Introducing the King of Cognacs: Now Available in Vancouver at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Grant Sceney | credit: Fairmont Pacific Rim

Grant Sceney | credit: Fairmont Pacific Rim

The following article was written by Tourism Vancouver’s in-house cocktail enthusiast, Sonu Purhar.

With a grand title like “Louis XIII Remy Martin Champagne Cognac”, it’s no wonder this rare variety of brandy is referred to as the King of Cognacs. There are a finite number of venues in the world granted the honour of carrying the magic elixir, each designated a “Louis XIII Fortress” – and recently, the Fairmont Pacific Rim became the first hotel in Canada to achieve the esteemed designation (the only other venue in Vancouver carrying Louis XIII is Hawksworth Restaurant).

Considered one of the most luxurious spirits in the world, Louis XIII is comprised of 1,200 unique eaux-de-vie aged for up to a century in the Grande Champagne region of France (the literal French translation is “water of life”; an eau-de-vie is a type of brandy produced by fermentation and double distillation). Sipping Louis XIII evokes memories of history and passion – it’s a powerful feeling to inhale the aromas of a drink that cellar masters began to craft a hundred years ago, knowing they would never live to taste the fruits of their labours.


And that’s where the magic starts: the heady aroma. The first nose is teasing, floral and delicate – you catch the slightest presence of rich, earthy undertones, but they live under the surface. So you dip your nose deeper into the glass, inhaling mightily, and suddenly your senses begin to sing with notes of honeysuckle, oak, rose and velvet like an ever-rising symphony crescendo. Finally, the first sip – just a drop to coat your tongue, and in that moment one drop is all you need. Fireworks as the honey liquid envelops your tongue and jars your senses, coating your palate with walnut, wood and rich plum.

Each Fortress houses its Louis XIII in a well-protected magnum. At the Fairmont Pacific Rim, that magnum stands regally behind the bar in the Lobby Lounge, guarded by Head Bartender Grant Sceney. Patrons can shell out for a straight-up glass of the godly potion, or try Grant’s new Royal Sazerac cocktail, which features Louis XIII, Peychaud bitters, lemon oil and a salted Absinthe mist. Either option is an indulgence – it’s not a cheap drink – but if you’re game to spoil yourself, settle in for a long session with Louis XIII. He’s good company.

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