The OccasionLouis XIII may sound familiar if you are familiar with the French monarchy or it’s your favorite rapper’s beverage of choice. Regardless of how you know the name, you know that Louis XIII is synonymous with elegance and luxury.
The highly sought after beverage takes 4 generations of cellar masters (100 years) to fill one decanter. Each drop is a rare and exclusive experience for the taste buds. The grapes found in the abundant vineyards of Cognac ferment for about 1-2 weeks. The alcohol content is kept low ensuring that the richness of the Cognac takes center stage. Good things take time, and Louis XIII is a good thing.
The coveted bottles of cognac made its way to Chicago for an exclusive affair. The cause of the occasion was for a preview of the avant-garde film “100 Years: The Movie You Will Never See” I invited my friend Kamerin to experience this rare opportunity. Fortunately for us, we wouldn’t have to wait 100 years before we experienced the prized Cognac.
The SettingMany of Chicago’s finest descended upon the luxurious rooftop of Celeste for an evening of luxury.
The glowing decanters decorated the venue creating an amber glow against the ivy leaves. The bar resembled a trophy case except instead of trophies, individually numbered Louis XIII decanters shined in all their glory.
No two bottles of Louis XIII decanter’s will ever look the same. Up to 11 craftsmen perfectly sculpt the artfully decorated crystal. The care and attention to the bottle is similar to the care and attention that a couturier would put towards an elaborate gown. The neck of the bottle is adorned in 24-carat gold. Just like any frame can’t hold a Van Gogh, any bottle will not do for Louis XIII.
As we make our way downstairs to Disco, the luxurious world of Louis XIII surrounds the party. Even more decanters light up the dimly lit space. Adorning the lavish venue are costumes from the exclusive film. We were suddenly transported to the world of Louis XIII.
The mysterious film was directed by the king of intrigue Robert Rodriguez and stars Academy Award nominated John Malkovich. The setting of this newly created Louis XIII world, is a post-apocalyptic earth 100 years later. While I would love to tell you more about the film, I’m afraid that in 2016 this is the only information I know. Even the actors and Robert Rodriguez have yet to see the film. However, in 100 years the high-security Fichet-Bauche safe will automatically unlock and a new generation get to see the masterpiece.
After a brief history lesson by Louis XIII Vice President Yves de Launay, the party gathered around for what was rare behind the scenes footage of the secretive film.
The TasteOnce the preview concludes, out walks a parade of servers with crystal glasses adorned with the iconic Louis XIII logo. Just covering the bottom of the glass is a taste of one of the world’s most exclusive Cognac.
Each guest is given a crystal glass and the amber-colored Cognac glistens against the pristine crystal.
We raise the glass to just the tip of our nose to capture the flavors that make up this highly coveted blend. The 1200 century old eau-de-vie brought what seemed like hundreds of aromas to the unique blend. While just a taste, I savored every last drop of the smooth and aromatic cognac. Admittedly, I am not a Cognac connoisseur but I suddenly understood the appeal of Louis XIII. The taste was smooth but it had a slight tingle. Even with the smallest drop, the craftsmanship of the blend became clear.
Kamerin and I begin to enjoy our last drop and at that moment we realized, we had just tasted Louis XIII. Best part; it didn’t take a century to do it.
Cheers to 100 years of an iconic beverage that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting in my lifetime.
*All photos courtesy of Eric Decker Photography