St-Rémy, the world’s leading French brandy producer, is on a mission to recruit a new generation of brandy drinkers. In order to breathe some new life into a centuries old category, they’ve released some exciting new products meant to inspire the 21st century cocktail connoisseur.
St-Rémy Signature is the new creation of St-Rémy Master Blender Cécile Roudaut. Roudaut joined Rémy Cointreau in July 1997, working in the Research & Development department. That was where her close relationship with St-Rémy began, culminating in June 2016 with her appointment as Master Blender, following the retirement of Martine Pain. The Signature release is her first original release as Master Blender for St-Rémy, and it aims at capturing a different set of drinkers entirely.
“St-Rémy Signature is my first original creation. While respecting French brandy-making traditions, I have added a maturation stage in small virgin oak barrels, which really sets it apart. The result is a smooth brandy with elegant notes of vanilla, a hint of toasted French oak and a velvety texture,” said Roudaut.
Using virgin oak as a first stage of maturation is actually quite a departure from traditional brandy making. Because of this process, the result is a brandy that has a much more rounded, and smooth finish with some smokey elements. It is bright and amber in colour with sweet aromas of vanilla, coconut and almond greeting you on the nose. Those smokey, woody notes are enriched with honey, nut and butter flavours, which is to say this is a brandy unlike any other.
Pairing this unique maturation process is the design. it’s presented in a minimalist, elegant bottle, that definitely sets it apart from the other St-Rémy offerings and looks more akin to a whisky, or rum, bottle.
Because this brandy stands apart from the traditional offerings, it also unlocks a number reimagined and classic brandy cocktails. The team at St-Rémy have already been playing around and created a number of interesting twists, like their French Alexander and French Metropolitan (see below).
Now, an innovation like this does come at a premium. St-Rémy Signature is nearly twice as expensive at the VSOP, and more expensive than the X.O., but that being said, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes with this bottle and it still comes well under the cost of a good bottle of whisky, and on par with a decent bottle of rum.
For those that are curious, the price point shouldn’t shy you away from a bottle that has managed to bring some originality to the category, while respecting its roots.