Simon Wittenberg takes a look at the unveiling of two Exceptional Cuvées liqueurs by Grand Marnier.
Grand Marnier Grand Cuvée Quintessence
Launching Grand Marnier’s new Exceptional Range is one of two rare Grand Cuvées, going by the name of Quintessence (above). It pays tribute to the brand’s rich history and the iconic French Maison and showcases how sumptuous flavours can be derived from the rarest and oldest hors d’âge Cognacs and orange essence.
Grand Marnier was established all the way back in 1880, when Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle began combining Citrus Bigaradia, a bitter, aromatic orange, with French Cognac.
Each of the Cognacs for Quintessence was specifically selected from Grande Champagne and laid down in Paradis, the personal reserves of the Marnier Lapostolle family cellar. Master Blender Patrick Raguenaud then added the finest Bigaradia orange peels, which were then double-distilled to ensure an intensity of flavours, resulting in a rich, smooth vintage liquid, with dry fruit notes of apricot and walnut, coupled with a warm dark vanilla base.
Raguenaud explains that those who sample Grand Marnier Grand Cuvée Quintessence will enjoy an unforgettable smell, sensation and feeling.
Inspired by luxury and distinction, and coming together to demonstrate their passion for French excellence, Grand Cuvée Quintessence is housed in a decanter hand-blown by Baccarat at 1,450 degrees combined with a hand-made stopper, reminiscent of the iconic original bottle of Grand Marnier from centuries ago.
Like the completion of a perfect circle, the two historic brand houses have come together once more to reignite their timeless passion for French excellence.
In the first year of going on sale, only 1,000 bottles of Grand Cuvée Quintessence will be available worldwide at £2,200 or US$3,000, with just 12 being allocated to the UK market.
Grand Marnier Révélation
In addition to the unveiling of Grand Cuvée Quintessence, Grand Marnier has also revealed their new Révélation prestige expression, boasting the most Cognac-forward taste. Révélation’s XXO Cognacs originate from the distinguished Grande Champagne cru, aged to an optimum level at the historic Château Grand Marnier in France’s Bourg-Charente.
A combination of Cognac and Bigaradia essence has been confined to oak tanks for several months, allowing the marriage between the two to bring the spirit alive.
The classic sweetness of the Bigaradia essence has then been amplified with earthy vanilla, fresh floral essences, and warming almond. The subtle taste of Grande Cuvée Révélation highlights vanilla and dried fruit, i.e. apricots and nuts, before revealing complex notes in its long aftertaste.
Grand Marnier equally called on French perfumer Marie Le Febvre to explore the limits of scent perception and aroma identification. The olfactory expertise she has honed over the years in developing fragrances has proved invaluable for understanding spirits and explaining why Grand Marnier delivers such a compelling experience.
Only 23 bottles of Révélation are being made available to the UK market, priced at £650 ($700) each.
For more information on the release of the latest expressions, visit www.grandmarnier.com.
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