Ferrand Cognac Grande Champagne “1er Cru du Cognac Réserve” (Cognac) – A little over-succulent and almost candied on the nose, at first opening. Let’s let it breathe for a bit. […] And we’re done. Blood orange? Yes, that and butterscotch. We’re verging into California chardonnay territory here. More air? Yes, please. […] Settling down, at last, but there’s still an inexorable pumpkin pie element, both aromatically and texturally, that I can’t quite get past. A lot of soil is to the good, but it’s not enough. I admit that all beverages of this type are almost exclusively aromatic pleasures for me; I can enjoy drinking them, but were that all there was to them I’d still to wine. So that the palate here is a little diagonal and slashy, bringing a great deal of heat and white chocolate for which I don’t care, is no big deal. I want to smell, not quaff. And thus, I wish the nosegrab was more enticing. [one hour later] Starting to get a lot better, knitting and filling out, with less of the fetid and more of the elegantly feral. I suspect it might be days before this rounds into form, though. More later. (11/10)

Ferrand Cognac Grande Champagne “1er Cru du Cognac Réserve” (Cognac) – Third night after opening. All the faux candied sweetness is gone, leaving something a lot more elegant. No, that’s not the right word. Sophisticated. Perhaps a little over-jacketed in layers of formality, to be honest. Loosen the bowtie! There’s a lot…a lot…of soft, loamy earth, which I like and find intriguing in a Cognac. But there’s also a planar stuffiness to the finish, as if the brandy has a slight head cold. Or as if that aforementioned bowtie is a little suffocating. (11/10)

Ferrand Cognac Grande Champagne “1er Cru du Cognac Réserve” (Cognac) – Over a week after opening, and everything difficult about this spirit is now gone, replaced by subtleties and shadings. Really quite lovely. Does it live up to its price? Probably not quite, but then I find most Cognac to be rather aspirationally priced to begin with; in context, it’s probably more or less OK. (11/10)

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