40% Whisky??? | Blog #24

G’day everyone,

Did I say 40% whiskies??

Well while I was rummaging through my collection of all things yummy, a very cold wind blew in from the Rockies and darn if I didn’t have to light the fireplace and think about snuggling up on the couch with my wife and the dog and sipping on something delicious.

Looking through my collection just about one of the yummiest drinks at 40% that I love to indulge myself in regularly is Cognac.

Not just any Cognac mind you but something from a smaller producer that truly cares about exceptional quality and balance.

Drouet is one of those producers. A family owned distillery for over 4 generations Drouet is in the heart of Grande Champagne country and as a result all their Cognacs from their VSOP to the Paradis are 100% Grande Champagne.

With my thoughts turning to Cognac it is time to break out the brandy snifter and the steaming mug of water…….Sorry cant wait, allow me a few minutes to get said Cognac ready before I get back to chatting with you………………………………..

Using the snifter one has to be very gentle in the approach as even 40% can become something akin to full blown cask strength.

OK water boiled snifter polished and Drouet XO poured freely. Even after just a few minutes resting in the tilted snifter atop one of our favorite coffee mugs, picked up from a local clay potter in Barbados, the XO is fairly bursting out of the top with amazing aromas. It’s incredible the nose on this cognac at 40%. Using the snifter one has to be very gentle in the approach as even 40% can become something akin to full blown cask strength.

Doing a quick drive-by my wife Cindy stuck her nose into the glass and came up with stewed plums covered in toasted marshmallow…wow.

For me I got a lovely slice of fresh toast with creamy butter and Seville orange marmalade.

After 5 minutes the Cognac is starting to warm a little and on the palate is absolutely gorgeous. Soft candied oranges with hints of dried fig and cinnamon.

At about the 8 minute mark the steam lessens and the Cognac starts to cool a little. As it cools the finish becomes decidedly drier with a long lingering finish that develops some lovely spicy character. Cloves and soft white pepper splashes.

Warming me up from the inside out this is a great way to spend a chilly late Summer/Fall afternoon in Alberta.

This is a delicate and extremely complex Cognac. At 40% it is absolutely perfect. More alcohol would overpower the delicate nature of this lovely spirit.

A lot of the time 40% as an alcohol percentage represents the lowest point that a spirit can be legally created. This means the maximum amount of volume/production and many including a fair number of Single Malts suffer flavor and complexity due to the demand for quantity.

In this case however much like some amazing low alcohol wines 40% just sits perfectly.

I will work on scrounging up some 40% whiskies at some point but for now hoping that Indian Summer kicks in for the remainder of September in Calgary I’ll crank up the fire and relax while I finish off this delicious XO.

It’s a tough job this blogging and I’m glad that the burden has fallen to me to bring you something interesting each week.

Next week I have no idea what I’m going to be blogging about so lets just say its a well kept Secret…

Until then, grab your Brandy snifter, boil your water and try on a Grande Champagne Cognac. I promise you wont be dissapointed.

A Votre Sante!

Jonathan

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