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In 1903, a 20-year-old Norwegian Lieutenant from Holmestrand, Norway, Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen, left the army and traveled to the city of Cognac in order to acquire some practical working experience designed to prepare him to one day take over his father’s fine wine & spirit store. In 1905, along with Peter Rustad, they founded their own cognac house under the name Rustad & Bache-Gabrielsen, and the rest as they say is history.
It was over a century later in 2009 that Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen, a fourth-generation family member of the renowned cognac house, officially became the CEO following his father Christian of what is now simply Bache-Gabrielsen. Raised in Cognac and a graduate of Bordeaux Business School, Hervé worked with several international corporations, such as BNP Paribas, Pernod Ricard Sweden and Seguin Moreau Cooperage, prior to joining the family business. This extensive education in gave him insight and driving passion for what is now a company with a fire in its belly to make a mark, and that is exactly what they are doing. Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen ushered in a new era of expansion for the brand outside of its well-established Scandinavian market. In 2012, they opened an office in Hong Kong to further develop its Asian market activities and in 2016, it launched its Natur & Eleganse line to the American market.
Their latest concept is one of brilliance and one that will pave the way for a new generation of Cognac enthusiasts. The first of its kind, Bache-Gabrielsen’s ‘American Oak’ is aged in authentic new American Tennessee oak barrels. Master blender Jean-Philippe Bergier worked alongside the firm’s cooperage to select the “best oak” for this variant which is first aged in French oak barrels before finishing for at least six months in the Tennessee oak. Sourced primarily from product grown in the Fins Bois region, it is carefully and lovingly nurtured into a new expression of Cognac. An innovative and quite frankly spectacular compliment to the ancestral methods utilized within the process of developing eau de vie, this cutting-edge approach is one that will certainly turn up the nose of Cognac puritans. With that said, it will also most certainly lull them into submission as the distinct character of vanilla, cocoa and a perfect inflection of nuttiness imbued from the French oak dances on their palate with the delicate tropical notes of coconut and pineapple delivered by the American oak.
This is quite simply one of the most interesting Cognac’s to enter the American market in some time. The ultimate combination of French savoir-faire with an American twist.