So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Rémy Martin Centaure Extra circa 1980s 40% / Valdespino Oloroso 20 yo ‘Solera 1842’ 20%

Right double tasting. Cognac first, an old one too. What curious treasures one find in forgotten corners of old cabinets.

Right this is a Cognac, which means a twice distilled brandy whose source grapes are grown in certain areas around the town of Cognac, and aged for a minimum of two years in  French Oak barrels. Of these controlled areas, Grand Champagne stands out as the most illustrious and with the best aging potential, followed by Petite Champagne and then the other AOC zones.

The big houses are familiar names, and Rémy Martin itself is known for blending cognacs sourced only from Grand Champagne and Petite Champagne. This particular bottling from the 80s is given the Extra designation, which means the cognac is aged a minimum of six years (like XO) but usually denotes something older.



Nose  Nose: Tannic and dry cedar wood. Smells grippy already. Tobacco leaves and menthol. Golden raisins and light glazed fruit – as opposed to dark preserved fruit, not cloyingly sweet. Walnut cream and bruleed sugar. Also enough of a deep intoxicating ginger and aniseed punch that reaches up into the back of the nose. Maybe a drop of pitch too.

Taste  Palette: Sweeter here. Smooth and with some rum agricole flavours like this fibrous vegetal sweetness. Mascerated berries and toffe with lots of that dry woodiness around.

Finish  Finish: Medium and drying, more tobacco and woody spiciness.




I don’t usually drink or even like cognacs because of the over concentrated raisiny sweetness I find in many but I really love this profile. It is sweet aromatically but not cloyingly sweet and is full of dry woody and spicy counterpoints. Reminds me somewhat of a good dry oloroso butt matured whisky.

But what of Oloroso then?

Valdespino is an old Sherry bodega, and the solera this oloroso was drawn from was started in 1842. Solera? 20 years old? Yes, in solera systems the given age is an average minimum, and not the youngest sherry in the bottle. Apparently this is a Oloroso Dulce, meaning that a small quantity of old Pedro Ximenez was blended in, though this is not mentioned anywhere in the label, but is still regarded as a dry sherry.


Nose  Nose: Ok very similar to a tawny port but drier by far. Meaning thick brown honey, the rancio of brown oxidised fruit, dark roasted nuts, dry leather. And interestingly, lots of traditional coconut candy and gula melaka. Aromatic and round.

Taste  Palette: Dry with just a touch of sweetness. Burnt caramel, more thick dark honey and rancio- luscious but dry. Old wood and licorice. Not as long or full on the tongue as say a sherried whisky.

Finish  Finish: A little more sweetness shows, more brown sugar candy.




Not sure if this scale should even apply to sherry, but alright. Shows great balance, leans heavily on the dry side but aromatically rich and interesting. Isn’t that whats great in a good oloroso matured whisky too?

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2015 by in Rémy Martin, Valdespino and tagged , , , , .
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