January 2018 - Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa

This month's Spirits feature is Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa
Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa Reviews
222571
Drouet et Fils
Paradis de Famille Hors d'Age Cognac
Bronze color. Aromas of sweet ripe mango, creme fraiche, fine leather, polished furniture, cherry fruit leather, and cured meats with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish full body and a warming, subtle, very long aromatic barks, terra cotta, toasted crumpet, and roasted pumpkin seeds finish. A giant, chewy cognac for the most special of occasions.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222276
Pierre Ferrand
Reserve Double Cask Cognac
Golden amber color. Aromas of roasted agave, caramelized pineapple, luxury cigarette, fresh organic pear, roasted pine nuts, coriander, and mustard with a vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, very complex, very long sweety drop peppers, fine english toffee, and star fruit finish. A sophisticated and finesseful cognac that will delight connoisseurs.
96 points $79.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221856
Selection Olivier Blanc
XO Extraordinaire Cognac
Amber color. Elegant aromas of rich caramel, teriyaki sauce, roasted nut butter, fruit preserves, and anise with a round, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, very long salted peanut skins, black tea, warm earthy spices, and menthol finish. An exceptionally balanced, powerful, and lengthy cognac for whiskey lovers.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222503
Courvoisier
XO Cognac
Copper color. Aromas of caramel drenched grilled berries, marigold blossom, nut brittle, and sweet cinnamon whipped mascarpone with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, subtle, very long coconut creme anglaise, orange marmalade, clove, chicory, nori, maraschino liqueur soaked sultanas, and sponge cake in evaporated milk finish. A spectacular XO cognac that delights the senses with with waves of rich, decadent, complex flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222570
Drouet et Fils
XO Ulysse Cognac
Copper color. Inviting aromas of prosciutto, cafe au lait, cherry mostarda, musk, and yuzu with a round, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, very complex, long chocolate dipped candied orange peels, cinnamon spice drops, chocolate caramel candies, and dried rose petals finish. A delicious, engaging cognac with a long, developing finish; savor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221855
Selection Olivier Blanc
Exceptionnel Cognac
Dark amber color. Exotic, fruity aromas and flavors of bright lychee, peach candies, vanilla caramel, ramune soda, and dried apricot with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, long sweet tobacco, mango powder, and thai chiles finish. Rich exotic fruits explode out of the glass in this distinctive expression of cognac.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222507
Cognac Roullet
VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
Amber color. Aromas of pear tart, coffee cake crust, sweet candied pecans, fruity olive, and agave nectar with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, distinctive, medium-long cigar wrapper, spice cake, caramel buttercream, and suede finish. A rich, satisfying, flavor-packed VSOP that over-delivers for it’s category.
93 points $39 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222485
Camus
Borderies XO Cognac
Copper color. Fruity aromas of apple pie, cherry cordial, tobacco shop, chocolate shavings, and wintergreen with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, captivating, medium-length chocolate coated toffee, salted caramel sponge cake, and molasses finish. A craveable XO cognac with delectable doses of caramel and chocolate flavor.
93 points $159.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222396
Alexander
Grappa di Cabernet
Clear color. Rustic aromas of hay, green tea, dried mango, dried lime peel, and tobacco with a velvety, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a medium-long marzipan wrapped cherries, icing sugar, dried lemon peel, and bee pollen finish. A terroir-driven grappa; sip after a good meal.
92 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222569
Drouet et Fils
VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
Bright amber color. Tropical, savory aromas and flavors of dried pineapple and mango, prosciutto, gingerbread, paprika, and peach skins with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, complex, long miso glaze and toasted sesame seeds finish. A stunning VSOP with great complexity, charm, and intrigue; over-delivers for the category.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222755
Bache-Gabrielsen
XO Natur & Eleganse Cognac
Copper color. Aromas of saffron, pickled apples, olives, marcona almonds, spearmint, and plum butter on caraway rye with a round, vibrant, dryish medium body and an intricate, medium-long dried starfruit, white pepper, and fine leather finish. An elegant, slow moving cognac for contemplative enjoyment.
92 points $84.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222393
Boulard
Calvados VSOP
Brilliant copper color. Fruity, pure aromas of juicy red apples, fine tea, roasted walnuts, cinnamon-butterscotch, and leather with a velvety, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length creme anglaise atop warm apple compote, mixed peppercorns, pepperoncini, and tobacco ash finish. A fresh, dry Calvados for after-dinner sipping.
91 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222539
D’USSÉ
VSOP Cognac
Dark amber color. Elegant aromas of chocolate covered dried cherries, sweet tobacco, and apple sharlotka with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, long resin and aniseed finish. An elegant and full-bodied VSOP that will provide endless pleasure.
91 points $51.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222486
Camus
Borderies VSOP Cognac
Dark amber color. Fruity aromas and flavors of honey drizzled fresh figs, ripe nectarine, dried orange peels, and plum compote with a glycerous, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length meyer lemon glaze, dried chamomile flowers, and bing cherries finish. A fruit-forward crowd-pleasing VSOP for sipping and mixing.
91 points $54.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222395
Alexander
Grappa Bianca
Clear color. Confected aromas of green pear, tutti fruiti candies, banana marshmallow, guayabana, crisp raw asparagus, and sunflower seeds with a velvety, crisp, fruity light body and a warming, intriguing, medium-length dandelion, marjoram, chamomile tea, banana leaf, and ground peppercorns finish. A fruit-forward Grappa with a friendly nose and a palate reminiscent of the summer countryside.
90 points $37.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222546
Campagnere
XO Cognac
Bronze color. Exotic aromas of jasmine tea with honey, aniseed, fresh chervil, and caramel with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length leather, sarsaparilla, and minerals finish. A solid XO Cognac with an enticing aroma.
90 points $169.98
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222545
Campagnere
VSOP Cognac
Copper color. Aromas of vanilla petit fours with orange marmalade, suede, sweet cigar wrapper, mace, and mahogany with a velvety, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-long dried rose petals, cherry pastry, and roasted nutskins finish. An oak-forward and rewarding VSOP to share with excellent company.
88 points $49.96
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221857
Selection Olivier Blanc
XO Artisanal Cognac
Golden amber color. Aromas of peach and apricot fruit leather, salted caramel, honey drizzled marcona almonds, and forest mushrooms with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a peppery, stimulating, medium-long cherry, pine, white pepper, and chocolate spiked espresso finish. A light-on-it-feet XO that favors finesse over brawn.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222394
Boulard
Calvados Pays d'Auge XO
Bronze color. Earthy aromas of bee pollen, alpine herbs, damp trees, and apple handpie with a silky, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length apple quickbread, gingerbread, and hazelnut creamer finish. A light and mysterious Calvados that might be a nice departure for single malt fans.
88 points $89.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222397
Alexander
Grappolo
Clear color. Floral aromas and flavors of wildflowers, bosc pear, sweet honey, almond nougat, and wisteria with a satiny, bright, dry light body and a tingling, brisk dandelion greens, aniseed, tropical fruit, and ghee finish. A beautiful, perfumed grappa with graceful length.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222544
Campagnere
VS Cognac
Clear golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of caramel, toasted almond, rum raisin ice cream, and cola with a lean, soft, dry-yet-fruity thin body and a short finish. An easy drinking, pleasurable cognac; sip, shoot, or mix.
87 points $36.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222502
Courvoisier
VSOP Cognac
Brilliant amber color. Aromas of creme caramel, fruitcake, tangerine peels, almond sponge, and macerated fresh berries with a velvety, crisp, dryish medium body and a warming, medium-long swisher sweets and mace finish. A solid VSOP with big flavor and a lingering finish.
87 points $37.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222501
Courvoisier
VS Cognac
Clear amber color. Aromas of orchard fresh apple compote flecked with vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried currants with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a hot, medium dried pineapple, parchment, and schechuan peppercorn finish. A solid cognac for mixing.
85 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222754
Bache-Gabrielsen
VSOP Natur & Eleganse Cognac
Golden amber color. Aromas of pear compote, cinnamon dusted sultanas, overripe tangerine, and shredded tobacco with a satiny, crisp, dry light body and a smooth, swift cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground black pepper finish. A peppery, understated cognac for mixing.
84 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219649
Tremols
Grappa
Brilliant clear color. Aromas of banana leaf and marsh grasses with a supple, soft, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, brisk bitter garlic scapes and tomatillo paper finish. A swift kickin’ grappa for caffe corretto.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222303
Merlet
Chevessac Pineau des Charentes Extra Vieux
Dark amber color. Sweet aromas and flavors of rich clover honeycomb, pomegranate molasses, dried figs and dates, dried grasses, miso, and sultanas with a satiny, vibrant, sweet light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length dried apricot, fresh oak, pastry creme, and raisin cake finish. A savory Pineau with lovely cloud-like weight.
83 points $35.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Spirits/Review-2018-01-01-Cognac-Armagnac-Calvados-and-Grappa.aspx