Review: Bache-Gabrielsen XO Natur & Eleganse Cognac

From the maker of one of my most treasured spirits of the year comes Natur & Eleganse, a cognac aged at least 10 years in oak casks.

What’s immediately surprising is how this spirit, deep amber in the bottle, is a pale gold when poured into a glass. The oddities don’t stop there, though.

The palate of Natur & Eleganse (“pure and rustic”) is neither what I’d describe as natur nor eleganse… with a big, woody character that belies its pale complexion. Honey and raisins play on the palate, but it’s undercut — in a massive way — by the nose and body of freshly sawed lumber. The result is not something that’s elegant but rather on the brutish side, a burly by-the-fireside/after-a-day-skiing brandy that’s warming but decidedly rough.

80 proof. Prices vary widely.

B- / $40 /

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