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L'ESSENTIEL A45 Marancheville

Exceptional 91 /100

see 8 reviews

Serge Valentin

Reviews written: 10 (see reviews)

Average Score given: 86

Review Overview: Best & Most rated, All Reviewers & Reviews

Bio: has 15,000 whisky tasting notes. Malt Maniac. Also advertising, wine, Scotland, cars, bikes and jazz... Co-owns ad agency. Santé!

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Freshness and maturity here are both impressive

Highly Recommended 88 /100

A vatting of three small casks of 60l each, made out of old staves, so do not expect anything bombastically oaky as they do north of Hadrian's wall. The house usually sell their fillings to some large cognac house and only keep a tiny proportion for their own fillings. Let's see if we need to thank them. Colour: pure gold. Nose: magnificent ripe fruits, first peaches, then mirabelles, quinces, oranges and guavas. Then moist pipe tobacco, a little sandalwood, honeycomb, then only tiny traces of liquorice and aniseed. An even tinier hint of fish oil. Freshness and maturity here are both impressive. Mouth: rather tighter on the palate, firm, with roasted, almost burnt notes (black tobacco, burnt almonds on some cake), then toffee and, finally, a fruity and jammy development, half on citrus, half on yellow western fruits. Yellow peaches, apricots, plums, pears… Finish: rather long, this time with some mocha, cinnamon and tobacco. Comments: approaching perfection already. The oakiness was well controlled, small casks are always tricky and you wouldn't want them to 'flavour' your spirit. Just ask Octave (wink).


  • Honey
  • Lemon
  • Liquorice
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Tobacco


Wood 7/10

Spice 4/10

Fruit 8/10

Flower 4/10

Bottle / Package Design 3/5

Where is the Love? Ordinary Nice Beautiful A sight to be seen!

Value for Money 3/5

Overpriced Low Average Bargain Steal



What aromas do you get when you sniff the Cognac? Do you get hints of fruits or flowers - perhaps it's sweet? Is it intense or rather flat - and most importantly, is the nose coherent to taste and finish? The nose is the most important part when tasting Cognac.



A small sip: Allow your taste buds in the various areas of your mouth to distinguish the different flavours. This part of cognac tasting is described as ‘the palate’. Don’t just swallow it down; allow the liquid to touch all the regions of the mouth. Doing this is necessary as the taste buds pick up contrasting flavours in the different areas of the mouth; on the tip of your tongue to the sides, for example. Take a tiny sip to prep your palate for the sensory experience to come. Take a second larger sip, and gently roll the cognac around, etting it come into contact with every corner of your mouth. Focus on the perceived textural sensations. Are the sensations round and rich or fresh and elegant? Is the overall mouthfeel intense, balanced, disjointed, or lacking presence? In short, how does the cognac feel in your mouth?



Quite simply, what do you taste as you gently roll the cognac around in your mouth? Pay close attention to any flavors of fruits, flowers, oak, and spices - or a complex combination of those elements. Are the flavors cohesive with the Nose and the Mouth, giving a sense of balance and complexity?



The ‘finish’ is the experience you get after you’ve swallowed the cognac. What flavours can you detect? Is it a flat or rough finish and rather sharp, or is it a slight 'punch' you like? How long does the finish last? Also think about overall balance: How does the finish compare to nose and taste?


Overall Impression

Consider the Nose, Mouth, Taste, and Finish simultaneously - the cognac as a whole. Is there cohesion between the four categories, or does the cognac shine in some areas and appear dull in others? Quite simply, is the memory from the tasting experience one that will last your lifetime; is the memory good but nothing extraordinary; or is the cognac’s impact entirely forgettable?


Total: 88/100

  • 80-84: Recommended
  • 85-89: Highly Recommended
  • 90-95: Exceptional
  • 96-100: Superlative
Flat Acceptable Fine Excellent Ethereal Thin & weak Disjointed Balanced Exquisite Bland Ordinary Good Excellent Spectacular Non-existent, or rough Acceptable Good Memorable Endless Uninspiring, or rough Ordinary Good Excellent Memorable
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