Bergen Crazy Tasting Session: Part I.

Bergen madness at its best.

PART I.

exceptional cognacs from the Borderies
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This is the kind of tasting session that you’ve got once in a lifetime. 13 geeks, 38 cognacs, 12 hours. It’s quite difficult to figure out how crazy it was if you’re not a cognac geek. But I swear that wasn’t an everyday session at all!

But first, let’s thank the brilliant host that Brynjar has been. This tasting wouldn’t have been the same without the perfect organization he set up. 

With that said, what about this review? You’re gonna find a tasting note for each cognac of this fabulous moment, and you’ll get three episodes (it isn’t that much for this kind of moment). Let’s begin today with Part I.

 

#1

Borderies 1941-1991 Gemozac

Yep. It started like this. A 50yo Borderies born during WWII. A relic preserved by a merchant (SVS, located in Gemozac, Bons Bois).

Colour: Orange, gold lights. Irregular medium tears.

Nose: Heavy woody rancio. Distinct floral notes. Wild sweat scents. Waxy, honeysuckle. Elegant and with a nice evolution through the tasting. 

Mouth: Extreme fruitiness, mango juice. Hints of black pepper notes. Rich texture. Not that thin regarding this age. You could have expected a bit more complexity, but that’s a solid one without any doubt. 

Last Notes: Warm spiced notes with air. Zan and ginger. Still great honeyed notes. Candied citruses shades. Vivid profile. Back on the palate, it’s a licorice bomb, enhanced by acidulous violet sweet notes. Stunning old cognac. Crazy old malt notes with air. Delicious dark tea notes. Umami shades too. Brynjar and Morten told me that it was even better when they opened the bottle in 2019. Is it peated? Too much oxidated?

Hard to score. But I’d probably go with something around 90. A tad too unbalanced for me, but unprecedented profile for my palate. 

89+/100

#2

Moyet Tres Vieux Cognac des Borderies 40%

Well, it will be just like that until the end. Here you’ve got a venerable blend (100% Borderies of course) with oldies from 1920 to 1950. 

Colour: Mahogany, amber lights. Regular medium tears.

Nose: Rancio bomb. Mushroom risotto, goat cheese. Is it Heritage Rene Riviere’s pineau?! Farm scents. Binary profile.

Mouth: Extra-oily texture. Monolith. Rancioted goat cheese notes. Peppery aftertaste. A bit unbalanced and a tad too oaky, but very aromatic, especially with nice licorice and white pepper aromas. You also get a great dash of pecorino. 

Last Notes: Even with air it stays very rancioted, almost unreadable. Thin and sugary too.

Well, I have to admit that I was expecting a bit more of this one. Way too unbalanced to score higher than 89. 

88+/100

#3

Camus Château de Plessis 1945 40%

I haven’t tried many Camus before, but we’re not dealing with an everyday Camus here. I mean, that’s a 1945 Borderies. 

Colour: Amber, old gold lights. Regular medium tears.

Nose: Extreme nutty rancio. Waxy style. Kind of fresh minty notes behind. Wow. Perfect balance as I said with Pieter, unlike the two first cognacs. Ample caramelized fruit scents.

Mouth: Oily texture, oxidative old port notes melted with incredible fresh notes. Instant smile. Disconcerting mouth length regarding the ABV (40%).

Last Notes: Complex waxy/tea-ish nose. A very little flat on the palate. Fresh spices notes on cloves and ginger. Very impressive evolution. 

Mesmerizing quality here. More Plessis please! 

91+/100

#4

Borderies 1865 68 proof


And here we go with pre-phyllo. I’ve got some nice memories of pre-phyllo things, even if it’s a whole new paradigm for me. 

Colour: Dark amber, gold lights. Regular medium tears. 

Nose: Heady citruses notes. Perceptible bitterness. Excessive oakiness but you have a really delicate fruitiness behind. Tangerine marmalade. Crazy that it is alive.

Mouth: Acidulous red berries notes. Fresh and fruity. Instant smile again. Cola sweets

Last Notes:  Even more delicate with air. Incredible fruitiness fighting with warm spiced notes. Everything is delivered with finesse. 

Maybe above Camus with air. Very spectacular in the sense that it’s hard to find a pre-phy cognac that keeps this kind of structure.

91+/100

#5

Cognac Nature Lehman


M. Lehmann is a former U.S. merchant and you can still find some bottles available at auction. This one is supposed to be a 1940’s bottling with a decent age (probably) above 50yo. 41%. 

Colour: Dark amber. Orange lights. Irregular heavy tears.

Nose: Complex leathery notes. Precious wood. Massive rancio. Very sugary. Full of unnatural nutty notes. Hints of earl grey tea shades, but heavy sugar notes.

Mouth: Roasted notes, coffee beans. Liquid very old cask aromas. Wormwood. Heavy ristretto notes. Pleasant palate but too sweet for me. 

Last Notes: Flat aftertaste and very sugary again. Shy leathery notes. 

Interesting cognac but it seems that it has been make-up. Well, that’s also the kind of style you can find with oldies. 

 

86/100

#6

ROULLET et FILS HORS d'AGE N°29 41%

Roullet is an old cognac house located in Foussignac (Fins Bois), and if I’m not mistaken, there are some links with Delamain at the very beginning of their history. First Prunier on Hors d’Age. This Hors d’Age is an 80yo Borderies bottled at 41%. 

Colour: Dark amber, gold lights. Irregular medium tears.

Nose: Fresh citruses. Fresh and vivid. Strong spiciness and thick imprecise sugary aromas.

Mouth: Watery with shy balsamic rancio notes. Too oaky. Important bitterness but it remains very floral (very Borderies in the heart) in the empty glass. 

Last Notes:  Caramelized nuts, wet wood. Hints of fruitiness and still some interesting spiced shades. 

Not that bad, but, as far as I’m concerned,  I miss a lot of precision and finesse to go higher than 87

 

87/100

#7

Cognac Rarissime Meukow 1937 41%

First Meukow on Hors d’Age. It’s important to notice that this cognac house has been involved a lot in cognac history, especially when we think about WWII and the story of Gustav Klaebich. With that said, what about this bottle? 1937. 41% (which is the correct ABV, as you can see on the counter-label). 

Colour: Mahogany, orange lights. Irregular heavy tears. 

Nose: Typical Borderies or 80’s Bowmore ?? Instant violet fragrance, kind of chalky background (hints of very old GC).

Mouth: Nice balance but a little lack of body. Stunning mouth length on lime marmalade and fresh leather. Quite vivid for a cognac from the 30’s!

Last Notes:  Complex but not as much as the 1865 and Plessis 1945, and (what I wasn’t expecting) less body/structure. 

A lack of structure and precision, but an atypical kind of Borderies for sure. Hard to score, but I think I’ll go with something like 89.

Chez Pley, in Cherves, where it has been distilled.

89/100

#8

Mauxion Lot 14 41,2%

Well. 1914. First one but not the last in this crazy tasting session.   

Colour: Old gold, gold lights. Regular medium tears.

Nose: Poached pear, vivid, citruses bouquet, violet and great acidulous fruity notes (poached pear again). Extreme complexity, constant evolution, various spectrum

Mouth: Oily texture. Massive flowery notes. Insane fruitiness, following, nose’s impressions. Intense fresh mango juice aromas. Bang!

Last Notes: What a kind of freshness! Insolent youngness. And a gorgeous fruitiness again. You also get a thick nutty rancio that sticks to your palate. 

Magnificent Borderies. Everything is here. Just miss a bit of funkiness to reach the sky. 

91+/100

#9

MauXION LOT 14 43%

Second 1914, also from Mauxion. Let’s see if we can compare these two. 

Colour: Amber, gold lights. Regular medium tears. 

Nose: More rustic, wet and wormwood profile. There is is a lack of finesse compared to the other Mauxion.

Mouth: Imprecise like there was an addition of water or as if it was a just-made blend.

Last Notes: Sherry casks notes. Very nice rancio, quite leathery and nutty. Great mouth length but quite imprecise. 

There is an obvious difference between these two Mauxion. A stunning one and a more down-to-earth one the other hand. 

88+/100

#10

Malternative BELGIUM Lot 19.14 42,1%

First one from Pieter’s selection, but not the last as you can presume. And third 1914 by the way. 

Colour: Dark amber, old gold lights. Irregular medium tears. 

Nose: Rounder than the previous 1914 cognacs we had (that sounds mad, isn’t it?). Licorice, marzipan, dry profile but too sharp. Very elegant nose, with a lot of various shades at the same time. 

Mouth: Coffee beans, heavy roasted notes counterbalanced by balsamic rancioted shades. Precious wood. Waxy and herbal palate. Perfect Borderies bouquet.

Last Notes: Goat cheese rancio with herbal freshness again. Never-ending mouth length. Perfect patine with hints of delicious waxy aromas. A tad of Sauternes shades that could wake me up at any time.

That’s a sublime cognac with a great evolution. Precision, finesse, and this extra touch that keeps my cognac passion alive. 

92+/100

#11

Dielen’s Prunier 1914 43%

Not the first Prunier on Hors d’Age, but the first Borderies from them. And quite a special one, as it has been bottled by Dielen’s (Dutch wine seller) and that’s another 1914 in this unprecedented Borderies line-up. 

Colour: Dark amber, gold lights. Regular medium tears. 

Nose: Tropical fruit profile, full of roasted pineapple notes. Delicate and explosive nose at the same time. 

Mouth: Delicious patine. Perfect spice variations. Discrete oak influence. Full-bodied cognac and that has to be noticed as it is a gem from 1914…

Last Notes: Crazy evolution with various herbal shades. Insolent freshness. Mouthwatering profile. Mamma Mia. Put one bottle straight in my grave. 

Well, that one has something special. Complex, refined with infinite evolution through the tasting. That’s gonna be something around 93…

 

93/100

#12

Grosperrin Lot 19.14 43,8%

First Grosperrin of this line-up and obviously not the last. And another 1914, but how could you get bored?   

Colour: Dark amber, gold lights. Regular medium tears. 

Nose: Vinous and port wine notes. Heady blood orange notes. Discrete but refined.

Mouth: Tinned fruits and red berries acidulous notes with air. Very impressive concentration. Hints of blackcurrant juice aromas in the background. 

Last Notes:  Nice evolution with air, even if I was expecting a bit more to be honest. Still some really nice old port wine shades.

Heavy, full-bodied Borderies. Precision, strength, great range of aromas. Not my favorite out of these 12, but that’s a very solid one for sure. 

 

91/100

And that’s the end of this first part. Stay tuned for part II.! 

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