This week marks our 2nd anniversary and our 104th post. Go us! To celebrate, we decided to pull some of our nicer cognacs out of the liquor cabinet to enjoy, and do some side by side comparisons of them. We also threw in a mixed drink and some champagne. ‘Cause hey, it’s a celebration 🙂
The four cognacs we decided to go with are the Paul Giraud Napoleon (we’re running low on the XO and there’s none currently on the market, so the Napoleon had to stand in. ;)), the Delamain XO, the Maison Surrenne XO and the Leopold Gourmel Age des Fleurs. All lovely, though whenever we pull out the Leopold it always makes us think of this. 😉
- Nose: Poached pear, creamy vanilla like creme anglaise, little bit of ginger, caramel-y oak, light floral apple blossom.
- Palate: Very creamy mouth feel on the intro. Cooked fruit (mainly pear) and a little bit of mint on the intro. Barrel notes, caramel and a hint of ginger on the mid-palate. Fair bit of spice on the mid-palate and into the finish. The finish also has a lot of rose-like floral notes. Fruity after taste. Lightest of the four cognacs. Very slight barrel must at the end of the mid-palate after opening up for a while.
- Nose: Fairly oaky, then caramel and raisin. Little bit of honey and lemon peel.
- Palate: Buttery toffee and coffee notes to start, followed by oak. Lemon peel and sweet spice on the mid-palate, like baking spices. Finish is peppery and fairly dry. Heavier and more viscous than the Giraud. Woodier and drier overall, with more spice on the finish. Fruit notes are much more delicate.
Maison Surrenne XO
- Nose: Fig newtons, savory meaty notes, sandalwood, hint of chocolate.
- Palate: Fairly rich and smooth intro with honey and butterscotch at the front. Little bit of bite on the front of the tongue moving into the mid-palate. Mid-palate is perfumed wood, dark chocolate with some bitter notes. Finish really dries out. Lots of floral notes on the after taste. Least spicy of the four.
Leopold Gourmel Age des Fleurs
- Nose: Sweet floral like jasmine or lily. Faintly sweet pastry/cereal notes like pie dough. Wild black berry.
- Palate: Brighter than the Giraud and Delamain. Sweet barrel notes at the front, underpinned by resiny herbaceous notes like sun-warmed thyme or mint. Light floral and black tea notes on the mid-palate, berry fruit and mild spice on the finish. Barrel notes really stand out when compared side by side with the others.
Of course we can’t just taste some yummy cognac, we also have to mix with it! We decided to go with something simple though, so we didn’t stomp all over the cognac. Christa decided that we should try an elegant riff on a Manhattan.
- 2 oz cognac
- 1/4 oz Punt eMes
- 1 bar spoon simple syrup
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry.
- Nose: Cola, cedar and lemon. Sweet wood. Gentle cloves and spice underpinning everything.
- Palate: Bitter chocolate and herbal green notes on the front. Then cola, cedar and sweet wood on the middle. Finishes with lemon and cherry followed by sweet caramel and spice . Strong bitter notes on the very end.
A very nice change of pace if you’re looking for a spirit forward drink.
Finally, we decided to have some cognac and champagne to celebrate. Hey, two years is worth celebrating in our minds! Plus, Bollinger goes with everything, in our humble opinions 🙂
Where ever you are, we hope you’re enjoying the last days of summer as much as we are. Thanks everyone who’s followed us and kept up with us for the past two years. Cheers!
Congrats on 2 years! Cognac is definitely the way to celebrate.