GSN Review: Bache Gabrielsen Tre Kors Cognac

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Tre Kors is Norway’s best-selling Cognac. Every year over half a million bottles leave the shelves to find a new home. Over the years approximately 15 million bottles have been sold here up north. That is equivalent to 260 million glasses of Cognac.

The house of Bache-Gabrielsen has been in the Norwegian market since 1905. The common way to grade quality in Cognac a hundred years ago was by the number of stars on the bottle, the more stars, the better the quality. In 1916 Norway prohibited distilled spirits. Luckily there was a solution, Norwegians went to the Pharmacy as spirits could be sold on prescription for medicinal purposes. Norwegians have never been that sickly, particularly during the festive periods of the year. The young and creative entrepreneur Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen launched a new series of Cognac where the original 3 stars of his VS cognac were replaced by 3 crosses, symbolizing the fight against disease. Bache-Gabrielsens Tre Kors (Three Crosses) became the preferred remedy against illness and disease in the Norwegian population. The Red Cross organization was already well-known world-wide as a symbol of salvation and relief and naturally people were tempted by the cognac with three red crosses. In difficult times creativity prospers and Bache-Gabrielsen Tre Kors was born, and after 100 years Tre Kors is still alive and well.

It should come as no surprise that the doctors became busy writing prescriptions to those in need of cognac, for medicinal purposes only of course. Some of them managed close to 50,000 prescriptions a year! Other spirits were also considered contributors to good health, but none came close to the standing of cognac in the hierarchy of remedies. This is understandable as moderate consumption of cognac brings nothing but happiness, and although the overall consumption of alcohol pre-prohibition was increasing rapidly, the majority were moderate consumers.

Bache-Gabrielsen 3 Kors is a cognac where the blend of grapes originates in Grande and Petite Champagne (25%) and Fins Bois (75%). It is then aged in French oak from Limousin for minimum of 2 years.

Tre Kors (80 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Heady and rustic wine spirit touched with a smokey oakiness.  Slight “Band-Aid” aroma.
Taste: Dark, rich and somewhat rough, but with a beautiful open, slightly sweet finish.  There is a remarkable depth to this spirit that you’ll rarely find in exported brandies from the Cognac region.  They often tend to be so smooth as to lack depth.  I’m happy to say that this one is full of life.
Finish: Medium long, with some of the grape coming through at the end.  Makes me want to reach for a second glass every time.
Overall: Lovely, and very much in the style of a French Cognac that you’ll rarely see in the U.S.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Bache Gabrielsen

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