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Thursday, July 18, 2024

A Knight, Adultery, Double Murder, and Devil’s Boiling – The Birth of Cognac

The creation of Cognac, a globally cherished spirit, is steeped in a tale involving a French knight, a devilish encounter, and a crime of passion.

According to legend, the Chevalier de la Croix Maron, also known as the Lord of Segonzac and Knight of the Maron Cross, returned from war only to find his wife with another man. In a fit of rage, he committed a double murder. Haunted by nightmares where the devil boiled him twice to extract his soul, the knight believed these visions were punishment for his sins.

Seeking to escape his tormented dreams, he turned to brandewijn, a Dutch spirit. But not even this could alleviate his nightly sufferings. One night, staring into his glass, a revelation struck him: perhaps, like his soul, the brandewijn needed a second ‘roasting’. Following this epiphany, he instructed his servants to distill the liquor again, resulting in a revolutionary, smoother, and sweeter drink: cognac.

While the actual evolution of cognac is thought to involve the French refining the art of double distillation, the tale of the Lord of Segonzac adds a mythical layer to its history, captivating the imagination of many over the centuries.

In a tribute to this extraordinary story, Mark Littler Ltd has unveiled a rare 29-year-old Grande Champagne Cognac, available in a limited edition of 247 bottles, each priced at £150. Acclaimed critic Angus MacRaild of Whisky Fun lauded the cognac as “excellent and very enjoyable!”, highlighting its “distinctly chocolatey” nature and a “rustic and autumnal” profile.

Grande Champagne, at the core of the Cognac region, is celebrated for its chalky soil, conducive to growing grapes for top-tier cognac production. This region is behind some of the world’s most exclusive cognacs, including Remy Martin Louis XIII. The 29-year-old Grande Champagne Cognac by Mark Littler Ltd, reflecting this esteemed tradition, is now available for enthusiasts.

For details about this exceptional cognac or to secure a bottle, click here.


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