्या राजा सॉन्क्रन फेस्टिव्हलच्या वेळी सरकारने भरपाई दिली त्या चार लांब सुट्ट्यांमध्ये हळूहळू लोकांचे वातावरण परत आले आणि राजा राम यांचा 10 जुलै रोजी वाढदिवस चालू राहिला, परिणामी जनतेला मी बँकॉकच्या बाहेर फिरू लागलो. ईशान्य प्रांतातील त्याच्या गावी परत जाणे अत्यंत चैतन्यशील

    खासकरुन फ्रेंडशिप रोडच्या आसपास इनबाउंड नाखों रत्चसिमा पाक चोंग जिल्हा, क्लांग डोंग हिल पॉईंट, क्लांग डोंग सबडिस्ट्रिक्ट येथे मोठ्या प्रमाणात वाहतूक कोंडी होऊ लागली. हायवे पोलिस एक विशेष लेन उघडणे आवश्यक आहे दाट गटार जलदगतीने वेग देण्यासाठी मुआब लेक जिल्हा, सरबुरी प्रांत, क्लांग डोंग उपविभाग, पाक चोंग जिल्ह्यात जाणा the्या क्षेत्रापासून पण तरीही हलण्यास सक्षम

    त्याच वेळी फ्रेंडशिप रोडवर बरेच गुण आढळले लांबी ता खोंग जलाशयाच्या सीमेवर, लाँग ता खोंग जलाशयाच्या सीमेवर, पाक चोंग जिल्हा ते लात बुआ खाओ सबडिस्ट्रिक्ट, सिखियो जिल्हा, जोर हो सबडिस्ट्रिकट ते 4 बानो फो सबडिस्ट्रिक्टच्या चौकाला लागून हळू हळू चालणार्‍या गाड्या आहेत. नाखोन रत्चासिमा शहर, जे आज अपेक्षित आहे, लोक हळूहळू मध्यरात्रीपर्यंत मध्यरात्री पूर्वोत्तर असलेल्या आपल्या मायदेशी परत जातील. सिखियो जिल्हा, जोर हो सबडिस्ट्रिकट ते 4 बानो फो सबडिस्ट्रिक्टच्या चौकाला लागून हळू हळू चालणार्‍या गाड्या आहेत. नाखोन रत्चासिमा शहर, जे आज अपेक्षित आहे, लोक हळूहळू मध्यरात्रीपर्यंत मध्यरात्री पूर्वोत्तर असलेल्या आपल्या मायदेशी परत जातील.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Doctors at Mae Sot Hospital told the real situation at the border revealed that the police officers worked 2-3 times harder than normal hospitals, extraction of COVID-19 into Thailand, requesting donations of medical equipment, PPE sets, waterproof coats, rainwear, gloves, masses, N95, normal mass Face Shield Cleanser

    On September 6, 63, a Facebook user named “Nuttagarn Chuenchom” who is a doctor working at Mae Sot Hospital, Tak Province posted a message about working in the border area with difficulty. In screening aliens who try to enter Thailand Amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak In Myanmar on the rise Including various necessary equipment In the work that began to lack

    By the said post, the details are as follows "Today's truth at the Mae Sot border ...

    The border of Tak Province, the western side of Myanmar A length of more than 600 kilometers from the north of Tha Song Yang District to the south at Um Phang District. It is unbelievably long. There is 1 permanent pass on the Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge. The rest is a relief channel with foreigners in and out temporarily all the time. In the past, we did our best Register to try to be legal in labor Citizens should be granted Access to health services Screening for plague Providing disease prevention services such as vaccination There ทางเข้าts911has been a push for border health agencies for more than seven years, but this hasn't happened yet. We are patient to work 2-3 times harder than normal hospitals because there are the number of staff calculated for Thai people but we have to work for foreigners too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Food should be eaten if you want to "lose weight", effective and healthy.
    Fruits and vegetables
    Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins. And minerals that are beneficial to the body that we cannot live without May cause different processes In work change Or unusual to find that we get vitamins. And insufficient mineral salts The amount you should eat is roughly 5 handfuls per day and should eat whole pulp. Should not squeeze or centrifuge, drink only water. Because in addition to starving to get fiber that helps in the work of the digestive system A certain amount of vitamins are also lost from the fiber splitter.


    Yogurt
    Yogurt is another important food source with live microorganisms that help increase the efficiency of the digestive system. Increase theบาคาร่า beneficial microflora in the body And is a good source of calcium for our bones as well. We recommend eating a natural yogurt without added sugar (no sugar added) because other yogurt flavors. Including general fruit flavor Often with added sugar

    ReplyDelete