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Cognac Ferrand Introduces 2010 Vintage: Citadelle Gin Reserve

Originally Posted: December 09, 2010

Southampton - Alexandre Gabriel, owner and president of Cognac Ferrand, recognized as the birthplace of the artisanal spirits movement, is proud to announce the introduction of Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010, the third vintage aged gin from the company that produces award winning craft distilled spirits in Cognac, France. While this is the third year that Citadelle Gin Reserve has been created, this is the first time that the cellar master has created a gin with a specific combination of botanicals intentionally designed for oak aging - violet and iris for flower aromatics and grains of paradise for spice. For the 2010 vintage, the cellar master and owner believe they have truly found the way to make sublime aged gin.

Aging is a tried and true method of bringing out the best in a spirit, but it's virtually unheard of in the world of gin. Citadelle Gin Reserve was born from Gabriel's thirst for knowledge about the true origins of gin - when gin was stored and transported in wood, not glass or plastic or stainless steel. Interestingly, back in 1775 two men by the names of Carpeau and Stival founded a French genievre distillery in Dunkirk in an old citadel (and where today's Citadelle recipe and name comes from). Gabriel's research has unearthed documents from that time which shows that most of the distillery's genievre production was being smuggled from France to England at night in small oak barrels and the smuggling was legally approved by the French King Louis XVI! They were transporting gin 'under Royal Warrant' into England - mon dieu!

Aramis Martini.

While the 2008 and 2009 vintages of Citadelle Gin Reserve were created from Gabriel's signature Citadelle Gin - distilled in a pot still and infused with 19 botanicals - for the 2010 vintage aged gin, Gabriel and cellar master Frederic Gilbert decided to engineer the perfect 'aging' gin.

"Six generations of expertise at Cognac Ferrand in aging spirits helped us know exactly which aromatics would work best in oak casks," says Gilbert. "By testing the aging properties of different botanicals, we were able to construct the perfect Citadelle suited for oak cask aging."

For Vintage 2010 Citadelle Gin Reserve, Gabriel and Gilbert decided to develop more flower and spices notes so during the distillation of the "special" Citadelle Gin, they emphasized notes of violet and iris for the flower aromatics, and grains of paradise for spice. They believed that the emphasis on these botanicals would create a gin with a perfect roundness, harmony and elegance. The gin was aged for six months in used 12-year old oak casks that had a light char. The result is a sublime gin, built on Cognac Ferrand's years of experience in cask aging.

"We now have the expertise of controlling the wood influence over Citadelle Gin," said Gabriel. "Aging in oak gives more roundness to our gin and we felt that using older casks would impart a level of elegance and finesse that we were looking for. When I tasted our 2010 vintage, the results were beyond my expectations! This is truly a gin of another era."

Tasting Notes From Cellar Master Frederic Gilbert
"Vintage 2010 is a beautiful pale gold color and is in the same vein as our Vintage 2009. It shows subtle and delicate floral notes revealed by the addition of violet and iris and spicy notes from the grains of paradise. It also shows flavors of flowers, cinnamon with a hint of wood and is extremely delicate through the finish. It retains the aromatic palette and the crisp vividness of Citadelle Gin that is enriched with a soft fullness. The fresh and spicy aroma of juniper, citrus and star anise are still very present in the scent as well as the taste. It shows a unique depth and finish that only cask aging can provide and gives Citadelle Gin Reserve 2010 a beautiful 'fondu' - meaning a balance and good integration of all the botanicals used for Citadelle."

Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010 is truly special and its quantity is truly limited. Only 11,250 numbered bottles will be produced for the entire world. There is only so much, and once the bottles are gone, they are gone forever - one will have to wait for the next year's vintage. Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010 was bottled in June and available in market in December. The suggested retail price for a 750ml bottle will be approximately $40 (44% alc/vol).

Reserve And Mint.

A Walk Down Memory Lane
The first aged Citadelle Gin Reserve was born in 2008, when Gabriel and Gilbert began to experiment with aging techniques just to see what would happen - and if the end result would be drinkable. They placed their Citadelle Gin in used oak casks that had a strong char for six months. The result was a very rounded gin with notes of wood and touches of vanilla. It was so good they decided to bottle and sell it in extremely small quantities. It was sold out in one week so they decided to do it again. In 2009, they wanted less wood flavor and more of the finesse that aging in wood can provide, so they placed Citadelle Gin in oak casks that had a medium char for five months. This produced a gin with subtle flavors of vanilla, flowers and cinnamon and a delicate finish. A mere 8,000 bottles were released for the whole world but it made quite a splash - F. Paul Pacult named the 2009 Vintage one of the "Top 50 Spirits of the Year" in Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Gabriel's focus and philosophy are simple - to produce special, unique spirits - gems so distinctive and revolutionary that they set the bar for all others that come after them. Gabriel has done this with his award-winning portfolio of Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, Mathilde Liqueurs, Plantation Rums and now, the exceptional Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010.

Aramis Martini
 • Strega
 • 2 oz. Citadelle Gin Reserve
 • Pierre Ferrand Reserve
 • Orange Zest

Wash the glass with Strega; this accentuates the herbaceous nature of Citadelle Gin Reserve. Stir Citadelle Gin Reserve over ice and double strain into martini glass. Atomize mist with Pierre Ferrand Cognac Reserve. Garnish with thick twist of orange zest.

Reserve And Mint
 • 1 oz. Citadelle Gin Reserve
 • 2 oz. Tonic
 • 4 to 5 mint leaves

In a large rocks glass, pour Citadelle Gin Reserve over ice, add tonic. Add the mint leaves (can be torn to release more aroma), stir and enjoy.

For more information go to www.citadellegin.com.

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