Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen, a young Lieutenant from Norway, had been brought up in the tradition of spirits, as his father was the head of Holmestrands Samlag, a large merchant for spirits in the late 1800s. Thomas moved to Charente in 1903 to join forces with his friend Peter Rustad, also Norwegian. Together they took over the cognac house A. Edmond Dupuy, which still produces its own brand today, and founded the company Rustad & Bache Gabrielsen in 1905.
In 1906, Thomas married a local French woman from the cognac business, which implanted him even more in the industry, giving him valuable insight into cognac production. When Rustad died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1916, Thomas continued the business together with his oldest son Réné, making sure the company would be handed down in good order to generations to come. When Thomas died in 1942, Réné Bache-Gabrielsen headed the cognac house successfully for almost half a century, until, in turn, his oldest son Christian took over in 1968.
Today, Bache Gabrielsen is run in the fourth generation by Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen, Christian Bache-Gabrielsen's son, who just recently took over from his father in 2009. He continues the tradition of combining tradition with modern standards. After having studied economics, he is well aware that the cognac market is currently going through a reinvention one needs to adapt to.
Until this day, all employees cherish the philosophy that cognac is an art in its own right and are aiding the house to further grow and expand internationally. Their products are distributed in the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, the US as well as Central and Southern America. More and more, Bache Gabrielsen is entering into the Duty Free market in the Scandinavian capitals and Canada. With 36% of total cognac sales, they are the leader of the Norwegian market with approximately 1 million sold bottles per year.
News and Awards
The product ranges Classique and Pure&Rustic received Double Gold, Gold and Silver awards in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2010.
In 2009, Bache Gabrielsen received a double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition for its XO.
In 2008, the Hors d'Age received one of the most respected awards in the world: the Gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.
Anecdote from a reader
A funny story: In 1918-19 it was this "spanish flu", and it was not allowed for shops to sell alcohol.(Alcohol was almost forbidden in Norway). BUT, your doctor could give you recipe for a 1/2 bottle of cognac "for medicine use". Therefore..., it was a lot of ill people in Holmestrand, and the doctor, Graarud was his name, wrote plenty of recipes with these words: "De tre ting", meaning "The three things". That was 20 acetocul-tablets, 20 gram camphor and 1/2 bottle of cognac!! One reason why Bache-Gabrielsen named the VS for "tre kors". meaning "three crosses" and also printed three red crosses on the label. That made it easier to export it from France to Norway, because it was medicine!