Rémy Martin’s 1738 Accord Royal cognac is an elegant and relatively affordably priced blend of young and old eaux-de-vie that works as a sipper or in cocktails.
Classification: VSOP cognac
Company: Rémy Cointreau
Distillery: Rémy Martin, Touzac, Cognac, France
Cask type: toasted French oak
Still type: copper pot (alembic charentais)
Released: 1997; ongoing
Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Aged: 4-20 years
Awards won: Double Gold, 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- While technically a VSOP cognac (meaning the youngest eaux-de-vie in the blend are four years old), much of it is aged considerably longer, up to 20 years, giving it more of the characteristics of an XO (an XO’s youngest eaux-de-vie are required to be at least 10 years old).
- It shares much of the flavor profile of an XO, yet it’s priced like a VSOP, making it quite the bargain.
- Because it has hallmarks of both VSOP and XO in its flavor profile, it may not appeal to cognac fans who want one or the other but not both in the same glass.
Color: Deep reddish amber, which could reflect both the age of the blend (up to 20 years) and/or the fact that caramel coloring has been used, which is a fairly common practice in the world of cognac.
Nose: Quite dry with a slight herbaceousness, underscored by concentrated dark fruit and oak.
Palate: Fruity, with pronounced notes of dried fig and apricot, along with hints of vanilla and brown sugar—a little reminiscent of a fruitcake but one you’d actually want to eat.
Finish: The dry, slightly woody finish makes a nice counterpart to the sweetness up front, and it lingers for several minutes after the last sip.
Rémy Martin is named after the winegrower who started selling cognac under his own name in 1724. It was illegal to plant new vines in France at the time, but King Louis XV is said to have loved Rémy Martin’s cognac so much that he granted permission—an accord royal— to do so. The rest, of course, is history, as Rémy Martin became one of the world’s biggest and most popular producers of cognac. The 1738 Accord Royal expression was launched in honor of that royal decree.
A blend of grapes from the Grande-Champagne and Petite Champagne regions of Cognac, 1738 Accord Royal is a liquid testimonial to one of the turning points in Rémy Martin’s history. It’s also intended to occupy a place in between the VSOP and XO categories. The age range of the blend of eaux-de-vie is between four and 20 years, which makes for an interesting combo. It’s a fruity cognac, but whereas a typical VSOP is often bright and vibrant, the 1738 features darker, more subdued and more concentrated fruitiness. On the other hand, the oakiness that can so often mar an XO cognac with harsh and somewhat astringent spice is lighter here, with the wood imparting a gentle tingle rather than a kick.
This is a highly sippable cognac that requires nothing more than a glass for maximum enjoyment. But it’s both flavorful and affordable enough to use in cocktails such as a Sazerac, Sidecar or Old Fashioned.
- Rémy Martin chose not to give Accord Royal an age designation owing to the range of ages of the eaux-de-vie.
- Rémy Martin was the first major cognac house to appoint a female master blender when Pierrette Trichet took the reins in 2003.
The bottom line: This is a nifty “Goldilocks” cognac for fans who enjoy both VSOP and XO expressions and don’t want to have to decide between them, priced affordably considering what’s in the blend.