Ferrand Cognac 10 Générations Port Cask Year of the Rabbit, $64.99
The back story
What’s the perfect sip to mark the Lunar New Year? Some might say it’s a traditional Asian spirit — say, the ever-popular Chinese baijiu. But we’d also suggest Cognac, the French brandy that has been a mainstay in China — “the drink of choice for the country’s elite imbiber,” according to one authority — for many years.
All of which leads us to suggest this limited-edition Cognac, which is tied to the Lunar New Year in general and the Year of the Rabbit, which kicked off Jan. 22, in particular. Look closely on the label and you’ll see said animal, to say nothing of the fact the Cognac is bottled at 88 proof, and 8 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture.
But as its name implies, the bottle also has a spanning-the-ages theme, recognizing the fact that Cognac Ferrand has been around for multiple generations. The brand is now part of a larger, artisanal spirits company known as Maison Ferrand, which is also behind the Citadelle gin and Plantation rum labels. Because Cognac is key to its identity, the company wanted to celebrate the Ferrand family with this special release — only 12,000 bottles are being made available.
What we think about it
This is a fairly sumptuous Cognac and a good value for a bottle priced well below $100. I get lots of fruity notes — that’s probably the port-cask finish revealing itself. The brand rightly describes the finish as “very long and creamy,” with notes of everything from figs to vanilla.
How to enjoy it
There’s nothing better than sipping Cognac by itself in a brandy snifter. But the brand says this Cognac works well in a variety of cocktails, from a French 75 to a Manhattan.