When you’re virtually cognac royalty, such as Charles Brastaad of Delamain et Cie, you’d probably envisage that the prestigious headquarter from which you live and work might well have a bit of pomp and circumstance going on.

But the head of Delamain Cognac, and indeed the whole enterprise, is surprisingly low key, considering this is one of the most respected houses in the world of cognac.  Located in a quiet back water of Jarnac, Cognac, this is a cognac house that you might be surprised to learn doesn’t own a single hectare of vineyards.  Instead, they purchase every drop of Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie that goes into producing the old blends that the company is famous for.

Cognac Range Delamain

The craft of blending the miracle that is cognac is something that straddles generations.  Each cellar master and master blender not only reaches into the past to utilize eaux-de-vie honed by their fathers and grandfathers, but also leaves a legacy of their own to be used by their heirs – first, second and future generations.

For those who have the privilege of visiting Delamain et Cie, you can experience the timeless art of cognac production.  Walking through the cellars, the first stop is the library cellar; where, exactly as the name suggests, a single barrel of the complete ‘library’ of the cognac house is kept.  You can even sample these gems, literally walking through history as the barrels and their contents get older and older.

Next stop is the aging cellars.  By necessity kept separate from the library cellar, this is the location of cognacs that are happily whiling away the necessary years and decades in oak barrels.  Beneath a cord and wax seal, the miracle of brandy, oak barrels and the magic ingredient of time turn these eaux-de-vie into what will one day be the cognacs that make up Delamain’s sought after cognacs.  These are the future – and a future that will come into existence long after you, I and those who carefully tended them in their barrels are gently pushing up the daisies…

Delamin’s cognacs are all of a superior quality.  Even their XO, which by AOC regulation has to consist of cognacs older than six years (soon to change to ten years), averages cognacs of around thirty years of age.  And their many other offerings, from the Très Vénérable right through to the Réserve de la Famille (a single barrel, vintage masterpiece reserved for family members) are all crafted with the same love, care and expertise that’s expected from this respected cognac house.

Learn more about Delamain Cognac
Sources: http://palatepress.com Pic: www.delamain-cognac.fr/

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.


  1. Avatar

    Any readers who haven’t tried Delamain Pale & Dry XO owe it to themselves to go find a bottle. It can be hard for most of us most places in the USA to find really good XO cognacs that aren’t from Remy, Hennessy, etc. but this is one that’s more available than many of the other smaller houses and it is one of the best deals under $100. The quality is just superb. So refined, so artful. It’s distinctive, not like any others I’ve tried. You taste it and you think, “These people are masters.” That you can get it for around $90 is amazing and makes me laugh at my good fortune like I just found a sack of money on the street. I almost feel like it’s a pricing error in some computer system somewhere, but please don’t tell Delamain. Instead just enjoy this precious find.

  2. Avatar
    Edward W.

    I recently purchased what probably is an early 1980s bottle of Tres Venerable, which makes the spirit inside 1930s distillation. Price? $60. I am almost afraid to open it. When I do, will I be able to go back to lesser cognacs?

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