Drouet XO ulysse Cognac
Grande Champagne 1er Cru
SINGLE ESTATE SMALL BATCH
Real THOROUGHBRED with 100% of grapes used from estate parcels of GRANDE CHAMPAGNE 1er CRU, Cognac’s most prestigious growth area, yielding rich and intensely flavoured grapes.
SINGLE ESTATE “DNA”: grapes estate grown and harvested, estate distilled in SMALL BATCHES (240l) by Patrick Drouet, estate bottled MOSTLY BY HAND.
About 20 years vs. the required minimum for XO of 7 years, contributing to the top-notch quality of this Cognac.
Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2015, 96 POINTS, FINALIST
"EXTRAORDINARY, ULTIMATE RECOMMENDATION"
Difford’s Guide 2014, 5+/5 STARS
Beverage Tasting Institute 2014, 97 POINTS
“SUPERLATIVE” PLATINUM MEDAL
New York International Spirits 2013, GOLD MEDAL
COLOUR: Golden Amber.
NOSE: Hazelnut, coffee cake, and mocha, with underlying spices.
PALATE: Wonderful silkiness, with lovely cedar, nutmeg, and sweet brown spice.
FINISH: Sweet and shamelessly long, showing amazing balance.
COMMENTS: Essence of what an XO should taste like, seamless with every drop loaded with flavour.
STRENGTH: 40.3% abv
Double Distillation is obligatory for Cognac, giving it its unique taste.
The first distillation takes place traditionally in copper stills. The wine used is low in alcohol favoring aromas concentration. Heated and distilled into a first cloudy distillate of 30% abv.
The second distillation creates a bright spirit of about 70% abv. Only the best “cut” is kept containing delicate aromas, which is then filled into barrels for ageing. This will be Cognac, as we know it.
Owner Patrick Drouet is an exceptionally talented distiller and craftsman. Passionate about all he does, his true labor of love is distilling. You might find him during the height of the distilling season (Nov-Jan) tending his stills during ungodly hours, resting occasionally on an appointed cot nearby...
Drouet purchases its barrels from different barrel makers in Cognac. Specifically, their own suppliers are Doreau, Marchive, and Allary, the latter for which they seem to have a preference given they are smaller sized.
Their own barrels range from 225 to 550 litres, keeping in mind that the typical range in Cognac is from 350 to 400 litres.
Almost every year, Drouet purchases new barrels. The barrels from Allary are made with oak trees from the Limousin region. The (wood) grain is rather on the larger side with a darker toasting, which gives spicy, and roasted flavours/aromas. Larger wood grain is rather typical for Cognac, which is different than for the wine industry that requires finer grain. Larger grain wood typically comes from faster growing oak trees.
A barrel can be used up to a maximum of 60 years, assuming that it is regularly looked after and kept in good shape.
One should remember that when an Eau de Vie (EDV) or spirit comes out of the alembic, it goes straight into new barrels, for colouring and tannin acquisition.
If the barrel is new, the EDV stays for 6 months in the barrel. Then it is transferred (via pump) to an older barrel. If the barrel has already once contained EDV, the new EDV will be kept therein for 8-10 months.
Then the EDV will be transferred to older used barrels. It is up to Patrick via frequent barrel tastings and monitoring, who will decide of the barrel change.
For VSOP, one uses a barrel that has been utilized for at least more than 3 years. More a Cognac ages, more it is transferred into older barrels to round it off, and minimize taking on new wood characteristics. In this regard, a XO and Paradis Hors d’Age will be aged in barrels that are 30-40 years old.
In the hands of fourth generation PATRICK DROUET, the estate includes 80 acres of vineyards situated in GRANDE CHAMPAGNE 1er Cru, the top growth area or «cru» of Cognac. Its prized vineyards yield elegant eaux de vie that receive long ageing in French oak barrels to reach optimal maturity. Accomplished master distiller, Patrick Drouet, is a true “modern style old schooler" whose approach blends the best of traditional methods and new thinking. Between tending the vines, harvesting, vinification, distilling, ageing, and bottling, taking place on the estate, Drouet is the essence of a SINGLE ESTATE Cognac. Produced in very small quantities and distilled with great precision and passion, Drouet Cognacs are pure, yet suave, and are benchmark examples of how stunning this spirit can be.
For more information on Drouet XO Ulysse cognac click here
Beverage Tasting Institute Review