Remy Martin sent me to France- sorta.
Occasionally I go to non-industry booze events. I always feel like a spy which is actually fun. I love the “education” because well, frankly, who doesn’t need more booze education? Remy Martin took over the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and transformed it into the Heart of Cognac, an interactive bar, classroom and their barrel cave. At their facility in France, they have a couple dozen caves which each holds hundreds of barrels. People love cognac or French brandy. Remy Martin’s cognac, by the way is made with champagne grapes.
The above photo shows the cognac from various barrels through the aging process. Their current master distiller is a lady who spends her days sniffing and tasting, making sure their blends are perfect.
Before we began, we enjoyed a cocktail. I opted for a Sidecar. It had been on my brain after hearing the saddest bar conversation between a guest and a bartender. The guest, an older woman probably in her 50s asked for a Sidecar. The youngish bartender (I’m guessing early 20s) asked her what that was. Now, we were not at a craft bar but this bar could never be called a dive. They do have a barrel-aged program which I think they may have jumped the gun on. When your bartenders can’t make a classic cocktail, it’s time for more training. But I digress.
After watching a short video about the history of the House of Remy Martin, we moved to the blending stations. My team, the Opportunarian or also known as the Haiku Foodie and I decided to call our blend the Minty-Haiku. Sadly, we didn’t win anything for being close to the Remy Martin cognac we just tasted but it was still a lot of fun.
We did pretty standard measures with our pours but it turns out the actual blend (which is still a secret) is more loose with their fractions. And I’ll leave it at that.
At the Heart of Cognac, there was a barrel of the Remy Martin 1738. We got to try this cognac straight from the barrel. Oh wow, it was so smooth. At the same time, I did wonder what happened to the “bite” I’m used to from less-aged whiskeys, rum and brandies. Ah, as it ages, barrels lose some of its liquid. This is called “Angel’s Share.” Remy Martin loses a lot of cognac as this particular blend ages.
I don’t always seek out such consumer tastings but I do like them. Check out another similar consumer tasting I did with Glenlivet.
© The Minty // LACocktails.com 2012