Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thirst among equals

Clifford Lichayto of Bacchus Epicerie reveals why Cognac is the real men’s drink

You haven’t really experienced drinking if you haven’t tasted cognac. For cognac takes drinking to a whole new level. Cognac is perhaps the ne plus ultra of liquors, when it comes to drinking with men.

For truly any company of heroes—and their varied experiences—deserves a drink that matches the nuanced boldness, cleverness, and gutsiness of their day-to-day actions, whether that be closing billion-dollar deals or, well, burping the baby.

I digress. There is rarity in this drink, and cognac exudes the image of exclusivity, tracing its history as the drink of royalty and members of the aristocracy. For again, any band of brothers is a restricted order, like cognac: known by many, admitting only the few.

Cognac requires aging to fully reveal its flavor, precisely as time weathers friendships among any league of extraordinary gentlemen, deepening it and adding nuance upon nuance. Speaking of which, there are many ways to enjoy the cognac. Some prefer it with lemon, just as others enjoy it with strong, black coffee, or dark chocolate. Then there is that largely male domain where cognac accompanies a full-bodied cigar; a maduro torpedo, perhaps, and a habana at that. In any case the rule of thumb is that neither must overpower each other, as in friendships among comrades-in-arms.

The Tesseron family is one of the world’s most notable cognac makers; their tradition of cognac ageing began in 1905 in the Cognac region, north of Bordeaux. Brothers Alfred and Gerard Tesseron have created a unique collection called XO—for ‘extremely old’—signifying the best selection in their cellars. It is a point of pride that Bacchus Epicerie houses rare Cognac Tesseron Lot N°29 Exception. This jewel of the Tesseron collection boasts of a unique blend of the legendary Grande Champagne, the cream of the rarest stock aged for at least three generations. Its floral bouquet is infused with chocolate and mocha notes. With its elegance and exclusivity, the Cognac Tesseron Lot N°29 Exception is the night capper.

The beautiful Cognac region of France

A typical vineyard scene in Cognac

Other Tesseron classics:

Lot N°90 XO Selection

Its unique character comes from long ageing in oak barrels, adding richness and complexity, revealing fresh pear and quince notes that open to herbaceous elements, dried fruits, and nuts with almond hints.

Lot N° 76 XO Tradition

Matured to perfection in old casks, this selection exhibits a mixture of caramelized peaches, almond, and candied fruit aromas. It assaults the taste buds with its spicy vitality. Best paired with chocolate, nut based pudding, and apple crumble.

Lot N° 53 XO Perfection

Topaz in color with an abundance of plums, figs, and chocolate on the palate, this drink has a heavy aromatic tang and an overpowering taste of long wood ageing. This appetizing selection reveals a peppery and spicy taste followed by dark chocolate and fresh herbs.

Lot N° 29 XO Exception

The XO collection’s crown jewel is perhaps the most fantastic distilled alcohol on earth. Offering nothing but richness and warmth, it has the qualities of an elixir: pure and simple. Supremely elegant in taste, Lot 29 is made from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blance and Colombard Grapes, and aged for more than three generations in Limousin oak casks.

This appears in the August-September 2010 issue of
Travelife Magazine.


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