What it's like tasting the Louis XIII de Remy Martin which is priced starting Rs. 2 lakhs

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Whiskey Connoisseurs know the value of a good whiskey and are ready to shell out good money for a taste of the extraordinary ones.

Single malt is malt whisky from a single distillery and is typically associated with single malt Scotch while Cognac is made by distilling wine for a second time to make a clear 70 per cent alcohol known as "eau de vie" or fruit brandy.

In India, an 18-year old Single Malt scotch can start from Rs. 5000 while a great sipping cognac can start at Rs. 8000 because of its rarity and production process.

Seeped in history and tradition

In the town of Cognac, in the department of Charente, France is a cognac that has its roots dating back to 1874, when Remy Martin himself designed a glass flask as a vessel. This vessel was named after King Louis XIII who encouraged the sale of 'eau de vie' under his reign.

Since then each generation of Cellar Master is entrusted with the responsibility of taking the tradition forward by selecting in the House's cellars the oldest and greatest eaux-de-vie for the yearly Louis XIII collection.

Ten decades of opulence

Today, Baptiste Loiseau , the current Cellar Master selects the house's best eaux-de-vie to age which can be used to create the Louis XIII blend in next 100 years. The final blend is composed of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie, 100% from Grande Champagne which is the first vineyard region of the Cognac region in France.

When I got the opportunity to try the ultimate luxurious cognac by Remy Martin which sells at Rs. 2 Lakhs and above in India, I was curious to say the least. Mr. Loiseau guided me into the experience by telling stories entailing the journey of the bottle and his own life which revolves around carrying tradition over centuries. The fact that his work in creating the next batch of this exquisite liqueur will be tasted by patrons in the next century is a honor that he wears proudly during the tasting.

Experiencing a lifetime

Starting with the bottle, the Louis XIII is a piece of art and retains its design which has been passed on for generations. As we popped open the bottle carefully I noticed the hand-crafted crystal bottle that features French royalty symbols and a 21-carat gold neck. The glasses that accompany the bottle are also hand-crafted and are designed for the eaux-de-vie itself.

In the first sniff the 100-year old brandy wakes you up by its strong aroma. In the first sip, it stings your throat and you are overwhelmed with different flavors. When you sniff the brandy after that, it smells fruity with hints of rose, plums and honey. The next sip tastes of spices such as thyme coupled with ginger and passion fruit. It truly is an roller coaster experience for the senses.

Baptiste Loiseau, Cellar Master, House of Remy Martin told Business Insider, "Louis XIII is crafted for celebrations and at every sip you will enjoy the taste differently as it takes over your palette and your nose. The carefully crafted eaux-de-vie is matured in oak casks from French forests which maintain the balance with the air and the wood. The casks cannot be replaced just like the maturation method and this is what makes the Louis XIII so special as an experience."

Every year, the Cellar Master selects the batch of Louis XIII that can be created and as it is a natural process dependent on the weather, the soil and the casket, only the next chosen master at the turn of the century knows when its ready to be experienced.
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