Delamain Cognac 55 Year Tres Venerable
The Delamain name can be traced back to Cognac in 1625 when Nicolas Delamain, a Huguenot from Saintonge, relocated to England to evade religious persecution. He became the protégé of the Duke of Buckingham and was knighted by Charles I in 1639. He received the Delamain coat of arms, an eagle rising atop a gold shield depicting three bloody crosses, which is still represented on every bottle of his family’s Cognac.
Six generations of Delamains remained in Great Britain until James Delamain returned to Jarnac in 1759 at age 21. He began working for a Cognac négociant named Issac Ranson, selling to the Irish market on commission. James eventually married Ranson’s only daughter in 1762, which was enough to become a partner and successor to his business, now called Ranson & Delamain. After James’ death in 1800, the laws of inheritance created a controversy among his seven children as well as his sons-in-law which proved insurmountable, and the firm was liquidated by 1817.
Just seven years later, in 1824, James Delamain’s grandson, Anne-Philippe Delamain, and his two cousins from the Roullet family began a partnership under the name of Roullet & Delamain, marking the firm’s official founding. In 1920, James’ great-grandsons, Jacques and Robert, purchased Roullet’s shares and the firm became Delamain & Co. In the same year, they christened their Pale & Dry XO, defining the inimitable Delamain style. Robert would go on to author the still-definitive work on Cognac, Histoire du Cognac, published in 1935. He also served on the commission which, in 1936, would set the legal boundaries of Cognac and its crus.
Today, Delamain boasts a range of six different Cognacs, all of which are created to deliver the finest, purest, most authentic expression of the Grande Champagne area of Cognac. Like most Cognac négociants, Delamain does not own vineyards or distill wine. Delamain purchases only the best barrels of eau-de-vie which fit with the Delamain style from independent growers who distill the yield of their own Grande Champagne vineyards. Though some supplier relationships are a century old, Delamain doesn’t keep any contracts, so that every barrel can be purchased only after it has been evaluated and unanimously agreed on. Delamain buys only brandies with 15 years of age or more, matured in older, large Limousin casks. Of the roughly 400 samples received each year, about 10% meet Delamain’s uncompromising standards for purchase.