Thursday, September 4, 2014
New K&L Cognacs
This is the third day of my review of the new brandies from K&L. On the first and second days I covered Armagnacs. Today we look at some of their new Cognac selections. Thanks to K&L for the samples.
Michael Forgeron is a producer in the Grande Champagne Region of Cognac. K&L brought in three bottles this year.
Michael Forgeron VS, 40% abv ($40)
The nose is fruity and sweet with apples and pears. The palate is very light and fruity with some nice, slightly Scotch like malty notes in the back. The finish adds a touch of spice (cloves). Overall, this one is pleasant but pretty forgettable, though it's certainly a good deal for the price.
Michael Forgeron VSOP, 43% abv ($60)
This has a very light nose with light fruity and spice. The flavor on this one is much less sweet than the VS. It's got some nice complexity on the palate, a slight bitter note, some right like spice. The finish is light on flavor but a bit peppery.
Michael Forgeron XO, 45% abv ($100)
According to K&L, the XO is a marriage of Cognacs dating from 1982 to 1993. It has a very caramelly nose. The palate is sweet and syrupy with just a slight peppery spice tat lasts in the finish.
I wasn't particularly excited by any of these, but I thought the VSOP was the strongest. It had a complexity that the other two lacked.
In addition to the Michael Forgeron series, K&L has two vintage dated Cognacs.
2002 Claude Thorin Cognac, 12 yo, 40% abv ($60)
This Grande Champagne Cognac has a light, crisp nose of apples and pears. The palate is sweet and fruity with cloves and cinnamon like a mulled cider. The finish is light and fruity with just a dash of juniper. This one is sweet, approachable and drinkable. Looking for a bottle to take to the office Christmas party? You just found it.
1996 Giboin Fin Bois Cognac, 40% abv ($55)
Giboin is from the Fin Bois region. The nose is lightly fruity with dried fruit and potpourri. The palate has cinnamon, clove and sweet, fruity notes. The finish is sweet and slightly spicy. This is another super-drinkable Cognac.
Both the Giboin and the Claude Thorin are just great, crowd pleasing brandies. They aren't big complex monsters like the Armagnacs from earlier this week. They're liquid candy, fun to drink and delicious. I'd say I slightly prefer the Throin, but both are great fun.
I was less interested in the Forgerons. They weren't at all offensive. I just found them bland and uninteresting.
The last three days of tastings shows yet again that K&L is really at the forefront of brandy in the US. They picked some amazing stuff, and the prices are fantastic. There's definitely something here for everyone.