Since its introduction in 1880, Grand Marnier has been an icon for French spirits and has been residing happily as a top-shelf liqueur ever since. A blend of true Cognacs and the distilled essence of bitter orange, the possibilities with Grand Marnier are endless.
Today, Grand Marnier has just announced the upcoming release of Grand Marnier Quintessence, their first new expression of Grand Marnier since the release of Cent-Cinquantenaire to mark their 150th anniversary in 1977 and Mutineer Magazine is here to breakdown this new libation. As said, Grand Marnier is a blend of Cognacs and the distilled essence of bitter orange, so let’s start with the Cognac.
The Cognacs used to create Quintessence are sourced from Grand Champagne, the most prestigious cru zone in the Cognac region. The age of these cognacs is from 25 to 100 years and have been carefully selected from the Grand Marnier Paradise. Specifically selecting our 1906 Grande Champagne and the 1955 Grande Champagne for the blend. Paradise is a special cellar where all our extra old cognacs are stored. In order to preserve absolute quality from the vintage, the cognac is actually taken out of the barrel after reaching maturity and put in large glass containers and then transferred to the Paradise Cellar. The oldest of our Paradise cognacs is 1875.
More than 20 lots of different Cognacs are included in the final product. Next, comes the orange perfume of Quintessence.
Grand Marnier has used the same bitter oranges selected for all of the brand’s marques. However, to produce Quintessence, a unique, exacting and time-honored Marnier recipe, called “double parfum,” has been implemented. This perfume is very delicate, subtle, fresh and richer than the traditional perfume. To create the “double parfum,” orange peels are macerated with the perfume of the first distillation. This is followed by a second distillation to further refine the flavor and produce the final result: an amazingly tantalizing and delicious flavor.
And lastly, Grand Marnier Quintessence goes to barrels to rest.
Finally, the Cognacs, “double parfum” of orange and sugar are blended together to create the perfect balance and elicit the most beguiling flavor. This is followed by the “marriage time” as the blend ages in small French oak casks. At the end of this marrying period (12 months), the cognac and the perfume are judged to have reached the perfect harmony.
Quintessence is a limited expression that will be on shelves in September selling for $799.99 a bottle.