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Cognac?

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Bill Spohn

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Re: Cognac?

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:13 pm

Anyone that puts VSOP Cognac in a mixed drink is a Philistine that probably drinks single malts and Coke.....(shuddering) :evil:
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:50 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Anyone that puts VSOP Cognac in a mixed drink is a Philistine that probably drinks single malts and Coke.....(shuddering) :evil:


Beg to differ, Mr. Purista of little imagination and limited vision.

When I can sit in the chateau of one of the top Grande Champagne producers and he makes cognac punch and a series of cognac cocktails, some made with XO, that old canard of "there's only one way to enjoy cognac" seems a bit lame. So Phbbbt!

You should get out more.
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Re: Cognac?

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:56 pm

People drink Latour on release with Coke too.

The fact that some people of dubious taste may do something does not make it right.

I once lost an acquaintance because we were doing a single malt tasting and he wanted ginger ale with his and I refused.

I may stand alone against such miscegenation, but I shall stand.

If you happen to be the owner of a producer, you can do whatever you like without worrying about respecting your product. That still doesn't make it right.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:13 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:People drink Latour on release with Coke too.

The fact that some people of dubious taste may do something does not make it right.

I once lost an acquaintance because we were doing a single malt tasting and he wanted ginger ale with his and I refused.

I may stand alone against such miscegenation, but I shall stand.

If you happen to be the owner of a producer, you can do whatever you like without worrying about respecting your product. That still doesn't make it right.


Pretty arrogant to tell an owner of a grand chateau that's been in his family for a few hundred years that he doesn't understand or appreciate his own cognac, Bill. 8)

And "right"???? If it's right for you, that's fine; again, pretty arrogant to dictate how other people want to enjoy a cognac.

Puts in question who exactly the philistine is though. :mrgreen:
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Re: Cognac?

by Bill Spohn » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:59 pm

You clearly are not understanding what I said.

Anyone is at liberty to do whatever they want with whatever they happen to own and I never said anything else.

OTOH, I am free to hold whatever opinion I may have of a given action and I exercised my freedom to do so by posting my opinion. You are not, presumably, against others stating an opinion contrary to yours or some anonymous Cognac producer or anyone else, are you?

Not sure why you think I'd presume to dictate someone else's actions anyway - I learned long ago that no one listens to anyone that does tell them what they think they should do, and while stating an opinion is something I am often given to doing, vainly expecting anyone to take what I say as imperial fiat is not.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Cognac?

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:08 am

Hoke wrote:Had a cocktail which caused an epiphanetic mind-shift...a cognac old fashioned made with H by Hine VSOP Cognac instead of the usual whiskey. Made me rethink a lot of things. And was instantly one of my cocktails of the year.

Then tonight I accepted a bartender's invitation and went to Kask, where he made another cognac old fashioned---but this time with Park Borderies 15 year old single vineyard cognac. Tremors and aftershocks.

Naturally I compared it to the recent rocking Hine Old Fashioned...but they were entirely different cocktails. The H by Hine had significantly more force majeure; younger cognacs with a lot more aggressivity and jumping from fruit well into the warm spice zone.

The Borderies, as befits the terroir and age, is more smoothly elegant, softer but still pungent, with more dried fruit and faded roses.

Both delicious, both quite unexpected, and both remarkable in the combination of fruit and spice, smoothness and power.


Quick question - are you talking the Old Fashioned as in the muddled version with orange and cherry or the very simple version with just sugar and bitters? Not that I have a lot of XO sitting around to experiment with, but one needs to know these things.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:40 am

I once lost an acquaintance because we were doing a single malt tasting and he wanted ginger ale with his and I refused.

I may stand alone against such miscegenation, but I shall stand.

If you happen to be the owner of a producer, you can do whatever you like without worrying about respecting your product. That still doesn't make it right.


You clearly are not understanding what I said.

Anyone is at liberty to do whatever they want with whatever they happen to own and I never said anything else.

OTOH, I am free to hold whatever opinion I may have of a given action and I exercised my freedom to do so by posting my opinion. You are not, presumably, against others stating an opinion contrary to yours or some anonymous Cognac producer or anyone else, are you?

Not sure why you think I'd presume to dictate someone else's actions anyway - I learned long ago that no one listens to anyone that does tell them what they think they should do, and while stating an opinion is something I am often given to doing, vainly expecting anyone to take what I say as imperial fiat is not.


Gee, I guess I'm just misinterpreting you. At one time or another. Difficult to understand when I try to reconcile conflicting statements.

Your opinions of what and when to drink are as valid as anyone else's; that's a given. No need to belittle others in the process though.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:44 am

Mike, this was muddled but then strained. The fruit is absolutely essential here; it marries so intensely with the fruit essence of the cognac that it elevates the drink. If you use the H by Hine VSOP (or possibly the Ferrand 1840) you get a more forceful drink because of the nature of the cognac. If you use a Borderies 15, you get a softer, more elegant, rich and entrancing flavor expression; again, nature of the cru (and the age, natch).
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Re: Cognac?

by James Dietz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:02 am

Hoke wrote:Mike, this was muddled but then strained. The fruit is absolutely essential here; it marries so intensely with the fruit essence of the cognac that it elevates the drink. If you use the H by Hine VSOP (or possibly the Ferrand 1840) you get a more forceful drink because of the nature of the cognac. If you use a Borderies 15, you get a softer, more elegant, rich and entrancing flavor expression; again, nature of the cru (and the age, natch).


I made it both ways, with a sugar cube in place of simple syrup. I thought the Cognac version was softer, as you say. Not sure I liked it better than with bourbon. I might use 1/2 a sugar cube next time or maybe a bit more of the bitters in the Hoke, which is what we should dub this new concoction.
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Re: Cognac?

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:33 am

Thanks, Hioke. That goes in the memory banks for potential future use.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:36 pm

And since we have been speaking of Old Fashioneds:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/magazine/the-great-old-fashioned-debate.html?src=rechp&_r=0

In which is explained the Fruit version, the Minimalist Version, and the Hybrid Version.

The OF, in whatever version, remains a bourbon-based drink for me. But having lived in the Midwest, I enjoy the different expression of a brandy old fashioned as well; and the recent cognac versions elevate that rather sweet and rustic brandy style to whole new levels.

It's all good.
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Re: Cognac?

by James Dietz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:55 pm

Other than scotch and soda, is scotch used in an other mixed drinks?
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:43 pm

James Dietz wrote:Other than scotch and soda, is scotch used in an other mixed drinks?


Sure. There's the Rob Roy, which is naught but a Manhattan using scotch instead of bourbon. The Bobby Burns (scotch, vermouth, absinthe, orange bitters). The Blood and Sand (Scotch, vermouth, Cherry Heering). And the Rusty Nail (scotch and Drambuie).

There's also the Godfather, scotch and amaretto, but that always seemed weird to me somehow. :D

There are others.
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Re: Cognac?

by James Dietz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:41 pm

Hoke wrote:
James Dietz wrote:Other than scotch and soda, is scotch used in an other mixed drinks?


Sure. There's the Rob Roy, which is naught but a Manhattan using scotch instead of bourbon. The Bobby Burns (scotch, vermouth, absinthe, orange bitters). The Blood and Sand (Scotch, vermouth, Cherry Heering). And the Rusty Nail (scotch and Drambuie).

There's also the Godfather, scotch and amaretto, but that always seemed weird to me somehow. :D

There are others.


Not being a scotch lover, thanks. I just couldn't think of any.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:54 pm

Jim, scotch doesn't go into cocktails nearly as much as other spirits, as a general rule.

Most scotch drinkers do neat, rocks, soda splash or highballs.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:48 am

Did a cognac tasting/seminar tonight.

One of the standouts was the Park Borderies 15 Year Old Single Vineyard. Exquisite. Velvety soft and delicious. Easily the crowd favorite. (Borderies is the smallest cru of Cognac, but highly regarded for blending by the big houses. Borderies is the only area with clay soils dominant, so produces a smooth, charming, early-maturing fruit/floral that softens the Petite Champagne and Grand Champagne Cognacs. Performs beautifully all by itself, of course.)
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Re: Cognac?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:07 pm

One of my favorite scotch-based drinks is the Black Scottish Cyclops. The combination of Islay malt and amaro is quite wonderful.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:22 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:One of my favorite scotch-based drinks is the Black Scottish Cyclops. The combination of Islay malt and amaro is quite wonderful.


But then, you're a bitter man.
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Re: Cognac?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:02 pm

Hoke wrote:But then, you're a bitter man.

'Tis true.
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:10 am

Under the "Unashamed self promotion" title, here's an article on cognac I just posted on Examiner.com

http://www.examiner.com/article/experience-cognac-at-the-multnomah-whisk-e-y-library
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Re: Cognac?

by Hoke » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:06 pm

If anyone remains the least bit interested, here's another Cognac post I put up on Examiner.

http://www.examiner.com/article/cognac-cocktail-throwdown-at-portland-cocktail-week
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Re: Cognac?

by Timo Olavi » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Hoke wrote:You're absolutely right, Oliver. Caramel color is indeed permitted. Didn't mention the sugar earlier, as Otto did and I had queried him about it. Good to know Alko lists sugar grams in all their listing.

thumbing through the Alko catalogue, most XO cognacs seem to have sugar levels of 11-12g/L, even the big names. is it really that widespread, and is it so even in the high-end prestige bottlings?

i'm also interested in the usage and properties of caramel colour. google searches do not seem to yield much information that goes to any real depth so i thought i'd ask here. is it added as frequently as sugar, and what sugars is it generally produced from when destined to be used in cognac or other brandies? i know lactose can make a pretty "dry" caramel but would you run into trouble with lactose intolerance? and maltodextrin is also even less sweet than lactose but i don't know if it can be caramelised?
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Re: Cognac?

by Otto » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:07 pm

Good to see another Finn here! Welcome Timo! :)

I've been trying small sips of the Pale & Dry recently. The colour isn't really pale nor does it taste dry to me. In fact, it tastes more strongly sugary than any other Cognac before! I can't remember the g/l (and products over 22% abv can't be shown online so I can't check). I thought the Vespers vastly more interesting.
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Re: Cognac?

by Timo Olavi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:27 am

Otto wrote:Good to see another Finn here! Welcome Timo! :)

oh yes, now we can lament the woes of our wonnnderful monopoly in concert :)

Otto wrote:I've been trying small sips of the Pale & Dry recently. The colour isn't really pale nor does it taste dry to me. In fact, it tastes more strongly sugary than any other Cognac before! I can't remember the g/l (and products over 22% abv can't be shown online so I can't check). I thought the Vespers vastly more interesting.

i got a print-out of the sale-to-order selection a while back which is somewhat useful, but not as much as it could've been as it was just a simple list with no descriptions (had names, bottle size, price and i think abv%) i'll have to ask if it's possible to get a more detailed list. it could be useful as i too have an issue with the sugariness of spirits, preferring the bone dry stuff recently.
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