Sazerac de Forge & Fils

Cognac 1811 Sazerac de Forge & Fils

Embossed on glass 'Roi de Rome' & 1811', Fine Champagne

Provenance: Cornette de Saint Cyr, 4/1/2012

Cognac 1811 Sazerac de Forge & Fils (7190)

Sazerac was named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac that was its original prime ingredient. Sometimes called the oldest cocktail in America with it's origins dating from pre-civil war. Later the primary ingredient changed from cognac to rye whiskey due to the phylloxera epidemic in Europe that devastated France's wine grape crops. 1811 was regarded at the time as the greatest vintage in living memory, and is now universally held to be the finest vintage of the 19th century throughout the vineyards of Western Europe. In the same year, Napoleon himself visited the region, and was presented with a barrel of cognac as a gift for his young son. Many ascribed the extraordinary weather to the remarkable astronomical event that had dominated the year. The exceptional quality of 1811 cognac was recognised immediately, and the leading producers marked the vintage either with the date on the bottle, or, more unusually, with a picture of the comet forever associated with the vintage. The date "1811" or the star (as the comet symbol soon became) were regarded as signs of infallible quality, and the leading producers were not slow to exploit this. The Russian Empire removes Anton II, Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia, from his office, placing a Russian-appointed bishop at the head of the Georgian church. The Argentine Government declares freedom of expression for the press.

$ 16,699.00

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Some details:

Size 70 cl
Vintage 1811
Alcohol 40.0 %
Bottled 1970
Classification Roi de Rome
Fill level Mid shoulder
Region Fine Champagne
Shape Mallet


Renowned throughout the world, the production of Cognac has been regulated by its very own AOC since 1909. Only liqueurs from eaux-de-vie made from crus from the controlled appellation area of Cognac can be labelled as such. This liqueur must be distilled and aged on-site in compliance with authorised techniques: double distillation in a copper Charentais still, ageing in oak barrels for a set minimum ageing period.

A good Cognac is subjected to a complex manufacturing process. It is never made from the eau-de-vie of a single cru, but from a `marriage' of eaux-de-vie that vary in age and cru - some as old as a hundred. To establish the age of a Cognac, only the number of years spent in oak casks or barrels are taken into account. As soon as an eau-de-vie is decanted into a glass recipient, it ceases to age. The longer it is left to age, the more a Cognac gains in complexity, fragrance, aromas and taste (spiced, pepper and cinnamon flavours).

Please note that only Cognacs made exclusively from Petite and Grande Champagne (50% minimum) can use the "Fine Champagne" appellation.

Sazerac de Forge & Fils

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Sazerac de Forge & Fils

Sazerac de Forge & Fils

Sazerac de Forge & Fils once was a well-known cognac brand. Established in 1782 in Angoulême. Sazerac de Forge was a descendant of Louis II Sazerac des Roches. A prominent Angoulême based family with a documented history dating back to 1317. It was probably Bernard Sazerac (1742-1791) who started the Sazerac de Forge brand, but his family was granted the privilege of exporting eau-de-vie much earlier. 



Louis II was in the first place a potter, and when Bernard started his own business in 1782, it too was pottery. The year before he had bought an old mill in Mouthiers-sur-Boëme that had in turns operated for forging iron, for grain and nut-oil, but Bernard turned it into a paper mill. So he had three different trades going on: pottery, paper, and eau-de-vie.

The Mill

The Mill

The mill was called De Forge, and now Bernard Sazerac des Roches was entitled to change his name into Sazerac de Forge. The buildings still exist and have beautiful - and now very famous - gardens that are open for visiting. Besides being merchants, the family had other professions. Bernard Sazerac de Forge was a lay-judge as was his father, Louis. Bernard’s son has been a major of Angoulême as was Laurent-Paul Sazerac de Forge in the 1860s.

the Sazerac

The Sazerac

Sazerac de Forge exported its cognacs overseas, and the US was an important market. In New Orleans, this cognac gave its name to one of the most famous - and probably one of the first ever - cocktails: the Sazerac. Today it is made with whiskey instead of cognac because around 1875 there was a short of cognacs due to the phylloxera crisis, but the original Sazerac cocktail additive was cognac from Sazerac de Forge & Fils. 




In 1957 Sazerac de Forge & Fils merges with Emile Engrand and in 1970 Engrand Sazerac de Forge is sold to Edgard Leyrat who in turn was bought by Abécassis (ABK6) in 2003. Abécassis decided to continue the production of the Leyrat brand, Engrand, but the output of Sazerac de Forge cognacs stopped around 1970. Sazerac de Forge vintages from 1811 till 1893 is still around, though not very often seen.