Last week I had a tasting and dinner at Frisson with Charles Braastad of the esteemed Cognac House Delamain. Braastad is half Norwegian, though he’s lived his whole life in France, and his family still owns Delamain. A tall, thin and handsome man, he seems a bit stiff and formal at first, but quickly reveals his lively sense of humor and native charm.

Anyway, Delamain is one of the smaller houses in Cognac to achieve such worldwide acclaim. Their style is fine, elegant and balanced.  The various bottlings wow you with finesse and complexity—not with power, fruit and oaky richness.

One of the exciting things to see was Delamain’s new product, a high-end luxury item just about to be formally introduced: Le Voyage de Delamain. It’s a product meant for the richest people in the world and meant to compete with the over-the-top bottlings of the likes of Louis XIII by Remy Martin, whose packaging is a baroque crystal bottle with all kinds of frills and furls. What I liked about Delamain’s Voyage was the simplicity and elegance of its Baccarat crystal bottle and the retro feel of its leather, accordion-like case. That’s the bottle that would look great on a shelf in my house. 

Oh, and Le Voyage, the cognac itself? Amazing. But it’s going to cost around $10,000 a bottle, Braastad said. So, I’m going to stick to the more affordable bottlings like the Pale and Dry.
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