Cognac enthusiasts are known for paying over the odds for a decent shot of—what is to novices—simply an esteemed French brandy.
Still, at $6,150 (£4,000) per each 50ml shot, even the serious cognac fans will expect something special.
Just in case you’re wondering what it tastes like to drink through 240 years of history, experts suggest that it has a dry and musty, hazelnut flavor with hints of tobacco and a dominant oaky flavor. Right then.
Each shot is poured—carefully—from the oldest known bottle of cognac in the world, which can be found at The Library Bar at The Lanesborough Hotel, Hyde Park Corner.
Distilled in 1770, this single cask cognac dates back to the year:
- the American War of Independence started between the US and the United Kingdom
- a 14-year-old Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI
- Captain James Cook became the first European to discover the east coast of Australia
- Beethoven and William Wordsworth were born
Although the cork in the bottle has been changed over the years to ensure quality and consistency, the 1-litre bottle is characteristic of those from the turn of the eighteenth century. A deep bell in the base gives clues to the heritage of the glass and the tipple was likely to have been poured in here after spending 60 years cask aging in large imperial bottles.
The cognac is believed to be from the Domaine de la Bonneville—a family run vineyard that spanned 350 hectares. The estate enjoyed a reputation for producing some of the finest cognacs in the world and supplied to a range of leading négociants including Hennessey, Saul and Augier.
Undoubtedly there is something hugely romantic about drinking a cognac with such a rich heritage. For those lucky enough to be able to afford a shot all you need next is the perfect accompanying cigar and then to sit back in the Library Bar contemplating history, tradition, change, and a centuries old appreciation of the finer things in life.
The Lanesborough Hotel, Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
020 7259 5599