Pierre Ferrand is the big name in small Cognac houses. Ten years ago, Ferrand was the toast of Cognac, touted as the artisanal Cognac house by which all others were measured. Recently, though, I have heard criticism that the house has grown too large, too fast, and as a result, the quality has suffered.
Ferrand does not deal in the world of VS and VSOP, specializing instead in aged Cognacs; their line starts with the ten year old Amber, which we will taste today, and goes up to the 75 year old Ancestrale.
Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Grande Champagne, 40% alcohol ($35.00)
Agave/Tequila is the most prominent smell on the nose. I've had peated malt whiskies that give this scent as well, but never a Cognac. The agave is more muted in the taste, but still there. There is sweetness and, on the finish, prunes. It's a nice brandy at a decent price but the flavors weren't as complex or delicate as the other Cognacs we've been trying.
Next Friday: An Armagnac for a Change