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#330

A CENTURY OF CRAFT: LOUIS XIII

24 Mar 2016 By

When it comes to Cognac, Louis XIII is not just the crème de la crème, but also uniquely different in its approach. The brand recently commissioned a film to be made – starring John Malkovich – but not to be seen for 100 years. Time machine anyone?

Known by many, but experienced by a select few: Louis XIII is a luxury cognac that carries a sense of importance and rarity. Much like that of an endangered species, this white rhino of the cognac world can only be discovered in the most select places: with sightings more frequent in the swankiest of establishments. With influencers such as Elton John, Queen Elizabeth and John Malkovich, it is held in the highest regard by royalty and celebs.

Louis XIII

Malkovich stars in a Louis XIII movie we won’t see in our lifetime.

If you chance upon a sighting, one would typically first recognise its physical stature. The Louis XIII decanter is viewed by many as a standalone piece of art: each requiring 11 craftsmen who first blow the crystal, place by hand the characteristic ornaments and finally decorate the neck with 24-carat gold. Like a piece of jewelry, each decanter is unique. However, appearances are deceptive: the irony is held by the fact this elegant decanter is modeled after a flask found by a peasant on the site of the battle of Jarnac.

The liquid inside is extraordinarily complex: crafted by wine originating from the finest areas of the Cognac region, Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. The final product contains around 1,200 varieties of century-old eau de vie. This means each decanter requires four generations of cellar masters to produce. The bottle and its content exudes rarity. It forces us to take a moment to appreciate time: and time is the focus of Louis XIII’s unexpected cinematic project, which stars, weirdly enough, John Malkovich.

Louis XIII Shuya Chang

Actress Shuya Chang is also in the series of teasers and the film.

What’s most intriguing here is Louis XIII has eschewed today’s yearning for instant gratification. Instead of following PR norms, Louis XIII created a movie, directed by Robert Rodriquez, titled 100 years – The Movie That You Will Never See. Much like the eau de vie being produced today for the enjoyment of future generations, this movie will not be seen for 100 years. It has been locked away in a specially designed safe constructed by Fichet Bauche, only to be premiered on November 18th, 2115. Yup, you read that right, about 100 years from now. Parched was there in Los Angeles to witness John Malkovich putting the movie reel into the safe. And we were there to sampled Louis XIII as well.

The aroma of Louis XIII is arresting: extremely delicate, yet so easily identifiable in the nose. The aroma, much like its decanter, bears similarities with a fine perfume. Like a wearable scent: tasting notes also mirror that of a fine perfume: blackberry, vanilla, walnuts, leather and tobacco. And last comes a whole smooth warmth to the throat. As we enjoyed the cognac, I wondered how the eau de vie being selected today would be received in 100 years’ time. (Or we could use the portal in Malkovich’s head to find out). For me this is the magic of Louis XIII: reflecting and paying respect to time as it goes by ever faster.

For those in search of a LOUIS XIII in Singapore, it is available at most 5 to 6 star hotels and bars such as Cut and Kuvo. It is also available at fine dining restaurants such as Scotts 27, Les Amis, Jaan and Restaurant Andre. For more information visit: www.louisxiii-cognac.com

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