Time for more cognac, always a great malternative. Two bottlings from the Fins Bois zone. The first is coming from the excellent house Vallein Tercinier, distilled in 1986 and bottled by Maltbarn.
The other one is a 1954 vintage from a very small farmer / distiller that should remain anonymous. Back in March our friend Pieter Knapen who used to import cognac in Belgium for some time managed to get hold of just 42 bottles. He already bottled an ‘Over 60 Years’ from the same producer last year.
Vallein Tercinier 33 yo ‘Lot 86’ Fins Bois (49%, Maltbarn 2019, 160 btl.)
Nose: very fresh and fruity. A mix of quinces and melons with some rubbed mint leaves and verbena tea. Plenty of waxy oak polish. Hints of floral honey and candied fruit cake. Soft leathery touches in the background. Great start.
Mouth: same feeling. Lots of fruity notes, an avalanche of tinned pineapple now, candied citrus, also pink grapefruit and a hint of passion fruits. The minty notes return, as well as some eucalyptus. Floral hints, just a hint of wood and a bit of nutmeg.
Finish: medium long, still very fresh, with fruit tea, mint and leather.
Excellent cognac, the minty freshness is quite spectacular and works perfectly alongside the bright fruits. Extremely drinkable and rather affordable: around € 100, but sold out.
Cognac 1954 Fins Bois (48,1%, Pieter Knapen 2019, 42 btl.)
Nose: extremely compact, in the sense that it’s hard to pin down aromas in this nose. There’s apricot liqueur, vanilla and oak varnish. A touch of coconut and floral honey. A very light chalky note too. Elegant but also very vibrant.
Mouth: at first you get a more intense woody note than in the Lot 86, but in a second wave there’s beautiful honey, peaches and grapes. Here again a hint of pink grapefruit before it goes to cinnamon and earthy spices. Also a light hint of damp cellars. Overall very elegant.
Finish: medium, mostly on spices from the oak, not unlike a very old single malt.
Unknown producer and 65 years of ageing: a wonderful catch. In terms of sheer fruitiness nothing beats Vallein Tercinier but more of an emotional experience, this. Well done, Pieter.