A recent visitor to Manila was Florian Heriard Dubreuil, from the 4th generation of the family that owns Cognac giant Remy Martin. At a lunch a few days ago, he presented their flagship cognac Louis XIII and facilitated a tasting of the spirit.
After being introduced, he gave a short explanation of how the cognac is made, emphasizing that 100 year old eaux de vie are used in the production of Louis XIII, and that the master blender has access to over 1000 different eaux de vie from which to craft the cognac. The blender must have a taste memory going back several generations in order to produce a consistent product each time. A short video was also screened showing how Louis XIII has been prized since the late 19th century.
Before tasting the cognac, we were treated to an excellent lunch by Mireio, the French Provençal restaurant of the Raffles Hotel.
Florian told us that it is better to taste the cognac before the dessert in order to better appreciate its quality without any modification by the food. We were instructed to first take just a drop to prime the tongue, and then sip it little by little. It’s quite a complex spirit, with aromas and flavors of coffee, dried fruit, candied fruit, tobacco, nuts, and many others; some of which were familiar and yet elusive. This is a cognac that is certainly quite exceptional.