A masterpiece Champaign Grand Cru Cognac aged over thirty-five years.
In the world of Cognac there are a few names that rise above the rest. Delamain is one of those names.
James Delamain was born in Ireland in 1738 where his Huguenot family had fled during the French religious conflicts. James returned to France and apprenticed in Cognac production. In 1759 he partnered with his father-in-law to form Maison Delamain. When James died in 1800, the company fell apart. But his spirit carried on through his son-in-law, Thomas Hine, who famously founded Hine Cognac. Then, in 1924 his grandson Henri re-established the house, limiting production to exclusively the finest Hors d’Age Cognacs (old beyond age).
There is not even an average Cognac in the Delamain line-up. They’re like the first Boston album — every release is a hit. Delamain Cognac Vesper XO is a blend of 100% Grand Champaign Cru Spirits with an average age of between thirty-five years. Calling it an "XO" is an understatement. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Those fine aged Cognacs are married and then re-casked for an additional two years. It is then brought to 40% ABV through a process of adding very old Cognac at a low ABV. This enhances the flavor profile without dilution and requires a significant level of expertise.
Very old Cognac with a low ABV — usually around 15% to 20% ABV — is called "vieilles fables." This translates roughly as "old & weak."