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Cognac

General chat and talk about whisky.

Cognac

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:17 am

Christian said:

I just wish to add that with Cognac it's far more difficult to find good stuff than with whisky. Not only do many of the producers tart up their brandy with colouring but they add sugar syrup to sweeten the taste so most people won't be offended by their product, hence my earlier argument that despite colouring and chill-filtering whisky looks like the slightly more honest product.

However, there are good producers making good uncoloured non-additive products like the terrific producer Leopold Gourmel. This stuff is so much better than the ordinary "Remy Martin" luxus brands. There is a danger however to "put off" people who expect the ordinary sweet stuff........


Christian, I am very curious to try some good cognac. Can you tell me, off the top of your head, which common brands are tarted up, and which are not?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:48 am

Well, concerning the tarted up Cognacs it's far easier to say it's the rule rather than the exception. For really good cognacs without additives you could try products from the following producers:
1. J. Normandin-Mercier
2. Frapin
3. Ragnaud Sabourin
4. Leopold Gourmel

I don't wish to appear as snobby and there are actually cognacs I like - despite added sugar syrup (to a varying degree) but one should consider that most cognacs - including the luxus brands such as Remy Martin, Renault etc are sweetened and coloured. There's nothing wrong in enjoying and liking cognacs like that and there is a possible danger in trying the non-additive cognac as there isn't any "satisfaction guaranteed" coming with the bottle. Most of us are used to the sweet ones! But added sugar and natural sugar from the oak when matured for a long time is something completely different. Expect something far more flowery and lighter than the usual stuff.
I believe the above can be applied to quality Calvados as well - which can be handy for your tripp - on route from Bergen via Normandie to Scotland on your spirit pilgrimmage :wink:

Skål!
Christian


Skål!
Christian
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:10 am

Hi there

Mr T try any cognac by Gabriel & Andreu, Pierre Ferrand or Frapin, especially their Single Chateau Cognacs.
They are attempts to copy single malts with the usage of grapes or wines respectively from just one vineyard.

I think that would be worth your time.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:39 pm

I would just like to add that most producers use sugar syrup but some of the cognac houses also have one or more "uncoloured/unsweetened" alternatives. The sugar content in a given bottle can be eight times as high in a sweetened cognac if compared to a "natural" one. Norway is actually one of the biggest markets for cognac in the world and the stately owned winemonopoly has introduced to very helpfull categories: Cognac Traditionel and Cognac Brut, and they are very usable if one whishes to explore the sugar content or what kind of style a certain cognac belongs to.

My best bet would be to give Leopold Gourmel a try. They are indeed fantastic cognacs and none of their products have been "fixed"- they are even non-chill filtered :) Even better, the prices (single malt prices) are somewhat reasonable if you wish to explore the "brut" category!

Mr T/or anyone else could very well use the "Vinmonopol internet site to find out which one is worth exploring:
http://www.vinmonopolet.no
click:Nettbutikk
click:brennevin (no, not svartidauer)
click:druebrennevin
click:Cognac Brut


Kallaskander: some of the Frapin Cognacs do indeed containd added sugar syrup....but the 1979 is supposedly free from it. Strangely enough this vintage is also one of the more reasonable priced..

Skål!
Christian
Last edited by Mr Fjeld on Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:46 pm

Hi Christian,

do you watch the spot market for sugar? :wink:

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Aidan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:55 pm

I believe the Cognac industry is benefitting from rappers' obsessoin with the drink. Many American rappers drink the stuff now, and call it "yac" or "nac" or something like that.

Boy bands aren't old enough to drink it yet.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:54 pm

Hi Aidan
Yes, I've noticed! This is undoubtedly the second boom for cognac - the last time this happened was in the eighties. And most things went from good to worse during that period. However, it must be said that the recent popularity of Cognac in the north american and far eastern markets first and foremost affects the coloured and highly sugary dark brown luxus brands. Don't expect to find an encreasing demand for the good stuff - the dry cognacs.

Yac/Nac - what's the matter with people?

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Aidan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:59 pm

Christian

I think it's just part of a rapper's kit now. It doesn't have to be good, just expensive. I wonder what they'd be drinking if they got into whisky??

I had some sherry recently and really enjoyed it. It was very interesting as you can really equate it with some whiskeys, especially the Jameson 12. Anyway, I don't know the brand - it could have been awful stuff, but I loved it.

I have a sweet tooth. I'll have to get me some cognac.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:05 pm

I nosed a Spanish brandy the other night, it was very pleasant but you could clearly smell the caramel that had been added.

Do most Cognacs have caramel added?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:17 pm

Aidan:
I think it's just part of a rapper's kit now. It doesn't have to be good, just expensive. I wonder what they'd be drinking if they got into whisky??

My suggestion would be Macallan (please, no flamewar :shock: )
I have a sweet tooth. I'll have to get me some cognac.

I like several of the sweeter ones too and there's nothing wrong with that. But as with all things good one should treat oneself to the unadultered stuff at least once.

Lawrence:
Do most Cognacs have caramel added?

Yes, unfortunately they do! Most cognacs (VS/VSOP) are fairly young and straight out of the cask they are like whisky - fairly light in colour. 150e is used to make it brown or golden. Oakspoon and chips can also be used to add colour and tannins but the result isn't as good as aging in a cask of course. The colouring with 150 is more extensively done with cognac than it is with whisky I'm afraid.

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:35 pm

Yes, Christian, I noticed a lot of cognac on the shelves of pubs in Bergen--more than anything else. I should have tried some. But as I think I mentioned to you before, most pubs also had a bottle of calvados, of which I am already quite fond, having visited the region and several distilleries the years before. What was odd was that it seemed that each pub had a different calvados; we had three or four different ones, all well-aged and quite good. Never more than one bottle in any pub, though.

I know the local packy has, among many others, Pierre Ferrand, so that's one I'll check out (thanks, kk). And I'll keep an eye out for others you mentioned, Christian. Thanks for the advice.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:46 pm

Hi Mr Tattieheid!
I see from the website of "Vinmonopolet" that the Ferrand cognacs available here both contain quite a lot of sugar. They are also classified as "traditional" cognacs, meaning they are tampered with. This does not imply they are bad though but if you are looking for a non-additive cognac you should look elsewhere.

3533 : Ferrand Ambre Grande Champagne
3553 : Ferrand Réserve Grande Champagne

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Sep 17, 2005 3:05 am

kallaskander wrote:Hi Christian,

do you watch the spot market for sugar? :wink:

Greetings
kallaskander

Didn't see this post untill recently.....
Kallaskander, be nice or I'll water your whisky :wink:

Skål!
Christian
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Postby kallaskander » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:30 am

Hi there,

no, you won´t!

Greetings
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:26 am

kallaskander wrote:Hi there,

no, you won´t!

Greetings
kallaskander

Kallaskander - do you like Monte Python?

Yes I will, yes I will, yes I will :wink:

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Tartan » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:15 am

kallaskander wrote:Hi there

Mr T try any cognac by Gabriel & Andreu, Pierre Ferrand or Frapin, especially their Single Chateau Cognacs.
They are attempts to copy single malts with the usage of grapes or wines respectively from just one vineyard.

I think that would be worth your time.

Greetings
kallaskander
Actually they're not just attempts, they're plain copycats :) Not that there is anything wrong with duplicating a successful pattern :)

Cognac industry is seeing a drop in profit for some time now and looking for ways to give themselves a boost. They're not even hiding the fact that they duplicate whisky industry's approach with single distillery and vintage products. I spoke to a Pierre Ferrand representative during a tasting session and he even used camparison with single malt whisky as a "selling point" to show that their cognac is superior to most of the blends on the market. And it is, indeed. Pierre Ferrand is an excellent choice to get acquainted with cognac. And their Single Chateau (or Single Estate) approach in a sense is even "higher" than single distillery, because the grapes are also their own. (Like a distillery growing their own barley.)

I was also very impressed with Lheraud, also unblended cognac. Especially Cuvée 20 - magnificent stuff.

Aidan wrote:I believe the Cognac industry is benefitting from rappers' obsessoin with the drink. Many American rappers drink the stuff now, and call it "yac" or "nac" or something like that.
I think they're paid to mention it. (I wouldn't bet on it though.) Same deal was with malt liquor some time ago.
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Postby kallaskander » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:54 am

Hi there,

hi Christian, how did you guess?

Reading the texts on the cognac packages or tubes, surfing the internet gives you one impression. The cognac industry must be desperate. Was the image of cognac that of an exclusive enjoyment for wealthy connoisseurs the send a message you could translate as
"Pure, with water, with sparkling water, in a cocktail with ginger ale with whatever you like, but please drink our cognac".
Seems they have reached the rappers with their message.

Greetings
kallaskander
Last edited by kallaskander on Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:28 pm

Good point Kallaskander! If only the whiskybusiness could learn the lesson from the over exposing of cognac. Trendiness isn't synonimous with loyalty! When the incrowd looses interest you loose everything. It's better to choose the steady traditional way and make sure people are loyal.

Skål!
Christian
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Re: Cognac

Postby patrick dicaprio » Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:58 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Christian said:

I just wish to add that with Cognac it's far more difficult to find good stuff than with whisky. Not only do many of the producers tart up their brandy with colouring but they add sugar syrup to sweeten the taste so most people won't be offended by their product, hence my earlier argument that despite colouring and chill-filtering whisky looks like the slightly more honest product.

However, there are good producers making good uncoloured non-additive products like the terrific producer Leopold Gourmel. This stuff is so much better than the ordinary "Remy Martin" luxus brands. There is a danger however to "put off" people who expect the ordinary sweet stuff........


Christian, I am very curious to try some good cognac. Can you tell me, off the top of your head, which common brands are tarted up, and which are not?


without spending a ton of dough by far the best range IMHO are the Pierre Ferrand cognacs. admittedly though i havent had a ton of experience with cognacs recently although i used to drink it on an irregular basis when i was in law school.

Pat
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