Pierre Ferrand’s High Proof Cognac – Original Formula 1840
Most Cognacs are 80 proof or 40% alcohol. Occasionally, a Cognac House will produce a higher proof Cognac. Higher proof Cognacs are generally more suited for mixing in cocktails than sipping. For example a few years back, Hennessy introduced Hennessy Black 86 proof (43%) specifically as a cocktail mixing Cognac. Louis Royer pushes it up a notch with “Force 53” a VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac that is 106 proof (53%)!
Pierre Ferrand’s Original Formula 1840 weighs in at 90 proof (45%). Original Formula, however is not a johnny come lately but is a Grand Champagne Cognac based on an original “three star” designated Cognac produced (the equivalent to today’s V.S. designation) back in 1840. The original bottle of Pinet Castillion Cognac on which Original Formula is based was blended and distilled for use as a mixer in cocktails.
About Cognac Ferrand
The Ferrand estate is located in the heart of the Grande Champagne growing cru, the most sought after appellation in Cognac. Pierre Ferrand’s 27 hectares are among the finest in Grand Champagne. Pierre Ferrand produces only Grand Champagne Cognacs or cognacs crafted exclusively from grapes grown in the chalky soils of the Grand Champagne Appellation d’origine contrôlée designation. The Logis d’Angeac is the Cognac Ferrand distillery which is located at the center of the family’s vineyards in Grande Champagne.
The Cognac Ferrand offices and blending hall are located at the Chateau de Bonbonnet in Ars in the Cognac region of France. The Chateau de Bonbonnet was formerly owned by the Martell Family and is now also where Cognac Ferrand’s Master Blender A. Gabriel resides.
Pierre Ferrand is producer of a wide-range of Champagne Cognacs, including, Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Esprit des Dieux, Pierre Ferrand Cognac Selection Des Anges and Pierre Ferrand Abel Cognac.
The Pierre Ferrand Original Formula 1840 Review
We tasted Pierre Ferrand Formula 1840 Cognac neat in a cognac snifter. We also put Formula 1840 to use in a Sidecar and as a mixer with ice and ginger ale. Here is our review.
Pierre Ferrand recommends Original Formula as a mixer in Cognac Julep cocktails and in a Jackson’s Punch inspired by Jerry Thomas. Click here for the recipes.
Here are our notes.
Pierre Ferrand Original Formula 1840 Cognac is priced higher than any of the big four (Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Martell & Courvoisier) Cognac Houses’ V.S. offerings but lower than any of their V.S.O.P. offerings.
Alcohol: 45% (90 proof)
Pierre Ferrand Ambre is a blend of eaux-de-vie made from Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes from the Grande Champagne appellation. The eaux-de-vie is aged at least three years in French Limosin oak barrels. While Pierre Ferrand Ambre could be designated an V.S. Cognac, it is marketed as three stars – Original Formula 1840 1er Cru de Cognac.
Pierre Ferrand Ambre is packaged in a clear top down tapered Cognaçaise style bottle bottle (see above and below) At the neck is a gold vertical band with three stars that reads “1840 Formula 45%”. On the front there is an embossed glass circle in which the Cognac Pierre Ferrand logo label site and reads “Cognac Pierre Ferrand” “Cognac Grand Champagne” “Appellation Cognac Grand Champagne contrôlée”. In the center of the bottle raised painted gold letters read “Cognac Grand Champagne” “1er Cru De Cognac” “Appellation Cognac Grand Champagne contrôlée”. Towards the bottom of the bottle there is a label in an embossed square that reads “Original Formula 1840 ***” “Product of France” “45% Alc by Vol”. On the back of the bottle are the embossed initials “PF” and a label with a note from A. Gabriel titled “Use for Cocktails”
Dark straw with copper hues.
The Nose (Nez)
Honey, caramel, citrus and cedar.
Mouth (En Bouche)
Bright vanilla, lemon tea with black pepper spice.
Sharp and extra long citrus spice.
Pierre Ferrand Original Formula 1840 is a challenging and rewarding Cognac as it puts the taster on unfamiliar ground with the higher proof. Original Formula is also rare in that it is a young Grand Champagne Cognac. Most Cognac Houses save their Grand Champagne eaux-de-vie for their V.S.O.P. and X.O. offering. Original Formula 1940 provides a window into a younger Grand Champagne cognac than one is normally accustomed.
This is a must try Cognac as the style is unlike other Cognacs. It is unexpectedly complex when sipped straight and really does excel as a mixer in a Side Car and Ginger and Cognac.
Finalist -“Excellent, Highly Recommended” – 94 points, Ultimate Spirit Challenge 2012
Château de Bonbonnet
24 Chemin des Près
✆ +33 1 30 83 22 44
website: Pierre Ferrand Cognac