By Kale Knox
When speaking about booze, drugs, and miscellany consumables, one has to keep their ego in check with regards to the experiences they’ve had; especially if the objective is to try and persuade or disengage an audience in such activity. Something else to consider when getting to the root of a brand is the aesthetic chosen to accentuate said product. Remy Martin carries with it certain allure; a mysticism, if you will. The name alone can not be pronounced correctly using American English characters (Re-may Mar-teh). That alone allows its recipient to infer that it is high class hooch.
The Remy Martin tasting event could be described as quite a spectacle. The theatre in which it was hosted created a fetching atmosphere juxtaposed with informative wall mounts about Remy Martin’s history. Cognac, we learned, is labeled such because the grapes used to make it come from the Cognac region of France. Remy Martin differs in its distinction, only using two types of grapes from the Champagne region: The Grande and Pettit Champagnes – pinky up drinking the whole night.
As the event built up steam, crowds were lead into separate rooms where a tall, dark, and handsome corporate representative informed us about the process in which their products were contrived. At each table sat beakers with different ages of Remy Martin. Our host began to tell us about the cultivation process which implements key detail via the amount of grapes used, aging process, vapor secretion, and the amount of eaux-de-vie “oh-duh-vi”. Eaux-de-vie is a clear brandy that is fermented then quickly bottled to preserve its distinctive flavor. This is what is referred to as spirit, though the French translation literally describes it as “the fountain of youth”, or water of life. If Ponce de Leon had just stayed at home drinking Old English, he would has discovered what millions of Americans already know – that alcohol has the unique ability to make grown ass men and women behave as children.
Tasting patrons got a 101 in mixology, gulped down their concoctions, and were then lead into a room filled with more than a dozen barrels lining the walls, and one lonesome barrel in the middle of the room. The barrels have been flown in from the Remy Martin headquarters in the Cognac region of France, as well as hundreds of other items carrying the Remy Martin Sagittarius logo
Its entrance held garcons with little glasses filled with the golden 20 year Remy Martin blend. This particular brew smells distinctly of Clementine spirit. Above the glass and further down you get a more fermented occultation. It hits the pallet with a tinge of fruit and smoke. The bite comes on slow before the mouth goes numb – either from the strong alcohol content (84%) or the joyous complexity of flavors hammering away at the taste buds like a thousand lesbians with strap-ons at an angel dust fueled orgy. It stitches itself to its recipient for about 5 – 10 minutes like a crack blast, and the legs and tears of the cognac stay on the sides of the glass as if they were permanent. They maintain their color resilience, even after the sloppiest alcoholic has tongue ravaged the glass like an ant eater, whilst the speaker goes on about more facts and rhetoric about Remy Martin history and curation.
He explains that the barrels behind us are usually put to use for a little over one hundred years, and that the wood from the barrels is responsible for honing their distinct signature flavor, at least in the more high end product.
A slew of waitresses slink into the room with empty glasses on a silver platter and hand the speaker a glass turkey baster which he pokes in the middle barrel and seeps out a dark gold fluid. As the crowd’s excitement grows in anticipation of the next treat, the waiters start making their way around the room, handing glasses to all participants.
It is only once everyone had glass in hand, the speaker informs us that we are now holding a 45 year old choice cognac made with only Grande Champagne grapes and 150-300 eaux-de-vis’, fondly named The X.O. The first whiff leaves aromas parallel that butterscotch, smoke, even chocolate-esque odors. Further down in the glass, there is no ferment reception; it’s just pure flavor country.
The taste is very poignant that surmount on one overall quality, a rich smooth and bold, smoky resilience with high notes of pear or tangerine. It is an exceptional drink on every level, and it leaves its patron with a bitter sweet bite that lasts for 20 – 30 minutes.
Overall, Remy Martin reflects cognac in a new light, battling brandy or scotch in the aristocratic hierarchy on a few levels. The event was very informative, about all areas of their brand, and really gave an in depth look into the dedication to cultivate such a product. Even though the patrons were not able to become shit plastered from the excursion, we still walked away with respect and admiration for our hosts and this particular beverage blend.