The Cognac house of Bache-Gabrielsen was founded by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen from Holmestrand in 1905. Several generations later the business is still owned and run by the Bache-Gabrielsen family. Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen’s great-grandson Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen recently took over the day-to-day management from his father, Christian Bache-Gabrielsen.
Natur & Eleganse is the name of a range of Cognacs from Bache-Gabrielsen. Working in close collaboration with experienced distillers, Cellar Master Jean-Philippe Bergier has produced Cognacs in a modern style.
Cognac American Oak is the first of its kind, this innovative Cognac is aged in authentic new American Tennessee Oak barrels for a minimum of six months.
Natur & Eleganse VSOP (80 proof)
Visual: Bright gold.
Nose: Really fine vine-fruit notes with just enough of a barrel edge. Authentically old-school and mouth-watering.
Taste: Ultra smooth and balanced. Fruity, with notes of raisin, current and fig.
Finish: Fairly short, with a curious sourdough finish.
Overall: Light in character, but for cognac based cocktails, this is not a bad thing. Perhaps for a VSOP, a bit thin, but still miles ahead of virtually any American VSOP brandy.
GSN Rating: B+
Natur & Eleganse XO (80 proof)
Visual: Darkening orange-gold.
Nose: Heavy fruit with a strong backbone of oak. This is a very rich Cognac.
Taste: Lovely, enveloping brandy flavor that hits all the right spots from beginning to end. Almost like biting into a freshly made caramel.
Finish: Medium long with warm, creamy vanilla and mild red berry notes.
Overall: The over-achieving sibling of the VSOP. Passes everything with flying colors and is the standard-bearer of the line.
GSN Rating: A+
Cognac American Oak (80 proof)
Visual: Dark yellow-gold.
Nose: Musky, almost moonshine nose. The fruit is sublimated by the wood. Unexpected and quite different.
Taste: Here is where you can see the obvious differences between French and American oak. French tends to be lighter and drier, whereas American has a thicker, sweeter and aggressive character. Very much “in your face” and attention grabbing.
Finish: Medium long, with a plentiful sugary, almost maple quality.
Overall: This reminds me more of American brandies than Cognac. An interesting experiment that works, but not necessarily to the best advantage.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Bache Gabrielsen
Filed under: Spirits & Liqueurs