Good storage conditions for a select liquid

Cognac from Bache-Gabrielsen is not stored in just any old oak casks. They have to be French Limousin oak – only the best is good enough.

This oak is quite simply a spice rack for the cognac, while coopering as a profession is probably as old as Christianity. The cellar where the casks are stored is also crucial to the development of the cognac, which will mature faster in a damp cellar than a dry one.

Between 1 and 3% alcohol evaporates from cognac in the cask, producing a heavenly aroma – also known as the angels’ share (la Part des Anges). Typically enough, Bache-Gabrielsen claims that: ”Nowhere in the world are there as many angels as over Cognac!”. In terms of volume the evaporation is equivalent to millions of bottles a year – so maybe it really is true that we will get our reward in heaven…?

The alcohol vapour attracts a special fungus, Torula compniacensis Richon, which grows on the walls and ceiling where cognac is stored. The fungus forms a very visible, black deposit reminiscent of soot as a sign to cognac connoisseurs that precious drops are being kept there….

When old cognac has reached the desired stage of development, the cellar master will transfer it to large glass bottles called bonbonnes, which he then moves into the innermost, locked area of his cellar, otherwise known as Paradise.