What’s eau-de-vie de vin? Well, it’s Cognac. Except, in this case, it’s also not. Here’s the thing: Brandy can get complicated sometimes, especially with rules and regulations involved. And with Cognac, there are lots of rules and regulations.
So let’s make this as simple as we can: Ferrand Renegade Barrel No. 3 Eau-de-Vie de Vin is a new, limited release from noted Cognac producer Maison Ferrand. The Renegade Barrel series features Ferrand Cognacs aged using unconventional methods. Previous releases included brandies aged in a Sauternes cask and in barrels made of chestnut wood. These methods aren’t so much new and innovative processes. Rather, they explore the ways Cognac producers worked with the spirit in generations past, before many of today’s Cognac regulations were in force.
For this third release in the series, a vintage 2011 Grande Champagne Cognac underwent a second maturation in casks formerly used for aging rum from the historic Long Pond distillery in Jamaica. Cognac and Jamaican rum are longtime friends. Take a tour through historic punch recipes from the 18th and 19th centuries for proof of how well the two spirits get along together. However, this second maturation process (though common with spirits like Scotch whisky) ventures beyond the boundaries of current Cognac rules. Hence, we can’t technically call it Cognac anymore.
So what can we call it? Intriguing, for a start. Its rich fruitiness on the nose conjures up orange peel, vanilla, and toasted almonds. The spirit’s creamy texture exhibits layers of marmalade, tropical fruit tart, and baking spice flavors. And the finish takes its own sweet time unfurling characteristics of licorice and coffee. Altogether the Cognac—I mean, the eau-de-vie—is round, robust, and satisfying. Suggested retail price: $90; available at select retailers such as lpwinesandliquors.com.
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