Pale & Dry gets its name from its natural color—much lighter than most eau-de-vie its age—and its natural level of sweetness. Unlike many in the region, Delamain never uses caramel or sugar to modify the taste or color of the brandy. Delamain strives for the purest expression of Grande Champagne Cognac.
Delamain does not grow grapes, but purchases young eaux-de-vie from trusted grower/distillers who offer their finest spirits for evaluation after each harvest. The selected spirits are aged separately in 350-liter oak barrels called roux rather than new oak, which would lend too much tannin. After 20 to 25 years of aging, the Cognac is blended, then allowed to age 2 years further to marry the flavors and textures of its components. Lastly, prior to bottling, Delamain will use older lower-proof cognac to bring down the alcohol content to consumption level, rather than adding distilled water which would compromise the rich flavor.
Pale & Dry is bright amber in color, with hints of gold. On the palate it has floral and spice aromas giving way to woody herbs, raisins and other dried fruits, vanilla and a hint of licorice.
The highest-quality Cognac is usually enjoyed after dinner as a contemplative drink. It should be served at cool room temperature or slightly chilled and allowed to warm in the glass, slowly releasing waves of aroma. Pour about 1 inch of Cognac into a thin tulip-shaped glass. Pause to smell the aromas, then take small sips to appreciate the Cognac’s smooth texture, its expressive layers of flavor and its lengthy finish. Cognac connoisseurs enjoy its aromas long after the glass is empty.