At 45 years old, this pushes the maturation further than ever before, and to great effect.
Classified as an 'Hors d’Age' Cognac, meaning "beyond age", this category falls under the XO denomination, but refers to Cognacs with an average age of thirty years (XOs require a minimum of ten). Hors d’Age at fifty years or even one hundred years old are not uncommon - in short, they're often the oldest Cognacs on the market. The youngest Cognac in JLP's blend is reportedly from the early 1970s. Made solely from Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie, it’s a wonderful example of why this appellation is considered the most prestigious terroir in the region.
Tasting note: Deep brassy gold colour. Superb aromatics include dried fig, raisin and assorted sweet spices. Loses little intensity or direction on the second pass with the dried fruits dominating - now more apricot , then richer scents of dates and fruit-nut chocolate. A superb sniff. Pure, creamy entry shows delicacy and refinement following through to an elegant, dryish, medium bodied profile that includes spiced raisin and dried nectarine, unfolding in a sustained and controlled fashion to conclude biscuity, cedary and briefly sweeter with elements of clove, vanilla and dried fruits entering. Prolonged, drying fade lasts several minutes. Debonair in every respect. A compelling departure from the house XO style.
44% Alc./Vol. Approximately 400 bottles produced.
Other reviews... This one’s 45 years old. You know about the shameful prices for any miserable 45 yo malt whisky, don’t you. Colour: amber. Nose: sublime raisins and waxes, with some rancio appearing, mandarins, citrons, church candles, chén pi (some say pericarpium citri reticulatae), pipe tobacco, dates, pine needles, drops of motor oil, paraffin… This is splendid indeed, very complex, and relatively ‘serious’. Meaning it’s not a fruit bomb. Mouth: when, after many years, oranges meet with pine resins and herbal teas. Rosehip, hawthorn, tangerines, some tobacco again, that miso soup, rather Corinthian raisins this time, something delicately glutamate-y, some cinnamon (as always with these old ages), a little cedar wood, a little liquorice… Finish: long, well balanced, never drying, never too oaky. Oranges, some honey, cedar, cinnamon. A rather waxy aftertaste. Comments: didn’t someone pour a bottle of old Clynelish into the cask? Some marvelous old Cognac of the same quality as those of some similarly aged old Glen Grants or Glenlivets. It’s just that the Cognac’s twenty times cheaper. I agree, a no brainer. 91 points
- Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com
Jean Luc began working alongside his uncle Albert in 1971 on an estate from the Grande Champagne sub-region that had been in the family since 1730. Located south of the city of Cognac, between the rivers La Charente and Le Ne, covering 13000 Ha, the soils here are made of a thin top layer of limestone with a high calcareous content and Montmorillonite clays, resting on a base of porous chalk from the Cretaceous (campanien sub-period), acting as a buffer for water supply to the vineyards. Such edaphic parameters contribute to fruit quality by avoiding vine stress in warm weather, and at the same time, allowing excellent drainage in case of excessive rains. Thus Grande Champagne holds the potential for optimum flavour profiles to develop in the grapes (which usually fall within the floral spectrum) making it Cognac's most prized terroir.