“This is one of, if not the, best cognacs (...) ever experienced. Rarely does a single, unblended eau-de-vie reach such all-round perfection.” - Clive Carpenter

The World in 1925

Release No. 14.

It was the year The Great Gatsby was published – that seminal Jazz Age novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that spawned a million copycat parties. Elsewhere in the US in 1925, work on Mount Rushmore began and the first edition of The New Yorker was released. Over the pond in the UK, two rather influential 20th century figures were born – Margaret Thatcher and Richard Burton, along with our own co-founder Tom Jago, who sadly died in October 2018.

Meanwhile under the warm autumnal sun, on a wine-growing estate down in Cognac, an old drinks-making family was picking grapes destined to be double distilled and stored in wood for nearly a century before making their way to your glass. 

The 1925 Grande Champagne Cognac

On this old family estate in the heart of the Grande Champagne region we discovered a very special cask at the back of a cellar.  The cognac had been hidden there in 1940, behind a hastily built wall to protect it from advancing German forces. Forgotten for nearly 80 years by the family, it was unearthed by The Last Drop team and contained enough liquid for fewer than 200 bottles.

Distilled in a small, traditional wood-fired still, this exceptional cognac – the likes of which we’re unlikely to see or taste again. It is impossible to know exactly which grape varietals were distilled, but we suspect there is a predominance of Folle Blanche, together with Ugni Blanc, Colombard and even a little Muscat. Furthermore, we believe that this cognac has unusually spent its life in an ex-Pineau des Charentes cask, imbuing it with a distinct sweetness.

On the eye it is mahogany, with burnished copper highlights, while on the nose it opens with floral notes and fruity hints of red and black cherry. On the palate, meanwhile, it simultaneously demonstrates its impressive vintage, while having all the freshness and lively vigour of an eau-de-vie a third of its age.

Clive Carpenter’s tasting notes...

“I got together my small tasting group this morning to compile our thoughts about the forthcoming release… This is one of, if not the, best cognacs they had ever experienced. Rarely does a single, unblended eau-de-vie reach such all-round perfection.

A perfect balance between all its component parts, giving it a wonderful elegance and freshness. The nose and the palate are equally powerful and complex, and no single aroma or flavour dominates the others. It is perfect harmony in cognac.

The fruit (very ripe exotic fruits, such as mango, jackfruit, mangosteen and papaya) overlays mellow but powerful oak flavours which stop short of astringency. The almost explosive ‘rancio’ provides great length to the palate but is beautifully offset by the elegant acidity that brings a touch of lightness. In the finish, we detect an unusual hint of ‘café au lait’, with a touch of English toffee, alongside oaky, orange peel, prune and nutty flavours.”

Only 182 bottles exist...

Each bottle has been meticulously bottled and wax-dipped by hand. Part of the ‘Limited Bottling’ range, The Hors d’Age 1925 Grande Champagne Cognac is presented in a luxurious, deep red The Last Drop Distillers leather case. A generous 50ml miniature, a custom-made stopper, a leather-bound tasting book and a signed certificate of authenticity complete the meticulous presentation.