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I tried the world’s most luxurious Cognac and this is what it tastes like

This article first appeared in City Press.

by: Grethe Kemp | 19 Mar 2017

Being a lover of brandy, I was excited to be invited to try Louis XIII, the world’s most luxurious Cognac. With a recommended selling price for a decanter at R49 999 (a tot at a bar will set you back R2 500), this isn’t your average plonk that you mix with Coke.

Louis XIII’s price might be staggering, but it’s all relative if you consider that it takes 100 years to make. Each bottle consists of 1 200 blends of spirit (called eau de vie). The oldest is 100 and the youngest is 40.

Private Client director Jörg Pfützner, a Mr Grey type who drinks and promotes Louis XIII around South Africa, ran me through the process of tasting.

“You don’t need an occasion to drink Louis XIII; Louis XII is the occasion,” he told me, with much magnanimity.

On opening the fine crystal decanter, I could immediately pick up a smell of honey and dried flowers – it was almost as if a bottle of perfume had been opened.

The colour was rich and golden, and I swirled the liquid in my glass before taking a sip. It really was unlike anything I had ever tasted. While I was expecting something heavy and robust, it was extremely smooth and complex, with an unexpectedly fresh and fruity quality.

“The Louis XIII drinker is someone with very sophisticated taste, someone who can tell the difference between very good and exceptional,” Pfützner said.

Now, I’m not sure I would be able to tell the difference between very good and exceptional, but I could tell that I was drinking something amazing. If you have a cool R50 000 to spend, this would be an impressive addition to your drinks cabinet.

Fast facts:

- Cognac is the name for brandy made in the Cognac region of France.

Louis XIII is sourced 100% from Grande Champagne, the most prized area in the Cognac region.

.- Each decanter takes four generations of cellar masters more than 100 years to craft.

.- The decanter is made of fine crystal that is mouth-blown by skilled master craftsmen.

Check out these 2 recipes that call for Cognac:

Cognac apple cake

Caramel malva pudding with Cognac pears

Read more on: spirits  |  brandy  |  recipes  |  drinks

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