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Looking to buy a bottle of brandy? Read our expert review of this cognac variety from A.E. Dor
A brand built on one man’s obsession with cognac, A.E. Dor has one of the most extraordinary stories in the brandy business. This bottle embodies what the house is all about, with a flavour profile that showcases what people love about cognac. It's delicate, smooth, and full of fresh fruit flavours – orange and chocolate dominate without overwhelming.
A.E. Dor cognac house is a firm founded on one man’s obsession with cognac.
Amédée-Edouard Dor was the eldest son of a well-off family from Cognac. In 1858, he started amassing the country’s greatest collection of eaux-de-vies. Dor didn’t want a collection built on sheer scale, but instead wanted the greatest of the great. Only the finest brandies were given a place in the secret family cellar, known as ‘Paradise’.
At the time the collection went against the grain because reputation afforded no privileges – it wasn’t just the great houses that Dor was interested in. This thorough approach led to Dor collecting eaux-de-vies produced by distilleries now long gone, wiped from the map by takeovers or swallowed up by the sands of time.
The Paradise collection is one of the world’s mightiest assemblages of brandies distilled before the Great French Wine Blight. In the mid-19th-century, the French wine industry was decimated by the grape phylloxera, an aphid that wiped out vineyards up and down the country and destroyed 40 per cent of grape vines and vineyards.
Once Dor assembled his cognacs, he matured them in oak barrels until they reached the point of optimum maturity; thereafter, the liquid was decanted into glass demijohns, which were in turn sealed with wax, perfectly preserving them for generations. Many of these are still untouched in the Paradise cellar.
Today, blending is handled by Pierre Antoine Rivière, who took over from his father nearly 20 years ago.
As the years went on, the house was given a special dispensation by the government to sell their spirits as cognac; a law passed in 1946 determined that to be sold as cognac, a spirit must be at least 40% ABV.
However, due to the natural evaporation of alcohol during the ageing process, the ancient eaux-de-vie that make up the A.E. Dor collection are often bottled at just below 40% ABV.
The A.E. Dor VSOP fine champagne is a testament to what people love about cognac. The brandy is elegant, gentle, fruity and floral, with generous helpings of dark fruits and chocolate.
Jasmine and orange abound on the nose and follow into the palate, greeted by crushed cocoa and raisins. The finish is lingering and gently spiced, with cinnamon mellowed by vanilla.
This review was last updated in December 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.