There are XO cognacs out there and then there is this. Makes the more well known XO cognacs pale by comparison.
Notes: Delamain is a family-run Cognac House and one of the older houses still in business. Not as widely known as some other cognac brands, what it lacks in name recognition, it makes up for in quality. Made from some of the best micro-terriors within the already small growing regions. Selected, distilled, aged, blended, and bottled under strict procedures and conditions, many of its cognacs are unique in age and certainly by quality. Other cognacs in the house portfolio include: Pale and Dry XO, Tres Venerable, Extra de Grande Champagne, Vintage Millesimes and Reserva de la Famille.
First Impression: Sweet oak notes, apricots,champagne raisins vanilla, caramel, and oily nuts and fleshy mushrooms. Very seductive, distinctive and understated.
Appearance: Attractive red/gold color, with a flash of gold at the edge when you look closely leaves thin coat on swirling. Could be mistaken for a bourbon in color.
Taste: Slightly sweet, oaky with lots of intense dark fruits, notes of vanilla; juicy with a heavy mouthfeel. Imagine a dry lighter version of a ice wine – a intensely concentrated one. Full bodied, mature, extremely long finish. . .luscious.
Drinks: Worked well in a Black Pagoda (basically a brandy Manhattan -see Gary Regan’s Bartenders Bible) and a few cognac and champagne drinks. Works wonderfully with them all although I would recommend a cheaper alternative if you are having more than one.
Other: Works wonderfully in a Riedel cognac glass – it made a world of difference in every respect.
Bottle: Simple green glass cognac bottle somewhat distinctive (sloped shoulder and raised pommel with a Delamain medallion). Bronze label with gold framing a scene from an engraving from 1790. The bottle is surrounded by gold wire net. Package is finished with a dark almost purple bronze capsule and real cork closure.
Final Thoughts: A wonderful cognac which can be had for a few dollars more than an X.O. from a more familiar house and is a quantum leap in taste and quality making it a top choice for its price/value.
A quick-loading, informative website with large amounts of history, pictures, recipes, etc., beautifully done Flash layout. Straight-forward and easy-to-navigate.