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A Quintessential Liqueur

Richard Carleton Hacker

Not since 1977, when Grand Marnier introduced the extraordinary Cent Cinquantenaire to commemorate its 150th anniversary, has the brand produced a liqueur as in-depth and haunting as Grand Marnier Quintessence (approximately $800). Created by master blender Patrick Raguenaud, Quintessence—as a limited edition of just 2,000 bottles—comprises vintage Grande Champagne Cognacs aged from 25 to 100 years and is sourced from more than 20 individual eaux-de-vie from the Marnier-Lapostolle family reserves.

Thus, these Cognacs, distilled with the spicy juice from Grand Marnier’s traditionally macerated bitter orange peels, is given even greater depth. Their flavors are further heightened by an intense and exacting “double parfum” technique, a double distillation process used in combination with 1906 and 1955 Grande Champagne Cognacs specifically selected for this blend. After a year of aging, the result is an ultra-concentrated velvety blanket of creamy spiced oranges laced with exotic fruits and a delicate touch of oak, and well worthy of a long, lingering after-dinner repast with a snifter. (www.grand-marnier.com)

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