Brandy

Delamain, Pale & Dry, Cognac, 100% Grand Champagne, 25 years old

The nose features a faint vanilla bean aroma which deepens into walnut as your nose gets closer to the glass. In the second tasting I picked up fruitier notes of orange peel. The palate is extremely delicate, light to medium in weight, with a smooth personality that’s as flowery and spicy as a night at the Moulin Rouge and as airy as a performance by Le Pétomane.¹ The fruit characteristics rise in the aftertaste and blend with a subtle hint of licorice.

Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

¹A regular performer at the Moulin Rouge, Le Pétomane was a renowned flatulist, a farteur, a true fartiste.

Delamain, Vesper, Cognac, 100% Grand Champagne, 35 years old

The walnut and vanilla aromas found in Vesper are more pronounced than in the Pale & Dry and the aromas are at once both rounder and sweeter. There’s a honeyed, caramelized, molasses-like sweetness¹ that wasn’t as easily discerned years ago, as well as more noticeable fruit scents of ripe pear and orange. The palate is very full and smooth, with a glycerin-rich, creamy fatness that the Pale & Dry lacks (deliberately). Some of the spiciness is still present, but it leans towards sweet Christmas spice. Charles declared this Cognac “cigar-friendly” but, ever the skeptic, I lit up a Cohiba to be sure.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

¹Unlike some Cognac producers, Delamain does not put any caramel (sugar) in its Cognac.

Delamain, Tres Venerable, Cognac, 100% Grand Champagne, 55 years old

Sublime and subtle best describes the aromas, texture and flavors of Tres Venerable Cognac. Nuanced with delicate nutty scents that combine with equally restrained notes of sweet spice and orange. This Cognac is extremely smooth. I mean it’s smooth like a horny Frenchman set loose in a Pilates’ classroom. It manages to come across as both delicate and richly round in the mouth. Alain suggested I sniff my empty glass and doing so revealed pronounced oak aromas that weren’t obvious earlier.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)