COGNAC SPONGE HÉRITAGE NO.45 50,5%
Free the Fins Bois
Another funny label (Hello Donny!), another Fins Bois, another one from Grosperrin’s cellars for the first Cognac Sponge release. This one has been distilled at the end of WWII. 120 bottles. 50,5%. Here is the Cognac Sponge Héritage No.45!
Colour: Dark amber, gold lights. Heavy regular tears.
Nose: Toffee, caramel milky sweets at first. Humid wormwood. Then it goes on fruitiness and spiciness. Heady smells of peach perfume (something like fruits infusion). Great freshness on sandalwood underlined by powerful notes of anise, cardamom, and ras-al-hanout. Overripe melon. Interesting recipe here. Cinnamon stick. A nice mix of apple tart and earl grey tea. This one is massive, opulent but with very precise notes. Not the easiest stuff for a 75yo Fins Bois to keep that kind of complexity. Delicious scents of honey wax and quince jam. It also has a fruitiness close to the one you get in some Borderies, with its typical humid and rich rancio. Very inviting nose.
Palate: Sweet oily texture. Cherry syrup, mango juice, cardamom. Great notes of strawberry/apricot juice. Medicinal shades on eucalyptus and camphor. Then it goes on roasted aromas, mainly cocoa powder and nutmeg. As for Heritage No.68, you get a really nice anise aftertaste. The fruitiness is almost hidden by massive spicy notes. A stunning mix of paprika, caraway, and walnut dust. Of course, the mouth length is more than acceptable. It ends on caraway, black pepper, and strong mint tea aromas.
Last Notes: With more air, it goes on shy notes of banana stew but it remains very spicy. Cardamom, Sichuan pepper, anise. A tad of cooked vegetables and herbs too, especially carrots and fennel. This disturbing (but pleasant) mix of freshness/spiciness and vegetable notes reminds a bit of Mosstowie (a familiar name if you’re a Malt Maniac), with its very particular DNA. However, it’s rounder now, and you get some more usual prunes and raisins scents. Heady notes of orange blossom too.
On the palate, still some Mosstowie shades (cooked vegetables/herbs, menthol, and anise notes) but you also get the acidulous fruitiness of a Lochside, especially on the strawberry stew. With age and the cask influence, cognac, whisky, and rum tend to…Well, you obviously know the song. Delicious combination of freshness, fruitiness, and spiciness. Young melon, quince, apricot aromas underlined by a great dash of cardamom. Everything is nicely honeyed. It ends on verbena infusion and cherry sweets.
This Cognac Sponge Héritage No.45 is an absolute killer. Another proof that Fins Bois cognacs can be aged for decades. No sponge needed, I did not spill even a drop of this one.
My very subjective note: 92/100
Thanks again, Angus!