Can Grand Marnier do cherry successfully? A review of their new cognac.

Grand Marnier Natural Cherry BottleThe iconic liqueur Grand Marnier has determined to follow their successful holiday release of last season, Quintessence, with another limited release liqueur that is just now hitting the shelves of fine bars and retailers. While Quintessence was aimed squarely at the luxury market, their latest creation Grand Marnier Cherry is in reach of the brand’s core following. I also suspect that this delicious and intriguing addition to the portfolio is ideally crafted to attract the savvy bartender.

Supplies of this limited edition expression of the soon to be famous Grand Marnier Cherry will run through the holiday season. Their latest creation starts with the classic Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge as its base. Griottes cherries (deep, dark red sour cherries) are sourced from Europe’s finest growers. These cherries are carefully macerated in neutral spirits for nearly one month resulting in a rich and decadent cherry essence. This cherry-infused spirit is then blended with the Cognac-based orange liqueur. The results are really quite stunning.

The cherry flavors clearly shine through in the brilliant red color, the beautiful aromatics and the lushly textured palate. The vibrant cherry notes are supported by the rich orange core while both fruits are given greater dimension by the persistent presence of the aged Cognac.

This is a wonderful spirit needing nothing but a glass to thoroughly enjoy. However, we can’t stop thinking of the endless cocktail possibilities from the simple yet sophisticated version of the Kir Royale made with Grand Marnier Cherry to the nearly devious variation of the classic Sidecar. The possibilities are endless.

Tasting Notes:

Brilliant and translucent garnet red color. The nose is simply amazing with ripe, brandied cherries joining the classic Grand Marnier aromas with accents of blood orange, tangerine peel, and subtle hints of cardamon, allspice, and vanilla. On the palate the lush cherry notes take great prominence utilizing the complex orange notes in an integral supporting role. Ideally balanced with the decadent sweet fruit notes being foiled by brown baking spice, orange zest, and toasted oak accents. A beautiful addition to the GM family. $41.99

For more of Sean Ludford’s pithy prose, check out his website, Bevx.com.

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