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Drink Review: Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac

Remy Martin’s 1738 Accord Royal Cognac was created to sit between their VSOP and XO. It is named in honour of the Accord Royal granted by King Louis XV to Rémy Martin in 1738, allowing the firm to use his land to plant vines. This is a rich and robust Cognac.

Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac:

Nose:

Sweet and round. Cherry. Vanilla. Hints of chocolate and raisins.

Body:

Smooth and concentrated. Sour cherry and raisins. Cocoa.

Finish:

Dryness of old Cognac with a hint of smoke.

Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac Review 1:

We have all had great whisky. We have all had great rum. We have all had great vodka. But the world of great Cognac is increasingly a closed book to many tasters. And what’s worse, those who have dabbled tend to be content to stick with a cheap VSOP variety. That’s a shame. Cognac has a storied history, and when treated with respect, can be a complex, luscious and rewarding tipple.

This is why I’m presenting to you Remy Martin’s 1738 Accord Royal. It’s a VSOP quality product that, should you treat it with respect, will give you flavour you’ll remember for a long time (and the price is still very decent).

It’s a world away from the often harsh and overbearing VSOP Cognacs you’re likely to get in the UK. The 1738 may seem expensive for what is, in fairness, an eau de vie, but it is infinitely superior to its cheaper cousins. The VSOPs are generally produced and stored in used casks and are a combination of Cognacs of various ages. The 1738 by contrast is a marriage of two eaux de vie of similar ages (at least six years old each and no more than three years apart) in a 60% new oak cask.

This combination of old and new make for a smoother more complex drink. But more importantly it allows Remy’s boffins to expertly manage the very delicate and dangerous process of marrying what are many essentially disparate tastes.

Remy’s master taster delicately created this product by selecting eaux de vie from the 1738 cellar (in Bielle, near the Charente river, west of Cognac) of which there are 182. He then drew off three samples at a time, which were trialled to find which blend was the best. The chosen eaux de vie were married and then aged between three years to 18 months in new oak casks.

I like to think of it like creating a symphony. Instead of a composer being able to compose a symphony at the piano or with a few instruments, Remy’s master taster is able to judiciously choose the blend at a piano (or in front of the barrels), allowing him to harmonise the taste before sending the symphony of flavours to the bottler.

This is clearly a complicated process. But while it is a detail of the older, more laborious Cognac process, it has allowed the tasters to create a more consistent and beautiful spirit, which is far easier to drink and enjoy.

1738 Accord Royal is a blend of eaux de vie from +/-50 different years. The result is a Cognac that is rich and rounded, with an intensity of flavour that is hard to find at this price point.

Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac Review 2:

So why crack open this special Cognac?

  1. The taste is unique. You can’t get this from other VSOPs. It’s mellow yet multi-layered.
  2. Remy has a great story. They’ve created a world class brand (why else would most bars and restaurants have a bottle in stock?), they have strong family heritage and have done much to promote the reputation of Cognac.
  3. It’s an amazing value. For the price you get an aged spirit of great calibre, charming bottle and charming story.
  4. Remy has a great marketing machine with access to high quality packaging. They know how to sell a product, and they’ve kept a low profile on this one.
  5. It’s good for a hot day.

So go on, try it. Treat it with respect, and you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable flavour experience.

Written by Mark Adams

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