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Cognac Ferrand launches gin for oak aging

Cognac Ferrand has introduced Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010. This is the third year that the Cognac house has produced a Citadelle Gin Reserve but this is first with a combination of botanicals specially selected for oak aging – using violet and iris for flower aromatics and grains of paradise for spice.

The idea of aging a gin came from Cognac Ferrand owner Alexandre Gabriel's research into the origins of gin. Gin used to be stored and transported in wood, not glass or stainless steel as today. In 1775, two men by the names of Carpeau and Stival founded a French genievre distillery in Dunkirk in an old citadel and most of the distillery’s genievre production was being smuggled in small oak barrels at night – under the approval of Louis XV1 – from France to England.

While the 2008 and 2009 vintages of Citadelle Gin Reserve were created from Gabriel's signature Citadelle Gin – distilled in a pot still and infused with 19 botanicals – for the 2010 vintage aged gin, Gabriel and cellar master Frederic Gilbert engineered the perfect 'aging' gin.

"Six generations of expertise at Cognac Ferrand in aging spirits helped us know exactly which aromatics would work best in oak casks," says Gilbert. "By testing the aging properties of different botanicals, we were able to construct the perfect Citadelle suited for oak cask aging."
The gin was aged for 6 months in used 12-year old oak casks with a light char.
“Aging in oak gives more roundness to our gin and we felt that using older casks would impart a level of elegance and finesse that we were looking for. When I tasted our 2010 vintage, the results were beyond my expectations! This is truly a gin of another era,” adds Gabriel.

Tasting Notes from cellar master Frederic Gilbert
“Vintage 2010 is a beautiful pale gold color and is in the same vein as our Vintage 2009. It shows subtle and delicate floral notes revealed by the addition of violet and iris and spicy notes from the grains of paradise. It also shows flavours of flowers, cinnamon with a hint of wood and is extremely delicate through the finish.  It retains the aromatic palette and the crisp vividness of Citadelle Gin that is enriched with a soft fullness. The fresh and spicy aroma of juniper, citrus and star anise are still very present in the scent as well as the taste. It shows a unique depth and finish that only cask aging can provide and gives Citadelle Gin Reserve 2010 a beautiful ‘fondu’ – meaning a balance and good integration of all the botanicals used for Citadelle.”

About Citadelle Gins
Citadelle Gin is available in the United States, Europe (France, U.K., Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands and Eastern Europe), Asia (Japan, Malaysia, Thailand) and Canada. It is the only gin distilled in small cognac pot stills over a naked flame (not steam distillation). The suggested retail price is US$25 for a 750ml bottle.  Citadelle Gin Reserve Vintage 2010 is aged six months in oak casks with a light char and retails for US$40 for a 750ml bottle. Citadelle Gin and Citadelle Gin Reserve are imported to the US by W.J. Deutsch & Sons.  For more information, visit

Citadelle Gin Reserve cocktails


G&T with mint
1 shot Citadelle Gin Reserve
2 shots tonic
4-5 mint leaves
 In a large rocks glass, pour Citadelle Gin Reserve over
ice, add tonic and mint leaves (tear to release more aroma) and stir.


Aramis Martini
2 shots Citadelle Gin Reserve
Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac
Orange Zest
Wash the glass with Strega; this accentuates the herbaceous nature of the gin. Stir gin over ice and double strain into martini glass. Atomize mist with the Cognac. Garnish with twist of orange zest.

1 January 2011 - Felicity Murray