The second bottling to debut from the Renegade Barrel Collection (see our review of Barrel No. 1 here). This release is made with a Ferrand Cognac first aged in an oak barrel and then matured in a rare barrel made from the wood of a chestnut tree. The practice of using chestnut wood barrels to age Cognac has been forgotten since 1945 and chestnut wood aging was excluded in AOC regulations so this is called an eau-de-vie and not a Cognac anymore.
A blend of Ugni Blanc Cognacs between five and seven years of age, then matured in new 350-litre oak barrels and then undergoing a secondary aging in 350-litre ex-Cognac barrels combined with a small amount of 25-year-old cognac. The 225-litre chestnut barrel rounds things out with a one year resting.
Pierre Ferrand Renegade Barrel Brandy (94.2 proof)
Visual: Chestnut brown.
Nose: Dark cognac buried in a symphony of wood. The grape notes play secondary to the main score. This smells as if it’s been cellared for much longer than it has, no doubt due to the unusual notes of chestnut wood. Surprisingly nutty and robust.
Taste: They may call this an eau-de-vie, but it is the richest, most flavorful one I’ve ever tasted. There is a heft here and a body which goes beyond traditional cognacs aged less than 10 years. Lots of rich, elegance and mystique. In a word, lovely.
Finish: Medium long with some dried stone fruit coming out towards the end.
Overall: Wow. I’d take a bottle of this to a desert island. Really sensational.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Maison Ferrand