Coming a decade after the release of RARE CASK 42.6, 42.1 is a true representation of the work of time and nature. Showcasing craftsmanship and mastery, it’s the pinnacle of LOUIS XIII Cognac and is available in a limited edition of 775 distinctive black crystal decanters.
The tierçons of LOUIS XIII
Located in the cellars of the Domaine du Grollet is an invaluable collection of eaux-de-vie and memories, distilled from the terroir of Cognac Grande Champagne, from which LOUIS XIII Cognac originated. Each tierçon is born from French oak trees that take over 100 years to reach maturity. And it was in one of these unique tierçons that the liquid of RARE CASK 42.1 was aged and ultimately discovered by Baptiste Loiseau (fifth-generation Cellar Master of LOUIS XIII). This special moment was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the culmination of Loiseau’s work.
“A year ago, I noticed something subtle and extraordinary about a singular tierçon. It had been almost ten years since discovering the last Rare Cask, and then the gift from nature came. Rare Cask 42.1 has very specific nose and palate sensations that creates a perfect point of balance.” – says Baptiste Loiseau.
The journey to 42.1
Each Cellar Master’s lifelong goal is to uphold the LOUIS XIII legacy, which includes the meticulous tasting of the eaux-de-vie as they mature and the never-ending transmission of savoir-faire. Former Cellar Master Pierrette Trichet discovered RARE CASK 43.8 in 2004. Together, Baptiste Loiseau and Pierrette Trichet uncovered RARE CASK 42.6 in 2009. And now, Baptiste Loiseau has discovered RARE CASK 42.1 for the third time in LOUIS XIII’s history, defying the course of normal time.
“In order to discover Rare Cask 42.1, I listened to my instincts and favoured emotion over science. I called upon my memories. It took me back to my childhood and my roots here in Cognac. No other spirit can transport you back into the past and evoke such strong emotions as a Rare Cask of LOUIS XIII.” – says Baptiste Loiseau.
Experiencing the enigma
As it spent time in the cask, the liquid grew more intense, developing intriguing mahogany tones. The result is an enigmatic and unpredictable aromatic character; a unique expression of LOUIS XIII Cognac never before experienced, with an unexpected 42.1% ABV. Special tastings of this RARE CASK 42.1 have been arranged via crafted experiences across thirteen carefully selected locations globally, including the recently refurbished Vesper Bar at The Dorchester in London. The details of additional events in Paris, Zurich, Dubai, Miami, New York and Kuala Lumpur are yet to be revealed.
Encased in handcrafted crystal
And it’s not only the contents of the bottle which are remarkable. The cognac is contained in a rare black crystal decanter, handcrafted by Baccarat – a splendid example of how art and expertise can coexist. For a brief instant, 20 master craftsmen must work in unison in a race against time to complete more than 50 precise steps before the molten material solidifies into a radiant work of art. Finally, the decanter is completed with a gold and rhodium neck, while the ring is finely engraved in quadrilobe patterns — a reference to France’s iconic fleur de lys. This is the brand’s first edition to be presented as a ritual; the black crystal decanter is accompanied by two Pillet crystal glasses ornate with black quatrefoils and a serving pipette sporting a black medallion.
RARE CASK 42.1 was unveiled in Venice, with the theme ‘Care For Wonders’ and is now available to buy exclusively at the LOUIS XIII Boutique, in Harrods.