Photo courtesy of Sazerac

Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” Cognac

Cognac, France
87 Proof (43.5 ABV); $130

This special bottling of Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” Cognac is back, and its timing couldn’t be better. A report released by BNIC reveals that Cognac sales have jumped over 30% in value to 3.6 billion euros ($4.1 billion), with American and Chinese consumers leading the charge with a renewed interest in old vintages. And this “pre-Phylloxera” cognac from the Maison for which the Sazerac, New Orleans official cocktail, was named, is a recreation of the cognacs of the past.

Photo courtesy of Sazerac

What’s In the Bottle?

What makes Sazerac de Forge & Fils a “pre-Phylloxera” cognac has to do with its blending. Back in the 19th century, cognac was produced from various native grapes, including Folle Blanche and Colombard. Toward the end of the century, the region’s vines were invaded and destroyed by Phylloxera, an insect responsible for wiping out 85% percent of the Cognac region’s grapevines. As the industry replanted, the most available vines were a single varietal called Ugni Blanc, which remains the vast majority of cognac grapes today. Sazerac de Forge & Fils is a blend of original varietals.

“Our blend returns as closely as possible to the original methods of making cognac and contains cognacs from as young as seven years old, bringing freshness and delicacy, to some which date from the 1960s, adding their powerful, rich aromas, explains Clive Carpenter, general manager of Domaine Sazerac de Segonzac. “It possesses a character and complexity that is almost impossible to achieve using a single variety of grape.”

Photo courtesy of Sazerac

How Does It Taste?

Expect fruity notes of peach and berries with floral undertones laced with citrus and on the nose. The round, full-bodied sip delivers snappy fresh fruit flavors anchored by a supporting cast of oak, honey, and leather.

Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” Cognac is available at Sazerac House in New Orleans as well as fine shops in New York, California and Illinois.

Check It Out

“Sazerac de Forge & Fils possesses a character and complexity that is almost impossible to achieve using a single variety of grape.”

—Clive Carpenter, general manager, Domaine Sazerac de Segonzac

Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.