One of the earliest influences on my career as a bartender was the film ‘Cocktail’ and it was through this film I was introduced to the super-premium Cognac Louis XIII de Rémy Martin when Brian Flanagan is forced to buy Coughlin a bottle for losing a bet. It also became the first physical bottle I fell in love with as a collector.
Since 1936, the decanters for the Louis XIII marque have been produced by Baccarat and this short film shows some of the amazing skill that goes into producing the bottle.
Of course I’m also a bit partial to the liquid inside the bottle too. The Louis XIII expression contains eaux de vie originating solely from the Grande Champagne region of Cognac which have been aged for up to 100 years.
Cognac ageing takes place in barrels made from French oak and it is initially matured in young barrels which contain wood sugars and enzymes which impart caramel, vanilla and butterscotch flavours but as time goes on, the spirit needs to be oxidised and eventually comes to rest in large barrels called tierçons which are themselves very old and allow the spirit to develop flavours called rançio which can be likened to a mushroomy, truffle-y forest floor kind of aroma which is prized in old Cognacs.