White cognac is an exotic alcohol that remains transparent even after aging in oak barrels (some producers have a pale yellow or white tint). At the same time, the drink has a completely different drinking culture, which runs counter to the traditional cognac, and is more reminiscent of vodka.
History of origin
The production of white cognac was established in 2008 by the cognac house Godet (Godet), but it is believed that the drink first appeared in France in the XNUMXth century. According to one version, it was invented for the cardinal, who wanted to hide his addiction to alcohol from others. White cognac was brought to the cardinal in a decanter, and at dinner the honorary gentleman pretended to drink ordinary water.
According to another version, the technology was developed by a French cognac master, but he did not have time to launch a wide production, because he became a victim of competitors who feared that the new alcohol would force their products out of the market.
After Godet presented its product, two industry giants, Hennessy and Remy Martin, became interested in white cognac. But it turned out that there were not so many fans of the novelty, so a few years later Hennessy Pure White was discontinued, and Remy Martin V is released in limited quantities. Several other brands have their own representatives in this segment, but it cannot be said that they significantly affect sales. The clear cognac market is dominated by Godet Antarctica Icy White.
Technology for the production of white cognac
White cognac goes through all stages of the production of ordinary cognac. In France, the drink is made from white grape varieties Folle Blanch (Folle Blanc) and Ugni Blanc (Ugni Blanc), for classic cognacs, a third variety is acceptable – Colombard (Colombard).
After fermentation and double distillation, alcohol for white cognac is poured into old, used several times, barrels and aged from 6 months to 7 years (Remy Martin dispenses with barrels by aging in copper vats). The resulting cognac is filtered and bottled.
The secret of the transparency of white cognac lies in a small exposure in previously used barrels and the absence of a dye in the composition. Even the classic cognac production technology allows the use of caramel for tinting, because without color, cognac aged for less than 10 years often turns out to be of a non-marketable pale yellow color. Cold filtration enhances the transparency effect.
How to drink white cognac
The organoleptic properties of white cognac depend on the manufacturer, but in most cases the drink has a floral and fruity aroma, and the taste is softer than usual – a little exposure affects. The aftertaste is dominated by grape tones with a slight bitterness. If traditional cognac is a digestif (alcohol after the main meal), then white is an aperitif (alcohol before meals for appetite).
Unlike usual, white cognac is served at a temperature of 4-8 ° C, that is, it is strongly cooled. Some manufacturers generally advise leaving the bottle in the freezer for several hours before tasting. Pour the drink into glasses, glasses for whiskey and cognac. This is just the case when ice and even a few mint leaves can be added to cognac. To dilute and reduce the strength, tonic and soda are best suited.
In most cases, white cognac is drunk like vodka – a very chilled volley from small glasses. As an appetizer, the French prefer cold cuts of smoked meat and boiled pork, hard cheeses, sausage and pâté sandwiches.
Another white variation is used in cognac cocktails, because it does not spoil the appearance and there are no oak notes of aging.
Famous brands of white cognac
Godet Antarctica Icy White, 40%
The most recognizable representative of white cognacs, it was this cognac house that revived the forgotten production. The drink was recreated by Jean-Jacques Godet after an expedition to the coast of Antarctica, so the bottle is made in the shape of an iceberg. Cognac is aged in barrels for only 6 months. Godet Antarctica Icy White has a gin aroma with floral nuances. On the palate, notes of spices stand out, and the aftertaste is remembered with vanilla and honey tones.
Remy Martin V 40%
It is considered the benchmark for the quality of white cognacs, but it is not aged in barrels at all – spirits mature in copper tubs, then they are cold filtered, so the drink cannot formally be considered cognac and is officially labeled as Eau de vie (fruit brandy). Remy Martin V has an aroma of pear, melon and grapes, fruit notes and mint can be traced in the taste.
Tavria Jatone White 40%
Budget white cognac of post-Soviet production. The aroma captures notes of barberry, duchesse, gooseberry and menthol, the taste is grape-flower. Interestingly, the manufacturer recommends diluting your cognac with citrus juices and pairing it with a cigar.
Chateau Namus White, 40%
Seven-year-old Armenian cognac, focused on the premium segment. The aroma is floral and honey, the taste is fruity and spicy with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste.