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The Artisanally Crafted Cognacs of Daniel Bouju at Super Sharp Prices - 01/26/2018 - Cognac and Armagnac

With the golden age of American Whiskey firmly behind us, we’re constantly on the lookout for the next great spirit. This is not to say that we don’t have and sell exceptional whiskey, but that the slim period of time when true legends could be picked off the shelf with little hassle is gone. Competition for these rare items is so fierce that only a real zealot can find comfort in acquiring one. The more ardent and adventurous drinker has taken to exploring outside the vast kingdom of whisk(e)y for other spirits that can scratch that incomparable itch that all true spirits lovers have. What we look for is an all encompassing experience. We crave quality and distinction that delivers the depth and complexity equal to the great bourbons of antiquity without all the hassle or that ridiculous price tag. Of course, that’s not an easy thing to find. There’s something about the way some whiskey is made that delivers more intensity of flavor and depth of character than almost other category. And that’s just it. Many other spirits are manufactured in a specific way to suite a specific clientele that has VERY different tastes than the American Whiskey drinker. But what if you made a brandy WITHOUT additives? Without reduction, sugar or boise? Could we get close to the pinnacle of experience that we crave so much?

Turns out Daniel Bouju has proved this hypothesis unequivocally. He starts with some of the very best vines in Cognac. Then he distills them just as his father and grandfather before him had. Finally he puts them into the barrel and does almost absolutely nothing else. The result in its youth is the famous “Fine Saveur” that we’ve sold consistently for years since visiting the domaine. It’s fresh, open and easy to drink, but as the brandy evaporates and concentrates over time something incredible happens. It transmutes into one of the single most powerful and complex spirits we’ve ever tasted. Unlike most Cognac, which are slowly reduced through the addition of water to soften and sweeten them, the Bouju Cognacs are not adulterated in any way. By 15 years old, it’s an absolute monster. Leave it another 50 years and you’ve got one of the world’s great spirits. Bordering on incomprehensibly hedonistic, this is dry power over the top Cognac that will speak primarily to the American Whiskey lover rather than the typical cognac drinker. When we had an opportunity to buy the best Daniel Bouju had to offer at a significantly reduced price, we knew that we couldn’t pass it up. Those who do will certainly regret not taking advantage of this exquisite find.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
Daniel Bouju "Royal" Brut De Fut Grand Champagne Cognac (750ml) (Elsewhere $150) >36 $69.99 View
Daniel Bouju Tres Vieux Premier Cru de Cognac Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml (Elsewhere $190) 26 $169.99 View
Daniel Bouju Tres Vieux "Brut de Fut" Premier Cru de Cognac Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml (Elsewhere $240) >36 $179.99 View

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Daniel Bouju "Royal" Brut De Fut Grand Champagne Cognac (750ml) (Elsewhere $150) ($69.99)

The wonderful Daniel Bouju has become renowned to our customers for his light and ultra fresh "Fine Saveur" offering. But what makes Bouju famous in Europe and around the world are actually his ultra old, unfiltered, cask-strength offerings. The Royal Brut de Fut is one of the most sought-after and well regarded high proof Cognacs made today, but it's been years since we've seen it in California. Nothing is added nor taken away from this high proof blend with a minimum of 15 years of age. It's dark, dry, powerful stuff, but not without a nuanced elegance. It's not syrupy sweet like most cognacs of this dark color. We're not quite sure how Bouju does it, but we know we're extremely lucky to have received the last stocks of this special cognac at a fantastic price. Previously this bottle sold briskly for upwards of $150, but now we have the California retail exclusive and we think the new price will make it taste even better. This is one of the most unique offerings in brandy today, but the stocks are highly limited. Once the last bottle is sold we will not have access to anymore.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 15, 2018

I tasted this Cognac once straight out of the bottle and once with a splash of water. I enjoyed it most with a little water. There are soft and delicate aromas with a hint of sweetness. In the mouth it is round and rich but not heavy, with hints of dried fruit flavors that are delicious, on the dry side and inviting. This is for those looking for a classic Cognac but one without out too much sweetness.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 09, 2018

This is a monster. We rarely see high proof cognac that's both affordable and delicious, but the Royal is exactly that. The Royal is bottled at an astonishing 120 proof, yet the nose exhibits no alcohol or burn. Instead we get a pungent mixture of dried stone fruit, varnishy old wood, tobacco and wooden cellar. The palate is ultra textured and concentrated with a building peppery spice that overwhelms the fruit by the finish. Heavy almost thick and sweeter than expected entry leads to a bold spicy dry finish. It's an absolute treat. Bouju claims to add absolutely nothing to this special cognac and that big dry finish might confirm his claims.

Daniel Bouju Tres Vieux Premier Cru de Cognac Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml (Elsewhere $190) ($169.99)

The Tres Vieux Premier Cru is the same excellent cognac that goes into the Brut de Fut, but offered at 80 proof. That means unfiltered unadulteratered Grand Cru goodness with a bit more restraint than the higher end offering. Despite the lower proof it remains one of the most intensely flavored cognac we've ever carried. Bold aromas of roasted vanilla bean, dried red and gold orchard fruit, dark leather and baking spice. Not at all out of the range for an American Whiskey drinker here. The palate is still very dry at 80 proof and filled with rancio flavors of roasted nuts, sweets herbs and dark coco. What this offering gives up in power and intensity it makes back in overt pleasure. This is ultra old cognac that ANY drinker will absolutely die over, not as challenging as its siblings, but easily the most approachable old Cognac in the price point and well within the Bouju dry aromatic style that we love.

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Daniel Bouju Tres Vieux "Brut de Fut" Premier Cru de Cognac Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml (Elsewhere $240) ($179.99)

The unprecedented Tres Vieux Brut de Fut is one of the most memorable and unique offerings from any producer in Cognac. Bouju is well known for speaking out in the region against the use of additives and has carved out a niche as one of the few Grand Champagne producers willing to offer unfiltered, uncut, full-strength cognac. This brandy is the house's top offering and represents some of the oldest stocks with a minimum age of 40 years. The color is dark like coffee and when we inquired about that insanely dark color, Bouju explained that long term aging in new oak and his practice of avoiding reduction concentrates the eau-de-vie in such a way that none of his neighbors can replicate it without using caramel and sugar. We don't care exactly how he does it because it tastes so good. No question this is a cognac for whiskey drinkers. The nose is full of exotic wood, dried herbs and bold spice. The entry is ultra textured and dense like few other brandies I've ever tried. With a brandy this rich you expect extreme sweetness as sugar is added for texture and to balance any bitterness, but in this case we've got tons of bold, dried fruit and big, powerful spice without any saccharine quality you'd perceive the very old cognacs from the big houses. Those Cognacs are often sold for 10 times this price and pale in comparison to this spectacular offering from Bouju. And the big houses wonder why they have trouble converting whiskey people? Here is their guide.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 04, 2018

The color is so intense and intriguing and the nose is nothing short: mint, dried stone fruit, and dark molasses. The Cognac is vibrant on the palate; the flavors really stick to the taste buds and continually evolve and show different complexities. Super interesting. All this without any additives. An amazing example of how deep and complex a Cognac with the right age can be.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 15, 2018

This Cognac has a deep dark color that reflects the extended aging. Delicate aromas lead to a Cognac that is complex and full bodied with concentrated dried fruit flavors that are not sweet but lively and tasty. There is a lot going on here. This is one to sit down with, sip and think about.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 12, 2018

This insane offering has always been something we've wanted to carry, but the very high price tag (upwards of $250) made it seem out of reach. Now that we're able to offer it at a somewhat more reasonable price, it might be one of the most exciting cognacs we've ever stocked. It's a total bomb, not suited for cognac drinkers looking for something easy and sweet, but will easily win over lovers of old unobtainable American whiskey. This is a selection from Bouju's oldest stocks with a minimum age of around 40 years and a significant proportion of brandies much much older, maybe 80-100 years old. It's bottled without additives according to the producer and not filtered or reduced before bottling. Mr. Bouju insists the reason for the excessively dark color is the lack of reduction, something that normally happens several times during an eau-de-vie's maturation and blending. Instead, he says, he distills and reduces slightly before barreling and does absolutely nothing else for over 4 decades. When it hits 100 proof naturally, the resulting cognac is a force of nature. This nose puts us square in bourbon land, dense dry woodsy with fruit compote (figs & plums), cacao nibs, sweet herbs, all kinds of baking spice. Relatively gentle on the palate considering the high proof, but very dry, dark fruits and a big minty herbal finish. A benchmark by any standard. 5 Stars.