Martingale Cognac

  • Rating: 9
  • Value: 8
Distillery: ,
Proof: 80 (40 %)
Age: Unknown, Unspecified - see review notes
Price: $120 700 ML
Price Range:
Bottle of Martingale Cognac

A very well done and iconoclastic cognac – Quite the rule breaker. Just the cognac for rulebreakers, outlaws, and OGs in general as it is a distinct departure from the usual.

Notes: Martingale Cognac is a new cognac to the market. Brought to us by a former Pernod Ricard Executive, Guillaume Thomas — a former executive for Pernod Ricard — and his expert blender cousin Amaury Thomas, a master blender. Encompassing 4 Crus ( designated growth areas of Cognac ) as a blend – think of this as kind of a mash blend of grapes ( in terms of the different growth areas yielding very different potential flavors, then throw in the grape varieties on top of that) and further it is all distilled at their own distillery ( many larger houses blend cognac from different distilleries to produce their cognac ( and produce the house style). This makes it a fairly unique cognac these days as many concentrate on specific crus ( such as Grand Champagne Cru – the premier growth area and/or the petite Champagne Cru ( the second-ranked area immediately adjacent to the Grande). Almost no one else except Camus uses the Borderies Cru ( a much-overlooked area and flavor profile IMHO). The distillery is located in the town of Ars (population of 736), and yes, I have been in the town, tiny even by French village standards. Charming, small, and independent, much like the Chateau de Ars that produces this cognac.
Another odd point to this cognac is it has no age designation – even the rather broad categorizations  (VS, VSOP, XO, etc.) used by most houses.

Appearance: Clear, light, amber color. On swirling leaves, a medium coat with legs on the glass slowly forms, then dissolves into droplets of various sizes. Nice body overall with an oiliness that speaks of rancio just by appearance.

First Impression: Interesting and complex bouquet. The borderies is ( which is something you don’t find often) is quite noticeable in the nose. With more complexity and punch than the other growth areas, it provides an extra palette of intriguing scents on nosing. Marzipan ( or to some others of us also plastique), sandalwood, figs, dates allspice, almonds, acacia, agave, bourbon vanilla notes

Taste: Delicious, complex blend of taste reflecting the 4 crys ( growth areas nicely and in a harmonious blend. I dare say that they have more complexity and breadth than a number of other cognacs that use a narrower ( and simpler ) blend of Eau de vie to achieve their house style. Vanilla, marzipan, sandalwood, acacia, dates and other dark fruits, touch of cassis

Drinks: Makes a lovely Kir Royal, French 75, Earthquake ( Toulause La Trecs famous recipe of equal parts cognac and absinthe),Sidecar, and almost all the other classic cognac cocktails. Also of course lovely on its own in a proper glass.

Bottle: Interesting and very tactile, the patterned design is made to evoke the masonry of the Chateau de Ars that the cognac hails from. Nicely understated and beautiful design and graphics draw the eye to it at a home or commercial bar shelf. Also Sufficiently different from virtually every other cognac bottle on the market to make it stand out

Other: Good with a milder cigar

Final Thoughts: A very interesting attempt at breaking the rather dated Cognac mold and mores – very much shakes up the the blending, aging and flavor profiles that the more hidebound cognac houses adhere to.Will be interesting to see how this brand fares against the entrenched establishment. I wish them Good Luck!

It is a quick-loading and attractive website with a modicum of details about the cognac ( which, in all fairness, does need some explanation as the information on the bottle is fairly cryptic.


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