We Tried The Louis XIII 100-Year-Old Cognac, And This Is What It Tastes Like
Metro.Style recently attended the exclusive bottle opening of a hundred-year-old decanter of cognac. It’s hard to imagine but this cognac was made with grapes harvested more than a century ago, then distilled and aged in oak casks for a hundred years, before being flown to the Philippines to be sampled by a lucky few invited to the Salon room in Mirèio at the Raffles Makati.
After waiting through two world wars, the coming of the Beatles, and the advent of the Internet, this prized cognac was now ready to be opened. Florian Hériard Dubreuil himself, the International Ambassador of the House of Rémy Martin, flew in from France to do the honors. Rémy Martin is the company that makes this special Cognac Grande Champagne Louis XIII, known throughout the world for its exceptional taste (and price tag!).
Before the tasting, guests were first treated to a sumptuous lunch from the culinary masters of Mirèio. For starters, we had marinated Norwegian salmon with orange marmalade, dill cream, and red peppercorn. We then enjoyed free-range chicken stuffed under the skin with truffle butter, served with marble potatoes and garlic confit. For dessert, we had Mont Black served with black currant sorbet.
After the important business of eating was finished, we proceeded to the main event, the opening of the Louis XIII crystal decanter with its hundred-year-old contents.
As explained by Dubreuil, the Louis XIII is a blend of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vies (fruit brandies), which are 100% sourced from Grande Champagne, the first and many consider the best cru (or sub-region) within the Cognac region in France.
Before the opening, we couldn’t help but marvel at the decanters, themselves sought after by liqueur aficionados. These bottles are made by master craftsmen from mouth-blown crystals.
According to the makers, the Louis XIII has aromas evoking myrrh, honey, dried roses, plum, honeysuckle, cigar box, leather, figs, and passion fruit.
After the opening of the decanter, Dubreuil himself served the cognac to guests. The drink was poured into fine crystal as well, with the glass making a beautiful chime-like sound when clinked with other crystal glasses. Guests were soon toasting their glasses with everyone in the room.
After the merriment, we then tasted this century-old cognac. It was lighter than we expected, but the flavors were definitely more pronounced and apparent. It was more flavorful, to be sure, with none of the strong alcohol tang experienced in more inferior brands. This drink is for the big boys, indeed.
“The taste is light, but has a high density,” Dubreuil said to the guests, when describing the flavor characteristics of the drink. The host also noted how the drink leaves “tears” when swirled around the glass. It denotes quality, Dubreuil noted, and also gives the drinker an indication that the flavors will stay or linger longer in one’s mouth.
When asked how best to pair the drink, Dubreuil said that it’s really up to the drinker, but he adds, “It pairs well with salty food, actually. You can pair it with caviar and cured hams like jamón ibérico.”
While we won’t likely get another chance to sample such an exceptional cognac again, the experience gave us a better appreciation of the finer points of cognac, and we look forward to discovering and enjoying Rémy Martin’s other fine cognacs one sip at a time.
Photographs by Feliciano Rodriguez III