Bet you can’t tell me which is the top selling cognac in Norway? Well, if you read the title to this article, you would know that it’s Bache Gabrielsen! Norwegian cognac? Not really, it’s actually French cognac made by Norwegians in Cognac, France, and they have been doing it there since 1905.
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, this latest offering of theirs is a cognac that is first aged in French oak barrels and then finished in American Tennessee oak barrels for at least 6 months. Scandal, outrage – you protest, or maybe it’s something whose time has come. For a brandy to bear the name Cognac, it must meet certain very strict French “Appellation Cognac Controlee“ requirements, two of which are: it must be aged at least two years and in French oak barrels from Limousin or Troncais. Okay, Tennessee is not located in France, and American oak is a no-no, or at least, it used to be, but they seem to have gotten around that by first ageing in French oak barrels.
Well, let’s give this unique cognac a spin and find out what those wily French-Norwegians have been up to. The nose is light and fruity and surprisingly not all that oaky. I sense pear and vanilla, and the aroma is quite clean and straight forward. The palate continues with the pear and vanilla, and adds some caramel, and a clean oak taste, with some spice notes. This is a smooth and tasty cognac that is not overly complicated. The finish is also smooth and lasts a medium amount of time leaving a pleasant sweet aftertaste reminiscent of caramel.
I really could make this my every day cognac; it’s just that pleasant. I have always enjoyed the more complicated and layered and deeper cognacs, but this one is just as interesting and tasty just in a slightly different way. I’ll bet it goes great with a medium bodied cigar after a great dinner. I can’t wait to try that out.
Bache Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac can be found for around $39.99 to $47.00 per 750ML bottle and is 40% ABV and is currently only available in the USA.
By George Brozowski