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Grand Marnier Visit From Mr. Raguenaud

It's easy to confuse Grand Marnier with the everyday liqueur - yeah, so it's Cognac, orange, and sugar.  What's the big deal?  Truth be told, making an orange-infused Cognac liqueur is no joke - it's an art form.  It's an art form that isn't really recognized here in the U.S., where we value our single barrel, cask strength, unfiltered whiskies and what not, non-blended, unadulterated, pure and untouched.  Nevertheless, Grand Marnier is a serious brand that shouldn't be overlooked.  It would be easy to dismiss it as another notch in the LVMH belt, a luxury brand for those with extra money to burn, but today Patrick Raguenaud came by the store to break down the products and explain just exactly what it is that makes them so special.  Mr. Raguenaud is the master behind the Grand Marnier products, he's the blender and the creator, so he knows how to explain the magic.  The entire Redwood City staff was transfixed, spellbound by his ability to convey the importance of these elixers.  People who never gave two shits about Grand Marnier were coming up to me, confessing their newfound love for the product and admitting how wonderful it was to finally understand what made them so special.  I've got some video here, for those how doubt my word.

If you feel like going crazy, the Grand Marnier Quintessence is freakin' insane.  With only a few bottles available in California, this is made from Cognac taken from the Lapostelle family's private cellar, dating back to 1906, the Quintessence is then macerated in an "essence" of Citrus Bigardia orange. The blend of flavors is then aged in French oak until the perfect balance has been reached. For those truly looking for the world's great liqueur, it doesn't get much better than this. Luxury for those who appreciate it! 2,000 bottles produced world-wide, individually numbered.

-David Driscoll