Review: Martell Exquisite L’Or de Jean Martell Cognac

We’ve reviewed rare spirits before, but Martell’s Exquisite L’Or de Jean Martell cognac is to date the absolute rarest: Just 120 bottles are being sold. We got a taste — not much, mind you — but enough for a serious review.

And my how quickly that went down. The 80-proof Martell’s Exquisite L’Or is, indeed, exquisite. This cognac is a combination of several hundred barrels drawn from four growths — Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, and Borderies — and matured in oak for decades. The oldest eau de vie in the blend dates back to 1830. Not a typo.

Despite the dark burgundy color, this is a surprisingly delicate and light brandy, very refined yet overwhelmingly full of flavor. It’s as smooth as candy, the perfect amount of sweetness overlaid with honey, gingerbread, toffee, old wood, and a touch of coffee in both the body and the nose. The finish is a lovely little spiced apple number, and it goes down almost absurdly smoothly. I’ve never drained a glass of any spirit so quickly — and cried when I realized there was no more to be had.

Of course this all begs the question of whether, as they say, it’s worth it. At $3,600 a bottle, a single glass of Exquisite L’Or de Jean Martell will set you back a cool $240. (Though you do get an awesome decanter when you’re finished…) That’s an impossible number to get a handle on, to be honest. But I’m here to answer: Is it worth it?

Yes, yes it is.

A+ / $3,600 /


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4 Responses

  1. Barr May 15, 2009 / 5:22 am

    This review damn near brought a tear to the eye. I can, and will only, imagine how amazing this spirit must be.

  2. Wu-Tang May 28, 2009 / 9:28 pm

    I am grateful to say that my roommate and I are a proud owner of 3 bottles!!! Pictures do not serve the bottle any justice!

  3. Wu-Tang May 28, 2009 / 9:29 pm

    I am grateful to say that my roommate and I are proud owners of 3 bottles!!! Pictures do not serve the bottle any justice!

  4. Christopher Null May 28, 2009 / 9:33 pm

    That’s $10,000 of Cognac! Where do you live, and can I come over?

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