A sophisticated nightcap: a glass of Merlet
When's the last time you invited someone in for a nightcap? How about heading to the living room after an extravagant meal for a drink? Perhaps you haven't incorporated these sophisticated traditions into your life because you didn't know what to serve, what to invest in for your liquor cabinet. The French brand, Merlet, has a number of beautiful cognacs and liqueurs; I was happy to be hosted to experience it!
Merlet is a 5th generation family company, dating from 1850. In the 19th century, the family sold fine eaux de vie to the larger cognac houses. In the 1970s, they branched out into various fruit liqueurs. Then, they created a range of cognacs with different flavor profiles. Now the company sponsors a major bartender cocktail competition in nearly 20 countries.
One of Merlet's prize products is the XO Cognac. Crafted from old cognacs -- aged at least 6 years -- it's consider fruit-forward, in the Merlet tradition. For its nose, I experienced honey, grape must and fresh herbal mint that mellows into into sweet grape. The color is a deep, dark amber, with a fluid consistency. Flavor-wise, the cognac starts out "juicy", without being sweet. Then, I noticed crisp wood, sweet tobacco and white pepper notes. This is a warming, sophisticated after-dinner drink. For those of you who indulge in cigars, this would go great with them.
They describe it as:
"Colour: Dark brown with golden tinges.
Nose: Rich and complex, with an ample aromatic range that goes from orange peel and vanilla to white flowers.
Palate: Clean, then round and ample, with fine woodiness. The fruit notes are clear and lasting."
Soeurs Cerise Cherry Brandy is a product that highlights what's special about the Merlet line: it's perfectionist care and treatment of fine fruits. Dark garnet in color, the brandy is viscous with full body. It incorporates several variety of cherries, for their different flavor nuances, including Griotte, oblacinska and Morello. I detected a nose of dried cherry, maraschino candied cherry, prune, tart cherry juice and a hint of sweet almond.
I tasted deep, dark cherry, sweet and warming. Enjoy the brandy in a classic style -- in a snifter -- or on ice or in fun cocktails.
They describe the taste as this:
"Colour: Deep crimson with purple hue
Nose: Powerful sour cherry aromas, subtle notes of almond and cherry kernels.
Palate: Ripe, almost stewed, cherry aromas dominate, followed by a refreshing tanginess. Lengthy finish thanks to the cognac."