Don’t ask me how I came to possess this unattainable bottle in my lowly estate. Let’s just say that when you write a whisky blog that makes people laugh on occasion, accomplish successful valuations of antique editions for world travelers, and even find yourself crossing paths with the owner of the only vodka company in Lithuania, weird things happen.
God has been good to me in this regard.
If you look online you’ll see that the Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac is being sold for anywhere between $2,500 and $3,500, depending upon the part of the globe you occupy. It just so happens that my location here in time and space has seen to me being gifted a half full bottle (I’m forever an optimist) that was first opened many years ago. The giver did not share the exact date, only that it was purchased in the early 90s and enjoyed in the company of a close friend following a significant courtroom victory.
As I understand, the Louis XIII is a blend of over a thousand differed cognacs, all of which have been aged between 20 and 100 years. It’s presented in a crystal baccarat with a 22 karat gold neck wrap. The bottle alone is being sold online these days for a pretty penny, although the edition before me has a slight crack and two of the side petals appear to have small portions chipped off. This bottle has been jostled over the years, I’m guessing. Still, it’s a pretty incredible edition to behold.
Of course, there is a problem, right? Scotch is my thing. Cognac is not.
Oh, what to do, what to do? Well, just know that I’m not stupid, and you are going to read the first cognac review Angelsportion has ever produced.
The first thing I noticed about the beverage is that it coated the side of my glass like nothing else I’ve ever seen. It was like chilled paint – incredible viscosity in this one, let me tell you. That’s a sign of the very old cognac inside. In fact, if you zoom into the picture I have provided, you may be able to see the drink still coating my crystal cognac glass long after setting it into place, positioning the baccarat, and preparing the shot. This cognac stays on the glass a while.
The nose was a bit strange at first. I smelled a little vanilla and quite a bit of what seemed like very ripe cherries – you know, the kind that have been on the tree so long they have turned a profoundly deep red.
The palate was somewhat disappointing at the start because the first of the oncoming discriminate sensations was the alcohol. Now maybe that’s a good thing in the cognac world, but it’s not the premium invitation that most Scotch makers are pursuing. Nonetheless, it lasted only a moment, like the crackling spark of a matchstick being scratched against its box and brought to a flame. In the pyre that ensues, the well-ripened fruits emerge – blackberries, cherries, and bruised pears. Kindled in the same flare is a warm and nutty spice.
The finish is long. As the cognac coats the glass, so also it coats the mouth and throat. I really like that a lot. The dark fruits stay for a while. I guess they figured that since they’ve been hanging around for 100 years already, another couple of minutes with the one who has decided to love them won’t hurt.
This certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime drink sitting here. But I don’t intend to keep it around for long. It will be consumed. And I don’t intend to sell the bottle. It will be proudly displayed upon my kitchen cabinets right next to the other empty bottle of Louis XIII I already own. Yep, I was gifted an empty bottle by my friend Jack a few years ago at Christmas.
Who knows, maybe the third time will be the charm and the next bottle will be unopened and full.
Um, yeah, prob’ly not.