Bottle #5: Le Grand Amour

Sometimes I can find a lot about a bottle. And sometimes, almost nothing. This is one of those times.

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Le Grande Amour is, according to the label, a liqueur of Cognac and almonds, produced and made in France by the company Isidore, which is located in Gemozac. The back label proudly declares that the “careful blending of Cognac and almond’s essence, with neutral brandy and other natural flavors, gives you a smooth liqueur that is perfection in taste that only the master blenders of Isidore can achieve.” The label further advises that while it can be enjoyed any time, it is “particularly suited when entertaining that special person in your life.”

Searching for Le Grand Amour liqueur turns up almost nothing online. They did trademark the Le Grand Amour name and label in the US (filing of 1987, granted in 1988) and Canada (filed in 1988 and granted in 1990). But their registration in the US lapsed in 1995 when they failed to turn in the required paperwork. So it’s safe to say we’re looking at a bottle from the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The other label information – Isidore and the location of Gemozac – is a little more useful, because there is indeed an Isidore company there, founded 63 years ago and still around today. But assuming it’s the same company, they’ve kept the name and evolved their business over time, as they now “specialize in the business sector of wholesale trade (intercompany trade) of cereals, unmanufactured tobacco, seeds and animal feed.” A list of their establishments did pull up the promisingly named Domaine De Chermignac Distillery, but I couldn’t find any evidence of it actually existing and the record claiming it was last updated in 2008. (Also, fun with French-to-English translation, Etablissement secondaire should not actually translate to secondary school. Although that would certainly be an education!) Meanwhile, the promisingly named “history” tab on their website was nothing but a list of acquisitions.

As a product, this idea of Cognac with almond flavoring is not unique to Le Grand Amour. Giffard makes one. So does Distillerie du Périgord. And so does – most intriguingly – Vallein-Tercinier at Domaine de Forges. Which is located in… Chermignac. Could this be the missing Domaine de Chermignac Distillery? Did the Tercinier family respond to declining sales in the 1980 not only be finding new markets in Asia, as they say on their history page, but also by working with Isidore to find a new market for their Almond Cognac liqueur? I have no idea, but it’s as good a story as I’ve got!

Want to entertain your grand amour with some Le Grand Amour? You can buy a vintage full-size bottle for just 55€ from a shop in Portugal.

Watch me taste this bottle with Casey Miller.

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Bottle #5: Le Grand Amour

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Sometimes I can find a lot about a bottle. And sometimes, almost nothing. This is one of those times.

Le Grand Amour is, according to the label, a liqueur of Cognac and almonds, produced and made in France by the company Isidore, which is located in Gemozac. The back label proudly declares that the “careful blending of Cognac and almond’s essence, with neutral brandy and other natural flavors, gives you a smooth liqueur that is perfection in taste that only the master blenders of Isidore can achieve.” The label further advises that while it can be enjoyed any time, it is “particularly suited when entertaining that special person in your life.”

Searching for Le Grand Amour liqueur turns up almost nothing online. They did trademark the Le Grand Amour name and label in the US (filing of 1987, granted in 1988) and Canada (filed in 1988 and granted in 1990). But their registration in the US lapsed in 1995 when they failed to turn in the required paperwork. So it’s safe to say we’re looking at a bottle from the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The other label information – Isidore and the location of Gemozac – is a little more useful, because there is indeed an Isidore company there, founded 63 years ago and still around today. But assuming it’s the same company, they’ve kept the name and evolved their business over time, as they now “specialize in the business sector of wholesale trade (intercompany trade) of cereals, unmanufactured tobacco, seeds and animal feed.” A list of their establishments did pull up the promisingly named Domaine De Chermignac Distillery, but I couldn’t find any evidence of it actually existing and the record claiming it was last updated in 2008. (Also, fun with French-to-English translation, Etablissement secondaire should not actually translate to secondary school. Although that would certainly be an education!) Meanwhile, the promisingly named “history” tab on their website was nothing but a list of acquisitions.

As a product, this idea of Cognac with almond flavoring is not unique to Le Grand Amour. Giffard makes one. So does Distillerie du Périgord. And so does – most intriguingly – Vallein-Tercinier at Domaine de Forges. Which is located in… Chermignac. Could this be the missing Domaine de Chermignac Distillery? Did the Tercinier family respond to declining sales in the 1980 not only be finding new markets in Asia, as they say on their history page, but also by working with Isidore to find a new market for their Almond Cognac liqueur? I have no idea, but it’s as good a story as I’ve got!

Want to entertain your grand amour with some Le Grand Amour? You can buy a vintage full-size bottle for just 55€ from a shop in Portugal.

Watch me taste this bottle with Casey Miller.

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