Rare Cognac Finally Available

Courvoisier’s J.S. Succession, created to mark the bicentennial of Napoleon’s crowning as the Emperor of France on December 2, 1804, is still fighting customs to become available in the U.S. To date, insiders are reporting a 2009 or early 2010 release, but those anxious to get their hands on this limited-edition cognac of just 2,500 bottles ($4,000 each) can purchase it from Harrod’s in London. The Cognac consists of a blend of single-estate vintages that date back from 1910 to 1945 and were sourced from a fifth-generation cognac maker in the Grande Champagne area. The producer’s personal reserves were deemed so extraordinary that when Courvoisier purchased the remaining stock from the producer’s family after his death, they decided not to blend it with eaux-de-vie sourced from other producers. The bottle comes inscribed with the supplier’s initials—J.S.—and is packaged in a one-sixteenth replica of Napoleon I’s war chest (the original, called the Chest of Secrets, is kept at the Courvoisier Chateau in Jarnac, France). The cognac delivers a delicate aroma of vanilla, caramel, leather, and smoke carried out with an extremely complex and multilayered effect on the palate, which includes chocolate, coconut, and cigar followed by a very fine attack of anise and soft pepper on finish. (www.courvoisier.com)

—Jessica Taylor 

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