Welcome to my very first written review! Happy to have you and I hope you will find our reviews to be helpful, informative, and fun. Buckle your seat belt and with that preamble out of the way, let’s dive in!
I’m rather early on in my journey with all things brandy, cognac and armagnac in particular. I’ve been into scotch for a number of years now and bourbon and rye even before that. Shane and I do an annual tasting for our companies annual retreat and last year we wanted to change it up and do one exploring the world of brandy. We were super excited and knew next to nothing. So we jumped onto Facebook and stumbled into a couple of groups with a focus on it. From there we hooked up with one Brian Borger, who has a real knack for hunting down and putting together epic group buys and sample sets and acted as our brandy sherpa as we waded into the waters.
To say I have been delighted at what I’ve found and tasted thus far is an understatement. My mind has been blown by the sheer quality to value proposition that exists for yak especially when compared to a category like scotch. You can acquire bottles of yak that have survived World War I and at a fraction of the cost for what you would pay for that vaunted Macallan 1926. Quite frankly, due to Brian’s talent, I feel as though I’m getting to jump the line in my exploration of all things yak, and have an absurd abundance of riches to choose from as a jumping off point. So if you are into bourbon, rye, or scotch, do yourself a favor and start delving into brandy.
Today I’m tasting a sample of Grosperrin 1973 Petite Champagne Cognac.
Right off the bat, the alcohol is more present than I would’ve expected. After that initial sniff, we settle in. I get sticky buns, an abundance of fruit, loads of lovely peaches, pear, and tangerines. On further exploration orange blossom and zest presents itself. Grapes jump on board and I get candied fruits. As this warms up in my hand, I also get plums, vanilla, and maybe a bit of jasmine?
Oh I love this. The star of this particular palate is a nutty (walnuts?), orange, and tangerine note paired with a slight sweetness like I’m eating an orange walnut cake. This is very spicy, big and bold, and the alcohol is present and accounted for on that initial hit. I also get notes of ginger, and delightfully, the orange blossom and zest are present from the nose. This has an oily mouth feel. I’m new and still getting my rancio sea legs under me, but this strikes me as having a very elegant rancio going on.
Long. It turns slightly bitter and tannic towards the end with notes of chocolate covered espresso beans. I also get cigar box (cedar and tobacco) notes and am left with that bewitching citrus note.
This is majestic, elegant stuff, nuanced and with great depth. I’m not typically the biggest fan of finishing on those slightly bitter, tannic notes, but this has so much going on across the palate from start to finish and is so well balanced and integrated with the overall flavor punch that I don’t even care. Must buy.
Rating: 9 / 10
Photo credit: respectfully borrowed from Spirits of France