Pierre Ferrand 1840

Pierre Ferrand 1840

Price: $45 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Pierre Ferrand

Region: Cognac, France

45% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Cask Type: French Oak

Chill Filtered: Likely

Color Added: Likely

Color: Off Gold

Drank: Neat, in a glenciarn

Nose: Bright sour grape, floral, pear, peach, light sugar, apricot

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: White grapes, peach, pear, sour orchard fruits

Finish: Light and short, with similar notes from the nose and palate returning very quickly

Thoughts: While to body is helped by the added ABV, this is clearly designed with mixing in mind as the sour notes would need to be masked in order for this to be enjoyed consistently neat.

Score: 70 out of 100


Domaine d’Esperance Cobrafire Eau De Vie De Raisin

Cobrafire 1

Cobrafire 2

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine d’Esperance

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

51.3% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 3 Months

Cask Type: Steel

Grapes: 50% Folle Blanche, 50% Baco

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Clear

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: New make spirit, white grapes, creamy vanilla, aloe vera, and mint

Mouthfeel: Oily

Palate/Taste: Creamy on the palate, vanilla, grape-seed oil, eucalyptus, and cactus

Finish: Medium warmth, long lasting, Lingering mint, fresh cut sugar cane, raspberry preserves, and perhaps even agave?

Thoughts: Despite being new make at still strength, this has no harshness to it. Its creamy and really coats the mouth. Crisp and fresh types of herbs and a nice fruity vanilla background. As a neat sipping spirit, it doesn’t compare with aged brandies, but where it will shine is as a mixer or dare I even say shooter.

Score: 74 out of 100

Ultimatum Fiji 12 Year

Ultimatum Fiji 12

Price: $45 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: South Pacific Rum Distillery / The Little Distiller

Region: Fiji

46% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 12 years, distilled 2004

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon

Chill Filtered: No

Additives used: No

Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: A bit of gasoline and papaya. Grapefruit, sharp oak, and banana

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Palate/Taste: Pepper, leather, sharp and rubbery, vanilla and oak with spices

Finish: Warm and medium length, solvents, leather, tobacco, oak, and pepper

Thoughts: A very spicy rum with a lot of sharpness on my palate. This one’s not to my personal taste.

Score: 74 out of 100

Kings County Peated Bourbon

Kings County Peated Bourbon

Price: $50 for 375ml

Distilled/Owned by: Kings Country Distillery

Region: New York

45% ABV

Mashbill: 70% corn, 15% peated Scottish barley, 15% malted barley

Aged For: 18 months

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: Unknown

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Vanilla, sweet corn, oak, chocolate, hay, herbs, surprisingly deep

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Sour baked pie, herbs, oak, caramel, and a very slight smoke, young tasting

Finish: Light warmth and long lasting, herbs, smoke, honey, oak, and baking spice

Thoughts: I was really drawn in by the nose, but the palate falls flat and I find the finish too long for its own good as it isn’t great.

Score: 70 out of 100

Amrut Rye

Amrut Rye

Price: $200 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Amrut

Region: India

50% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted European rye

Aged For: 5 years

Cask Type: American oak casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Copper

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Cinnamon, red fruits, citrus, floral, white tea, grassy

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Palate/Taste: Lemon, sandalwood, citrus, oak, caramel, bitter

Finish: Medium warmth and length, floral, rye spices, cherry, oranges

Thoughts: This was surprising, it was very fruity and citrus forward and in no way fits with the traditional American rye profile. That said for me this didn’t land well, and given that in the U.S. it’s an expensive bottle I was not a fan.

Score: 72 out of 100

Barrell Whiskey Batch 005

Barrell Whiskey Batch 005

Paid: $65 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Sourced / Barrell

Region: Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky

59.2% ABV

Bottle #: 7723

Aged For: 9 Years

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Cask Type: American white oak, ex-bourbon, American Brandy barrels, Amaro barrels, and Cognac Casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cocktail bitters, dry red wine, maraschino cherries, honey, corn mash

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Oak, barrel char, young brandy, coffee, bitter vanilla, licorice

Finish: Warm, medium length, bitters, brandy, baking spices

Thoughts: I was hoping this would have more Cognac and brandy influence and less of the Amaro, but I don’t care for the flavors imparted by the Amaro. If you’re a fan of whiskey cocktails you’d likely enjoy this quiet a bit, but that’s not my cup of tea.

Score: 73 out of 100

Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift

Paid: $36 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Martell

Region: Cognac, France

40% ABV

Grapes: Blend from Grande and Petite Champagne, Borderies, and Fins Bois regions.

Aged For: Around 5 to 8 years

Cask Type: French Trocais oak, finished in Ex-bourbon casks

Chill Filtered: Yes

Additives used: Yes



Color: Reddish Mahogany

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Ginger, mint, grapes, vanilla, cherry, sour and a bit tart

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Vanilla, menthol, sour grapes, plum, citrus, ginger, oak

Finish: Short and light warmth, oak tannins and vanilla, with a bit of coconut and dry wine

Thoughts: So this is the first “Cognac” (technically it can’t be called that due to the bourbon barrels) and after loving Armagnac, and the difference is profound. Much, much lighter in body.

Score: 74 out of 100


Authors Note: I tried another glass of this recently after the bottle had been open awhile, and it seems a little bit of oxidation has helped it, bringing out more fruit flavors and tamping down the menthol and sour notes. It may be worth visiting again.