Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac
Disclaimer: I am a Cognac Rookie.
A generous friend with a very extensive home bar suggested I take a sip of Louis XIII Cognac. I read the little booklet that came with it & admired the red satin lined, gold decorated box. It was the 2000 commemorative edition.
I swirled & sniffed. It smelled very strong. I tasted. It was... not what I expected. Since I'm a cognac rookie I'm sure I'm missing out on all the nuances of flavor, ect. Maybe I need to toughen up my tastebuds and try more cognacs other than RM XO & Hennessy.
Is Louis XIII supposed to be "delicious"? What is the best way to enjoy cognac in general? Cognac afficionados please help. TIA!
Louis XIII is great stuff, terribly overpriced imho, but outstanding quality. Even when you develop your palate for Cognac, the very old stuff like that might not be for you. As brandies age they become drier and woodier after they hit their peak (usually around 20-30 years) and start to decay (that distictive rancio flavor). The mass-market XOs that you mention have a good amount of sugar added to them which makes them much rounder and smoother on the palate and of course, sweeter. They also add caramel coloring which tends to mute the nose.
I suggest trying some drier and less expensive Cognacs to see if you like them. Normandin Mercier, Maison Surrenne, Jean Fillioux, Ragnaud Saborin, and Frapin all make excellent stuff.
The best way to drink it is just as it is! I only have cigars with heavy, rough brandies that can stand up to those strong flavors.