During The Chinese New Year, Martell Unveils An Ultra-Rare Cognac Called 'Lapin'
This year's Assembly du Lapin follows the success of last year's Assembly du Tigre and is just as impressive and well-produced as the previous one.
As part of its Chinese New Year promotions, Maison Martell has announced the release of a new limited edition decanter and liquid that both pay tribute to the Year of the Rabbit, the Chinese calendar.
During the last decade, whiskey and cognac have seen tremendous growth in popularity across Asia, resulting in a swathe of limited edition bottlings being released during the Lunar New Year. But few put the amount of effort and care into their limited editions like Martell does.
There are many great Cognac houses out there, but Martell is by far the oldest, having been around for over three centuries, so in an effort to take advantage of the incredible selection of eaux-de-vie in its cellars, the company launched a dedicated Zodiac Edition collection in 2022.
The crystal decanter contains the house's most valuable blend and is just as spectacular as last year's Assemblage du Tigre.
In honor of the house's founder, this eau-de-vie is a blend of more than 1,400 eaux-de-vie from the cellar of the house's oldest and most rare eaux-de-vies, which can be found in its Jean Martell Cellar.
However, in the Year of the Rabbit, Christophe Valtaud has taken the classic blend of L'Or de Jean Martell 1715 and given it a unique twist. While maintaining the signature aromatic profile of this blend, Valtaud also added rare vintage eaux-de-vies, which had been distilled in previous Years of the Rabbit.
Despite sounding like nothing more than a symbolic act, the additional liquids added extra sweetness to the blend and enhanced the duration of the finish. In any case, it is not just an act of symbolism.
The decanter has also been crafted by a prestigious French crystal manufacturer Daum and is fashioned with the same kind of care as the blend. The design does a good job of emphasizing the color of the liquid by appearing to sit in midair while it is being poured.
Once again paying homage to the year in which it was created, the stopper is naturally shaped in the form of a rabbit, hence the gold-painted crystal stopper adorned with gold leaf.
The appearance of this piece is one of a deep mahogany, defying the age and depth that we associate with it.
It begins with a sweet honey scent and is soon followed by aromas of sweet caramelized nuts. As the bottle ages, the scents of black pepper and leather become more prominent and hints of leather become more evident. This is a real journey that continues to dance between the light and vibrant, and the deep and mature.
It has a citrus scent, with candied grapefruits to begin with, before more complex sweet notes take over. Mascherano cherries are followed by cacao nibs as the cask influence becomes more apparent.
The finish is long and spicy, with a dominant woody note.
Verdict: 8/10 – Probably one of the most complex spirits one could hope to sniff. Although the depth of the liquid does not seem to translate on the palate, where its age is much more apparent, the liquid still offers the whole gamut of cognac flavors, from the delightful fruity notes all the way to the darker woody spices that linger on the palate.
A limited number of L'Or de Jean Martell 1715 - Assemblage du Lapin watches will be available from January at a suggested retail price of €9,000 (approximately $9,700).