Aqua Ignis A.I. is the first and unique spirit in the world aged in steam-toasted barrels
Maison Larsen shared Aqua Ignis A.I. with spiritshunters.com its most recent creation, resulting from not only from a four-year long R&D work, but from water (aqua) and fire (ignis).
Building on its experience in the Cognac world since nearly a hundred years and faithful to his pioneer spirit, Maison Larsen wishes to offer to the brown spirits amateurs an oenological extraordinary blend. Reflecting this strong commitment, four years of research and development were needed to create and patent the Aqua Ignis A.I. process of this unique blend.
Aqua Ignis is very appreciated by cognac lovers, but also by whiskey aficionados.
This fire and water union, a real challenge, allows the oak wood to free its most complex aromas while keeping out undesired smoky notes, tannins and acidity. Larsen Aqua Ignis A.I. is certainly not like any other cognac.
Interview: Jérôme Durand
“The unprecedented use of this steam-fire process makes Larsen Aqua Ignis a cognac like no other and one that stands outside of the typical cognac categories“.
Jérôme Durand – General Manager at La Maison Larsen
Spirits Hunters: Is this the first time that the two-times ageing process and the triple steam fire process have been used?
Jérôme Durand: Larsen Aqua Ignis is the first cognac in the world aged in steam-toasted barrels. The unprecedented use of this steam-fire process makes Larsen Aqua Ignis a cognac like no other and one that stands outside of the typical cognac categories.
These eaux-de-vie go through a two-step ageing process. First, they are aged in traditional oak barrels. Once extracted, they are blended and taken into “Aqua Ignis III” barrels where they will continue their ageing at an alcohol degree of 50%. This second ageing step is the most special. “Aqua Ignis III” barrels are a small batch of fine-grain French oak barrels with a capacity of 225 liters that have been exposed to triple brasero steam-toasting. Each barrel is plunged into hot water then toasted over hot fire, three times. This technique releases the most complex and finest aromas from the wood while keeping out undesired smoky notes, tannins and acidity. The result is delightful, with intense aromas of vanilla, toasted bread, mocha and brioche and a long and silky soft finish.
The steam-fire process used to create Aqua Ignis is unprecedented and legally protected. It makes Larsen Aqua Ignis a cognac like no other, outside of the typical cognac categories. It is also what gives it its name: “water” (aqua) and “fire” (ignis) in Latin, or the combination of water and fire, pushed to their limits.
Spirits Hunters: How did you come to invent this process and why has it never been done?
Jérôme Durand: For a Boutique Cognac house like Larsen, innovation is key. For Larsen Aqua Ignis, It is all about “Artisanal Intelligence A.I” = know-how, creative impulse, craftsmanship, audacity.
As a Cognac producer, our reason why is to propose to cognac lovers but also brown spirit drinkers something never experienced before. The performance of Aqua Ignis A.I comes from the fact that we started from physical analyses (interactions between water and fire with the wood) to carry out many tests over many years.
Even though the operating results were uncertain, we felt we are heading in a really interesting direction. Our cellar Master, David Croizet actually did a remarkable job. And finally the result exceeded our expectations. Larsen Aqua Ignis A.I was named Cognac Innovator of the year 2021 in the USA.
Spirits Hunters: How does this process make this Cognac better taste wise?
Jérôme Durand: Larsen Aqua Ignis has a vibrant amber color. This blend reveals intense aromas of vanilla, toasted bread, mocha, brioche, ripe fruits and oven-baked apple, as well as a silky soft finish. 42.3% to be the ultimate point of aromatic expression.
AQUA IGNIS + MIXOLOGY : Three Questions To Stephen Martin
Voted best mixologist in France in 2009, globetrotter and pioneer of the coquetel revival, Stephen Martin answers three questions to reveal the role of AQUA IGNIS in mixology, and, how will whiskey and bourbon lovers enjoy it.
Spirits Hunters: How do you enjoy Aqua Ignis A.I. in a cocktail ? On the rocks or straight up ?
Stephen Martin: The joy for a professional bartender and a private customer is the mixability of Aqua Ignis; the spirit is perfect for a great sipping cognac, enjoying the reveal of the flavors by taking the time, and also a very good spirit for a cognac cocktail and more!
Spirits Hunters: What great classic cocktail would you enjoy with Aqua Ignis A.I.?
Stephen Martin: I could easily go for a regular Old Fashioned, could play revisiting all the great Cognac classic cocktails ; from the Sazerac to a Mint Julep, sitting in Paris at the Harry’s Bar for a Sidecar, but i had enjoyed stirring and drinking myself a Boulevardier! A great Cognac for a great Cocktail!
Spirits Hunters: Which experience do you think Bourbon and Whiskey enthusiasts will find with Aqua Ignis A.I.?
The Whiskey and Bourbon people will be very surprised and well pleased by tasting Aqua Ignis! The aromas, the Toffee notes, the sharpness of the wood, everything in the Aqua Ignis is a pleasure, a bridge between these two States, Kentucky and Cognac, a bridge between these two countries ; the United States and France! Enjoy Aqua Ignis everyone and Santé!
Aqua Ignis A.I. cocktails: the Old Fashioned Carre
Aqua Ignis A.I., it makes for a superb Old Fashioned. In fact, as cocktails were popularly made with cognac in the 19th century, we wager that the first Old Fashioned cocktails were made with cognac.
2 ounces Larsen Aqua Ignis
2 or 3 dashes of bitters
4 large ice cubes
Just a little bit of sugar
Orange peel for garnish
For Maison Larsen Press Inquiries Contact: Maegann Raoult | Maegann.firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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