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Is This Exclusive $31,000 Cognac the Oldest in the World?

A real treat for Cognac connoisseurs, there are only 68 one-liter decanters available.

By Toby Louch

Cognac is one of the most renowned spirits globally, heralded for its history, quality and luxurious connotations. Currently, the market is dominated by some of the most recognizable brands in the business, namely Hennessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier and Martell, with the vast majority of the 500 to 600 producers in Cognac selling their spirit to these big brands. Hermitage Cognac, an independent, premium cognac house, does things a little differently. Its latest release, Hermitage Siècle d’Or 100 Year Old Cognac, is actually believed to be the world’s oldest barrel-aged cognac ever released.

The Hermitage Siècle d’Or 100-Year-Old Cognac is priced at $31,600 and has an ABV of 40.5%. Inspired by the “Siècle D’Or” France’s ‘Golden Century,’ Hermitage Cognac describes it as ‘one of the finest old Cognacs from the past century.’ Far from differing from the competition, it’s believed there is no competition as no other example of a Premier Cru, Single Estate Cognac has been bottled at this age.

“I am delighted to offer this priceless masterpiece of cognac history to the global market,” said David Baker, founder of Hermitage Cognac. “Provenance and time are the very essence of this 100-year-old cognac and I hope those who purchase it will indulge in one of the finest luxury spirits on the market.”

[See also: Last Drop Distillers Release Rare Whisky for King Charles’ Birthday]

Wolds oldest Cognac
The one-liter decanter is emblazoned with gold leaf / ©Hermitage Cognac

Produced from Ugni Blanc grapes, grown in the region of Liginères Sonneville at the heart of Grande Champagne — widely considered the finest of the six growth areas in Cognac — the area is treasured for the pure cognac it produces. The impressive liquid was then distilled in Segonzac utilizing traditional copper Alembic Charentais stills. As potentially the world’s oldest barrel-aged cognac, the continuation of traditional methods seems apt paying homage to the 100-year age of the liquid.

“It is one of only a very small quantity of cognac aged in cellars in the heart of the Premier Cru of cognac known as Grande Champagne,” said Baker. “Untouched and unblended this vintage cognac has aged for 100 years in Limousin Oak Barrels. This exceptionally long aging period has created a wide complexity of rich flavors and aromas, common only with the finest and oldest cognacs. The balance and depth of flavor is a masterpiece of smoothness and quality. Flavors of cocoa, burnt toffee, mushroom, ginger, candied fruit and kumquat are all wrapped up in an intensely rich rancio found only in the rarest of cognacs.”

Almost as impressive as the world’s oldest barrel-aged cognac itself is the bespoke decanter specifically made to hold this record-breaking distillate. Crafted by Cumbria Crystal, the last UK-based producer of hand-blown and hand cut English crystal, the one-liter decanter is emblazoned with gold leaf. Each is also individually numbered, improving the collectability of the piece. The decanter — which takes two weeks to create — will be protected by a wooden presentation box, that will also contain a letter from Hermitage chairman David Baker, in addition to a leaflet on the impressive cognac.

[See also: Hennessy Launches Richard Hennessy Magnum]

Tasting Notes

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Color:  Rich Tan 

Aroma: Cocoa, dried fig, burnt sugar, truffle and cloves

Flavor: Complex and rich flavors of cocoa, burnt toffee, mushroom, ginger, candied fruit with a long kumquat finish


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