Jean-Pierre Fillioux


Grande Champagne


all about Cognac, brandy and more ...™

Jacques Leteux

Cognac & Pineaux

Fins Bois

Spring 2001 No.1


Brandy and its most popular products like Cognac or Armagnac are not frequently covered spirits in print; books or newsletters. Gert von Paczensky small masterpiece on Cognac from the '80s, Cyril Ray personalized account on Cognac from the '70s, Robert Delamain' History of Cognac from the '30s, C.E. Page book on Armagnac from the '80s and various versions of Nicholas Faith' writings on brandy together with Hannum&Blumberg' Brandies & Liqueurs of the World from the '70s are among the best so far.

A 100 pages "L'Instant Armagnac - Producers Guide to Armagnac" (Guide des Producteurs d'Armagnac) was written by Philippe Gélas and published by Bleu 17 Production this year. This little colorful gem of a guide is full of life, aromas and is very long on the mouth. Just like a good armagnac.

The author, born in the Armagnac country, truly loves his subject. He has written an objective Guide on the basis of visiting some 100 producers and double tasting over 500 products on premises and in his own cellar.

There is just enough details on how it is made, where is it made and how it is classified supported by colorfull drawings to make a consumer excited and interested but not bored.

No product guide has any value if it does not have ratings or tasting results. The question is not of being opinionated but simply of providing a consumer with a road map for their experience. Like all of the tasting results it is always subjective as it is a result of one person or group effort. continues Brandy@Books page 10

 Cognac Tasting

Since July 1997 we have accumulated 4 different Cognac tasting results. They come from: Cognac Tasting Society (aka Rixendis), Torula News correspondents, Tulip-to-Tulip tastings and Gerard Allemandou' Tastings@La Cagouille in Paris. The Cognac Tasting Society has 4-6 times per year tastings conducted in the Cognac region with, an average of 35 to 40 amateur tasters from France, England, Sweden, Germany, USA, Canada and New Zealand. About half of those tastings were at the Cognac producer' premises, others at various restaurants in the region. Torula News correspondents have done their tastings at Cognac producers, as well. The Tulip-to-Tulip tasting is an one-on-one effort that we have began in 2001. All of those results were rated on the basis of 30 points maximum. The tasters used a simple rating method weighted towards nose and mouth, at maximum 10 points each. The final maximum 10 points were allocated to overall harmony and product presentation. Gerard Allemandou ratings, though far more sophisticated, use a maximum of 20 points on a weighted scale. All tasted products are comercially available.

These results attempt only to provide a guide for the consumer. All in all, we have tasted some 350 products; blends, single cru, Big Four and small producers. We have excluded 163 Cognacs tasted for our 1999 Cognac Guide publication.

The following are top results from the Cognac Tasting Society and Torula News correspondents tastings.

Mac Andrew

gelasguide.jpg (15059 bytes) A Producers Guide to Armagnac (Guide des Producteurs d'Armagnac) by Philippe Gélas
Château de Beaulon


Remi Landier






D. du Veron




A de Fussingy Ebony


Michel Forgeron


Françoise Voyer


Carmen Merlin




Roullet Gold


Hennessy Grande Champagne


Du Veron Perle d'Or


A. Petit XO Extra


arrowleft.gif (142 bytes)

page 9

arrowright.gif (140 bytes)