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Reviews for 2018

January 2018 - Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa

January 2018 - Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa
This month's Spirits feature is Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa

Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados & Grappa Reviews

Drouet et Fils Paradis de Famille Hors dAge Cognac
97 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Cognac & 2017 Best Luxury Cognac & 2017 Best Brandy
Pierre Ferrand Reserve Double Cask Cognac
96 points
Best Buy
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
Selection Olivier Blanc XO Extraordinaire Cognac
96 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Best XO Cognac
Drouet et Fils XO Ulysse Cognac
94 points
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.
Selection Olivier Blanc Exceptionnel Cognac
94 points
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 finish with notes of sweet tobacco, mango powder, and thai chiles finish. Rich exotic fruits explode out of the glass in this distinctive expression of cognac.
Cognac Roullet VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
93 points
Best Buy
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.
Awards: 2017 Best VSOP Cognac
93 points $39 Best Buy
Camus Borderies XO Cognac
93 points
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
Alexander Grappa di Cabernet
92 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Grappa
92 points $39.99
Drouet et Fils VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
92 points
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 finish displaying notes of miso glaze and toasted sesame seeds finish. A stunning VSOP with great complexity, charm, and intrigue; over-delivers for the category.
Bache-Gabrielsen XO Natur & Eleganse Cognac
92 points
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
Boulard Calvados VSOP
91 points
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
Alexander Grappa Bianca
90 points
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
Campagnere XO Cognac
90 points
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
Campagnere VSOP Cognac
88 points
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
Selection Olivier Blanc XO Artisanal Cognac
88 points
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.
Boulard Calvados Pays dAuge XO
88 points
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
Alexander Grappolo
88 points
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 finish that exhibits accents of dandelion greens, aniseed, tropical fruit, and ghee finish. A beautiful, perfumed grappa with graceful length.
Campagnere VS Cognac
87 points
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
Bache-Gabrielsen VSOP Natur & Eleganse Cognac
84 points
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
Tremols Grappa
83 points
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.
Merlet Chevessac Pineau des Charentes Extra Vieux
83 points
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 finish with notes of dried apricot, fresh oak, pastry creme, and raisin cake finish. A savory Pineau with lovely cloud-like weight.
83 points $35.99