Formerly a private label distiller of Cognac for the major houses, Merlet (pronounced mer-lay) has launched its own label, under its own name. (The company also makes a variety of fruit liqueurs, which we’ll be reviewing soon.) The first product, launching now in the U.S., is called Merlet Brothers Blend, a marriage of eaux-de-vies ranging in age from four to 12 years old.
My first encounter with Brothers Blend was a little off-putting. I found it hot and young, typical of a pre-teen Cognac. On further tasting, after letting the bottle simmer down for a few weeks with a little air in the headspace, things have interestingly improved.
Now this Cognac is exhibiting youth, but also lots of fruit. Fresh apple notes and golden raisins form the core, with a mild vanilla/creme brulee character atop that, with a touch of incense and cinnamon on the kicker. It’s very lively, and the funky earthiness has blown off now, leaving behind a light body with lots of easy-drinking freshness. Can’t complain at this price.