Review: Flaviar Frerot XO Cognac Assemblage de Crus
Online retailer Flaviar is no stranger to bespoke spirits, having released (among others) its own heavily peated Scotch previously. Next up is Cognac, a blended spirit called Frerot.
Launching this Spring, Frérot XO Cognac Assemblage de Crus gives rise to a new order in the world of fine spirits –a Cognac created by the people. Flaviar, the membership only spirits club, not only offers unique spirits to members, but has now offered members the chance to co-create their own spirit for the first time. With the aim of bringing Cognac to new audiences Flaviar has democratized the spirits world and asked its members to help craft this release, with 800 involved in the crowdtasting. Introducing Frérot, the People’s Cognac.
“With ‘Flavor to the People’ being Flaviar’s mission from the start, we could hardly think of a better challenge to take on as we set out creating our next very own spirit,” ? said Griša Šoba, the co-Founder of Flaviar and spirits maverick. “We wanted to address this by including the people—our members—in the creation of Frérot.” Working with several Cognac producers, the founder of Flaviar identified several of the best drops of Cognac that showcased a wide range of Cognac flavor. Three, high-quality XO blends were then selected for the crowdtasting and shared with members in an exceptional tasting box delivered to members’ homes. With many in the crowdtasting being traditional whiskey drinkers, the feedback on flavor profile, alcohol level, blend of crus, sugar content and chill filtration reflected this palate. This is the Bourbon drinker’s Cognac.
The result? 2000 bottles of an exquisite assemblage de crus XO Cognac, non-chill filtered and bottled at 42% ABV, slightly higher than typical Cognacs. Aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 20 and up to 35 years, Frérot is incredibly deep in flavor with a hint of spice, but also approachable – a structure slightly reminiscent of old Bourbon. At the core of Frerot’s ethos is full transparency on each of these elements – something less common in the world of Cognac. Translating in French as a term of endearment amongst friends, Frérot is the Cognac created with friends, for friends.
A bourbon drinker’s Cognac? Maybe, but the bourbon drinker would probably prefer actual bourbon to this. There’s tons of heat on this brandy, from start to finish. Push past it and on the nose you’ll find notes of toasted caramel, coconut, dark chocolate, a light raisin note, and hints of incense. The palate — again, it’s hot — shows a stronger raisin element, ample spice, and a toasty, oaky finish — though the wood is fairly restrained. The back-end is lingering with a bit of pepper, but mostly alcohol burn, all of which makes Frerot drink like a much younger Cognac (and which is a tough sell at this price).
B / $130 / frerotcognac.com