What happens when old world mastery meets intuitive innovation? You get the best of time-honored tradition and pioneer spirit in the same bottle. It’s unprecedented. It’s unexpected. And in the fruitful collaboration between Ansley Coale & Hubert Germain-Robin, it has become the new definition of perfection in distilling.
The Robin family had been making some of the world’s finest Cognac for nearly 200 years when they were persuaded to sell their brand to Martell in 1964. When Hubert began to see the family’s craft methodology disappear in favor of larger batches and thicker margins, he knew it was time to take the neglected hand-crafted methodology and begin anew.
This led him to America and, as fate would have it, into the passenger seat of Ansley Coale. Together they would determine how they could evolve ancient craft methodology into a new era of spirit making by respecting certain traditions but by also embracing bold, new world elements - beginning with the fruit.
Traditionally in Cognac, brandy has been made exclusively with the grapes that don’t produce a proper table wine. While great for utilizing all the fruit that’s available, it limits the quality and character of the spirit tremendously. This was a defining decision for Germain-Robin - the tradition they would eliminate. Ansley and Hubert committed to using only central California’s finest fruit in their distillation process. The resulting character, smoothness and flavors in their brandy are unmatched worldwide.
Germain-Robin uses antique pot stills from cognac to strike the perfect balance between rich flavor & subtle delicacy. Like a master chef tasting and adjusting throughout the cooking process, Germain-Robin cuts and monitors distillate by hand so they can make minor adjustments to heat throughout the process. Modern stills are twice the size and are built to operate completely automatically and devoid of interaction.
By utilizing only air-dried oak barrels from Limousin region of France, as opposed to the common steam kiln-cooked variety, they achieve gentler, richer and more profound flavors. Spirits are transferred from new to used barrels, allowing blends to marry and are slowly brought to proof using only filtered rainwater.
The first time they released their Select Barrel XO, it was rated by Robb Report Magazine as the best distilled spirit in the world.
Just below the XO on the list was a $3,000 bottle of Richard Hennessy Cognac.
“Hubert Germain-Robin is making far better brandy than he or his ancestors ever did in France. The depth and richness of the XO are extraordinary.”
- NEW YORK TIMES
“No cognac is as good as Germain-Robin”
– LA TIMES