A cognac to start the month. This is also a K&L exclusive but is not, I think, a very recent release. Based on when I got the sample—from Florin, the Man with 10,000 Faces—I would guess it was released in 2016 or 2017. Perhaps this means that if I don’t like it very much K&L staff will not take it very personally. As you know, if you’ve followed my brandy reviews, I know even less about cognac production than I do about whisky. As such, I have no idea about the reputation of this producer. I do know that the Borderies is the smallest of the Cognac regions and I’ve read that cognac made here is reputed to be at its best at younger ages than those made in Grande and Petit Champagne. And this one is not a super old cognac. Some producers use the “Lot” nomenclature to signal year of distillation—for example, Vallein Tercinier’s Lot 70 or Lot 90. I assume in this case “Lot 18” refers to the age of the cognac. I guess the French don’t care very much about the looseness of the use of these kinds of designations.
Park Lot 18, Borderies (43.5%; Cognac; exclusive for K&L; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Polished oak with dried orange peel and a bit of maple syrup. There’s sweeter fruit below (peach, apricot) but it doesn’t quite break the surface. As it sits the oak gets more assertive but the orange peel comes along too. A few drops of water pull out more of the orange peel and some peach and that maple sryrup note turns into light caramel.
Palate: Comes in a bit flat, texturally, but is pretty much as indicated by the nose. The oak is in the ascendancy here too—not tannic but mildly spicy. On the second sip there’s more of the fruit but it all feels a bit watered down (in terms of texture and flavour). With more time there’s some cocoa/roasted malt. Okay, let’s see if water reveals any layers. As on the nose it emphasizes the fruit a bit more; also pushes the oak back.
Finish: Medium. No new development here. Drying as it goes. Longer and otherwise as on the nose with water.
Comments: Pleasant but not much more. I gather this was about $60 on release. I wouldn’t have been unhappy if I’d picked one up at that price for those evenings when you want something pleasant to sip that doesn’t require too much of your attention.
Rating: 85 points. (Pulled up by water.)
Thanks to Florin for the sample!