Maison Ferrand: A Tale of Three Spirits

Upon arriving at the headquarters of Maison Ferrand, one is greeted by a lovely 18th century chateau set against the bucolic scenery of Cognac. The fields, vineyards, and country lanes, all give a distinctly old world feel. This staid environment, which is imbued with centuries of history, conveys an inescapable air of stodginess. But, as it turns out, looks can be deceiving. While Maison Ferrand certainly pays due respect to the great traditions and history of the property (as is evidenced by countless paintings and references to the founder throughout), the current team, led by Alexandre Gabriel, have made great strides in infusing this historic estate with a new vitality. After being warmly greeted by Gabriel, and regaled with stories of visiting bartenders swimming in the estate’s fountains, we immediately knew any first impressions we had would have to be abandoned. Stodgy? Not at all!

The property itself is simply amazing. We spent an entire day at Maison Ferrand and at every turn we were left in awe. Where else can you find such huge stocks of ancient Cognac in demijohn bottles, cellars packed barrels of Caribbean, South and Central American rum, as well reserves of barrel-aged Gin? But the spirits are only part of the story, as the staff at Maison Ferrand is among the best in the industry. Their respect for the past and innovative approach that is guiding them forward to the future are revealed in ways that are almost palpable. It is clear this enthusiasm starts with Alexandre Gabriel and spread through to the rest of the staff.

 Ferrand’s gin brand, Citadelle, is produced using the very same stills that are used for their Cognac. Laws prohibit Cognac from being distilled after March, to the gin production is an elegant solution to maximize the use of the stills. Their standard bottling is elegant and bright, yet remarkable complex. While the barrel aged are absolutely fantastic. Employing a variety of barrel types and vats, they offer an impressive variety and range.

The rums from Ferrand, bottled under the brand Plantation, are equally as astonishing. Distilled at their source, the rum is later transferred to Ferrand to undergo aging in barrel. These rums, from Cuba to Peru, are all quietly matured, undergoing a magical transformation until they are ready for their final blending. The resulting spirit is nothing short of astonishing.

 Maison Ferrand truly is an industry leader and it was a delight to see first hand the process behind the making for these three inspired spirit brands. We raise a glass to Alexandre Gabriel and his talented and committed team.

- Shaun Green

Spirits Journal