I've been looking forward to this for about 3 years. Finally..
A couple bottles showed up on a bounce pass from a *very* dear friend, (much dearer than previously)..
Tres` Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne
50% ABV, 40 years old, Premier Cru Du Cognac, Brut De Fut..
Ok, this is *supposed* to be good stuff. Has all the signs of a cheap frenchman bottleing it himself, generic type bottle, plain paper label, no wax seal or fancy award ribbons, minimal hypevertising..
Cutting the lead seal, my first thought is, 'thick lead' ..
On first pull the cork resists a touch, then comes out clean, nice fit, nice cork, not some plastic pretender.. that clear crisp plop that says the cork won't dissolve on you..
Can't say I poured enough to really let it glug, half an ounce.. and probably didn't give it as much time to breathe as I ought to have.. a couple swirls, a minute.. impatience wins..
The aroma is sweet, clean, a bit simple at first.. vanilla and floral notes (i get pear blossoms) ..a faint undertone of a more intense fruit, perhaps sour cherries.. very pure, no hint of alcohol, seamless. Not a huge aroma, refined and unassuming and pleasant.
A bit of context, I *love* the 15 year old 120 proof. I'm already hooked, have reviewed and tasted and been SATISFIED with the 15, actually could settle for it happily. . so I'm forced to compare the two versions.
Ok, a sip.. *smooth*.. (no shock there)...
clean very lightly oily mouthfeel..
it's *one* taste.. indescribable. sweet and integrated from start to finish, no rough spots.. rancio, (old wet dog)..french oak, faint sandlewood and musk, golden honey, this is a Lady Godiva of a booze.. each taste demands another peek, uh, I mean sip..
the aftertaste, slowly diminishing *evenly*.. no flavor predominating, just rolling waves of aftershock.. and the new sip brings out a pure rain water flavor (I know water doesn't have a flavor, exactly, but it makes me THINK of rain water)..
yes, Virginia, violets and honey and spice wood and rain water..
this is possibly NOT the best booze on the planet.
He does, after all, make an 80 year old....
Guys, *telling* you about this stuff is a compliment. I almost don't like ME enough to drink it.
Please, Do Not Waste The Experience.. it ain't for a cigar and the Wednesday night poker game. It deserves a contemplative moment, and time to enjoy the exceptional.