In terms of rare cognacs, seldom does it get more exclusive than this. We’re talking about the Louis XIII and the The Rare Cask 42.1, of course, which represents the ultimate expression of the cognac brand. The arrival of the ultra-rare spirit marks ten years since Louis XIII released the Rare Cask 42.6.
Like the edition that came before the Rare Cask 42.1 is made from a treasure trove of eaux-de-vie, distilled from the Cognac Grande Champagne terroir. Put to the task of creating the rare cognac is Baptiste Loiseau, the fifth-generation Cellar Master of Louis XIII.
The meticulous tasting of the eaux-de-vie as they age, in the endless transmission of savoir-faire, is part of the lifelong purpose of each Cellar Master to perpetuate the legacy of Louis XIII. Rare Cask 43.8 was discovered in 2004 by previous Cellar Master Pierrette Trichet, and Rare Cask 42.6 in 2009 when Baptiste Loiseau and Pierrette Trichet were collaborating.
For the third time in history, in an unexpected departure from the ordinary passage of time, Loiseau uncovers Rare Cask 42.1. Inexplicable and unpredictable, a single Louis XIII tierçon (large barrel) unveils the uniquely exceptional aromatic profile, that is definitive of the spirit.
This provides a distinct expression of Louis XIII Cognac never encountered before, and with an unexpected 42.1% ABV. By carefully understanding the delicate profiles within the tierçon between the century-old oak and the eaux-de-vie, Loiseau has nurtured the expression of Rare Cask 42.1, resulting in the creation of a true ultra-luxurious and rare spirit.
A Rare Vessel
This single tierçon provides a limited number of just over 775 decanters. Tasked with transporting this rare spirit is Baccarat who have specifically crafted a black crystal for the Rare Cask 42.1. The forming of each decanter is a spectacular demonstration of the juxtaposition of art and savoir-faire: to achieve a perfect, jewel-like black finish requires incredible talent and utmost care.
For a brief instant, 20 master craftsmen must work in unison in a race against time to complete more than fifty distinct operations while the necessary temperature remains in the glass. Ultimately, the decanter is dressed in a gold and rhodium-finished neck, while the ring is finely engraved with quadrilobe patterns in reference to France’s fleur de lys.
Rare Cask 42.1 is the first edition to be presented as a ritual set. The black crystal decanter is accompanied by Pillet crystal glasses ornated with black quatrefoils and a serving pipette featuring a black medallion.
(Images: Louis XIII)