MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
There has been a lot of discussions on what makes a spirit a craft spirit.
Perhaps its size, the volume of bottles being produced, family owned, … etc…
However, it recently occured to me what craft may mean.
Comandon Cognac is increasingly becoming synonymous with “craft cognac” while reinventing itself. Comandon is a revived 1821 cognac brand once one of the largest producer of cognac in volume and sales that puts innovation and terroir at the heart of its process. Much of its purpose is to question the traditional standards and to offer more innovative alternatives.
In particular, Comandon makes various cognac ranges that once drunk there is ‘no more’. This concept of ‘small batch’ is common and perhaps necessary within the craft spirit category but Comandon’s craft philosophy goes beyond this.
We produce many different ‘Single Casks’ which goes against the rhetoric of having a ‘house style’ or a ‘secret blend’ being repeated forever and ever, everyday with a standard consistency. The purpose of making single cask cognac is to demonstrate that there is no standard in cognac, and on the contrary to popular belief, the category has much variety to offer. Comandon provides about 50 different single casks to choose from at any time, and there seems to be at least one for everyone’s taste.
Other interesting details include the filtration. It does not seem much but almost no other brand offers a selection of cognac wich are not cold filtered, also called un-chill filtered. Brown spirits, that is white spirits which have been aged in wood casks will eventually be filtered and most of them will be cold filtered. A cold filtration ensures that the brown spirits does not generate any sediments, deposits, crystals which to the untrained eyes looks like ‘dirt’. Un-chill filtered cognac may with a brisk change of temperature create these small sediments. It is normal!
These sediments are the authentic manifestation of a cognac that was handcrafted because it was not filtered to the point of removing ‘interesting’ esters and oils that add to the flavors and aromas. However, most people do not know and will rightfuly assume that this is a problem.
This matter is commonly discussed in more than 100s of articles on the Internet by whisky fans, but never in the context of cognac. For ‘crafted cognac’ unchillfiltering will increase the likelihood of having sediments in the bottle, but if you do, you are the lucky one, meaning you are drinking crafted cognac.
Be honest! Do you want craft or not? If you do take the time to learn and understand.