Quintessence is based on exceptionally old cognacs (between 25 and 70 years-old) sourced exclusively from the Grande Champagne region, many of them from the Marnier family's own Paradise (personal cellar) in Bourg Charente Castle.
Like all other Grand Marnier liqueurs, Quintessence is flavoured with a distillate of bitter oranges (Citrus Bigaradia variety). However, instead of being macerated in neutral alcohol and distilled once to produce the 'simple parfum' used to flavour other Grand Marnier liqueurs, for Quintessence what the house describes as a 'double parfum' is used. This is made by macerating orange skins in the 'simple parfum' distillate (rather than in neutral alcohol) and then redistilling to produce the double parfum. This double maceration and double distillation results in a finer more delicate distillate with richer orange favours.
Finally, the cognacs, double parfum of orange and sugar are blended together to create a harmonious flavour. The blend is then married by ageing in small French oak casks for 12 months to further enhance its complexity of flavour.
Inspired by the shape of copper pot stills, the unique crystal carafe is handmade by Baccarat and this 2022 bottle repalces the original Quintessence bottle which resembled the original 1880 Grand Marnier bottle.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 10/05/2022
Clear, copper amber with bright golden highlights.
Complex, flamed orange zest, floral nose with almond, vanilla, Indian spice and sandalwood.
Complex and harmonious. Citrus flavours vye between kumquat, orange crème brûlée and bitter orange zest while balanced sweetness comes in the form of caramel, honey, marzipan, vanilla and white chocolate. Fortifying spirity cognac notes form the third tightly integrated element with black pepper, almond, prunes and dry spicy oak.
The lingering finish is a continuation of the palate but with more marzipan and tropical fruit emerging.