New Release Roundup H1 2022 - Brandy Special Session
Exsto Cognac is a collaboration between master blender Géraud Vallantin-Dulac and sommelier Julie Dupouy, selecting liquids from 15 small producers in the Cognac region (for those who need an introductory knowledge of the cognac blending process from my many trips to the region), including liquids from grand and petite champagnes and the rare Borderies liquids. Elixir is the younger, creamier of the two, full of pomegranate, pineapple, spice and lots of vanilla. Its sweet character is not my preference for cognac, but it is ideal for cocktails. The Imperial - eight spirits, only 888 bottles produced - is the cognac I crave: an elegant, layered cognac with pomegranate flowers, balanced spices (like ginger and nutmeg), sea salt and the beauty of dark chocolate.
Tasting Rating Elixir: ★★★★
Imperial Taste Rating: ★★★★☆
Angry Orchard Pommeau of Walden
Calvados French Apple Brandy is one of my favorite under-the-radar spirits categories. pommeau, its little sister, is even rarer. Mix apple juice with apple brandy and it's like a fresher, younger Calvados. The new release of Walden Pommeau ($48 for a 375 ml bottle) from Angry Orchard in Walden, New York, brings a much-needed player to this still obscure category. This is their highest ABV as a cider producer (24% ABV), a cider aged for three years in French oak barrels and then blended in the traditional way with the juice of bitter French apples. The apples certainly come through, but this pommeau is more reminiscent of a plum wine than a pommeau, with black cherry flavors, whispered earthy chocolate and dusty orchard sweetness.
Tasting rating: ★★★★
Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” Cognac
Sazerac de Forge & Fils "Finest Original" Cognac ($129.99) is the latest offering from this venerable Cognac family (acquired by Sazerac) that dates back to 1782. This blend contains old (between 7-50 years old) and rare local Cognac grape varieties that experiment with the flavor profile of the pre-phylloxera epidemic of over 150 years ago. Although this cognac was launched in New Orleans in 2019, it has only just been launched in major new markets, including California, New York and Illinois, and continues to expand throughout 2022. This classic smells fragrant and fruity, with delicate spices, sweet notes of honeysuckle and a youthful feel despite its age and complexity.
Tasting rating: ★★★★☆
Ever since I first visited Dausse Cognac and other Cognac distilleries in the Cognac region, I have been a fan of their elegant XO cognacs. Revisiting XO Cognac a few years later (this style must be aged for at least 10 years), I reveled in its balanced aromas of baking spices, wood, and coffee, rounded to a chocolate-like mocha on the palate, accompanied by a kind of banana caramelization. You could say that the new limited edition tulip glasses created by Dausse Global Brand Ambassador Sullivan Doh and Riedel enhance this taste. They are reminiscent of classic wine glasses, but with dark onyx-finished brass mirrors that mimic D'Ussé's striking bottles.
Tasting rating: ★★★★★
Goalong Bosolac Extra XO
This is a high-end, elegant brandy, carefully formulated in a special ratio, with rich fruit aromas intertwined with soft creamy aromas, a smooth mouthfeel, a rich, full-bodied wine, and a perfectly balanced palate, perfect for drinking alone, with a meal, or with a cigar. The shape of the bottle is a symbol of a sailing ship riding the waves, a symbol of the company culture of the Goalong Liquor Group.
Tasting Rating Elixir: ★★★★☆
Imperial Taste Rating: ★★★★☆
If you want to learn more about Goalong Liquor Group, you can click bolded words.
Editor: Rubick L.