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Delamain Vesper XO Cognac (700ml)
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- ABV 40%
Launched in the 1950s, Vesper (Latin for “evening” or “evening star”) is a special cuvée with an average age of around 35 years. Each component is separately aged. Following assemblage, the blend is returned to oak casks for a further two years to marry in a single 350 litre Limousin oak cask. Delamain Export Manager, Olivier Jadeau likes this expression matched with dark chocolate.Tasting note: Brilliant topaz. Leaner and drier on the nose than the 'Pale & Dry', with more pepper and oak (wood shavings, fresh cut cedar, cigar box). Later, subtle dried fig, orange peel and bitter chocolate. Creamy entry is momentarily full and rich with a burst of vanilla and stone fruit (peach / nectarine / fig). Finishes vibrant, succulent, then finely astringent, dry, medium long. 40% Alc./Vol. ...A shame that they bottled this old beauty at 40%, though, hope it won’t feel too weak or even only shy. Colour: amber. Nose: indeed it is a little shy, discreet, almost evanescent at first nosing. It’s only after one good minute that some subtle notes of dried figs and raisins start to rise to your nostrils, together with a little milk chocolate and the lightest pipe tobacco. Also pine needles, but that’s after two minutes. Mouth: extremely good, no doubt about that, even at 40% vol. Sure you need more, which is a little frustrating, but these bright oranges and juicy ripe peaches just work. This, at 45% vol., would make for one of the greatest Cognacs. Finish: a little short and fragile, rather sadly. The core is superb, though, I especially enjoy these notes of cherry jam. Comments: a great Cognac, but also a missed opportunity, in my opinion. Even if I very well know that many regular Cognac drinkers don’t really dig higher strengths, which may pose a dilemma.
85 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com Other reviews… Harvest-gold color. Delicate aroma is lightly oaked and pleasantly spicy through all four nosings. Palate entry offers vanilla and candy-like flavors; midpalate goes deeper with tastes of marzipan and toffee. Finishes semisweet, oaky and mildly fruity. Not the peak achievement of this great Cognac house, but still very savory. 85-90 points - winenthusiast.com