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Bache Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac

Bache Gabrielsen
American Oak Cognac


By Robert Plotkin

Cognac is undoubtedly the epitome of elegance and luxury, and few names are held in such high esteem within the international spirits community as Bache-Gabrielsen. An overnight sensation more than a century in the making, the famed cognac house was founded by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen, who emigrated from Holmestrand, Norway in 1905. Five generations later, the medium-sized, family-run cognac concern is run by the founder's great-grandson, Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen.

Bache-Gabrielsen Cognac is skillfully handcrafted to yield a high quality, better tasting spirit. No expression better illustrates this point than Bache Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac. It's made by blending various eaux de vie, all of which are distilled from the Ugni Blanc grape, which is also known as Trebbiano. The grapes were cultivated in the Fin Bois region. After the grape must has been fermented, it is distilled twice in the distillery's alembic stills. When the young brandy exits the still, it is transferred to French oak barrels for aging. Afterwards, the cognac used in this expression is finished in American (Tennessee) white oak barrels for a minimum of 6 additional months. It is bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).

This extraordinarily delicious cognac punches well above its weight class. It has a deep, amber/reddish appearance, a medium-weight, satiny textured body, and a generous nose of caramel, floral and fresh fruit aromas. The cognac requires a few extra minutes in the glass to fully open, so be patient. After a few minutes of breathing, the cognac is ready to make its palate debut. The additional aging has imbued the cognac with flavor waves of vanilla, cocoa, roasted nuts, orange zest, raisins and fruit. What's astounding is there is absolutely no esophageal burn whatsoever. The fade is long, smooth, and delectable.

A healthy measure of the credit for creating such an exceptional spirit deservedly goes to cellar master Jean-Philippe Bergier, who has been working with Bache-Gabrielsen aging inventory since 1989.

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