A must have for classic cocktails calling for a drier form of triple sec or Dry Curacao .
Notes: Based on a 19 century recipe this Curacao or Triple Sec is made with 14 spices, bitter orange peel , an unaged ( eau de vie) version of one of our favorite cognacs, Pierre Ferrand for a start, then married with brandy and cognac and left to age in a oak barrel for an unspecified time . This is part of a new venture for the Pierre Ferrand Cognac house, which has also produced the Mathilde Liqueurs such as the Peach which we reviewed earlier, along with a Peach, Pear, Black Currant, Raspberry, and Orange XO.Their products also include Citadelle Gin, Citadelle Reserve Gin, Citadelle Vodka, Magellan Gin, the Plantation Lines Of Rum (Plantation 3 Stars,Plantation Grande Reserve Barbados 5 Year Old, and the Old Reserve 1998 Guadeloupe among others. Alexander Gabriel the head of Pierre Ferrand is constantly blending and experimenting with new products as both an enthusiasm/hobby and also to develop new products. I highly recommend visiting the distillery if you get a chance- it is a delight to both the eye and the palette.
Appearance: Sparkling clear, gold amber in the bottle and pale straw gold in the glass. On swirling it leaves a thick oily coat on the glass with legs and droplets forming.
First Impression: Heavy, almost sensuous bouquet of orange, vanilla,brandy, anise, almonds, spices, plums and dried fruits.
Taste: Very spicy orange with a lot of spice punch behind it. Nicely dry with a bitter twist to it gives it much more complexity, depth, and interest than your average sticky sweet orange curaçao. Notes of plums, marzipan,vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, juniper,
Drinks: Please note that this is an older drier version of Triple Sec, so it is best suited to classic cocktails of the 19th to early 20th century such as a Maidens Prayer, Pegu Club, Presidente . It worked very well in all of these and adds depth and complexity to any cocktail we mixed it with. That being said people who want a super sweet orange syrup should stick with Mr Boston or Hiram Walker – this is a qualitatively altogether different form of triple sec than the mainstream dross out there.
Bottle: Clear glass bottle shows of the color and clarity of the Triple Sec nicely. Lovely period type art work and graphics make for a very attractive bottle that feels very Belle Epoque and makes for a very nice addition to your bar that stands out easily. Screw cap closure detracts somewhat from the period look and feel but makes for easier opening liqueur bottles can get sticky ad hard to open in a hurry.
Other: Please note that this liqueur is much higher proof than many so you are getting a good bit for your money. Many others are diluted with water to as little as 30 proof – considerably less bang for you buck. Also refer to my Cocktail Math article to see how little it costs to use a premium ingredient over a much less good cheap curaçao ( of which there are far to many). This Dry Curacao falls into the same price area as Cointreau and less than Gran Marnier making it a
Final Thoughts: A somewhat specialized version of a Triple Sec. A must have for period or classic cocktails, but slightly less useful for more standard triple sec cocktails. High quality, lovely stuff, but maybe a bit specialized for the average home bar. Definitely recommended as a great product though.