All brands must expand, and Courvoisier has been on a tear lately. First Courvoisier Rose, now C by Courvoisier.
Unlike the Rose, C is a full Cognac, blended from spirits produced from grapes from 50 winegrowers in the Fin Bois Cru, a somewhat lesser Cognac region surrounding Grand Champagne and Petite Champagne. That’s understandable: There are only so many grapes in Grande Champagne and they must cost a fair Euro these days, so Courvoisier can make a less expensive Cognac by stepping into nearby areas. The resulting spirit is double barreled in both young and mature barrels. No age statement is offered.
The results are unfortunately a bit tepid. The deep amber, almost burnt orange color is enticing, and the nose offers lots of citrus and apple fruit character, with a touch of floral element to it. On the body, lots of heat. In a vessel that curves in at the lip, this traps a lot of alcohol in the glass, and it quickly becomes overwhelming. Let it dissipate (or try a different drinking implement) and you’ll get lots more of that apple/orange fruit, plus a healthy slug of wood. Not a whole lot of balance here, as the fruit and wood notes just don’t mingle well. I think Courvoisier did this intentionally with those new wood barrels to produce a more flavorful and “brash” spirit, and there it succeeds — this is not a delicate Cognac — but it comes at the price of smoothness and complexity.