My latest trio of tasters from Flaviar’s new quarterly subscription club takes us into the world of Cognac, featuring a trilogy from France’s most noteworthy brandy-producing region — none of which we’ve ever covered here before. Let’s dig in!
Maison Surrenne Cognac VSOP – This is a collaboration between California’s Germain-Robin and Cognac’s largest remaining family-owned producer, Distillerie Galtaud. As relatively young VSOP Cognac goes, this is quite a delight. The nose is straightforward with modest spice, honey, and wood notes, but the palate totally bursts with notes of fresh fruit — berries, some tropical fruit, and a big, fresh fig note on the back end. The finish turns silky and offers some chocolate notes and a spritz of vanilla. Great value. 80 proof. A / $48 / germain-robin.com
Paul Beau Cognac VSOP – A tougher, more aggressive brandy, with heavier wood notes on the nose, some earthy terroir, and savory spice elements. The palate sticks with the theme, at first heavy on savory notes of wood and dried herbs, then slowly opening up to reveal notes of raisin, plum, and mild fig. The finish is a melange of baking spice and vaguely tropical notes bringing up a somewhat muddy conclusion. 80 proof. B / $58
Gourry de Chadeville Overproof Cognac – From a small family operation founded in 1619 in Segonzac, this is an overproof bottling of three year old spirit. Most high-proof brandies are built for cocktails, and Gourry de Chadeville’s is no different. Boldly fruity with notes of coconut, vanilla, and pears in syrup, the brandy is wholly agreeable until a heavy, raw booziness sets in, giving the late game a fairly rough, rustic composition. The finish feels heavily green and pungent, with lots of raw wood influencing the experience. 110 proof. B- / $60