Cognac Ferrand Announces The Launch of Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac

Share Article

A revival Cognac made in the style of the Nineteenth Century, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula recaptures the spirit of the quintessential cocktail days of the 1800s. This eminently mixable Cognac was created by Ferrand president Alexandre Gabriel, cellar master Christian Guerin and cocktail historian David Wondrich to celebrate the era of the classic, three-star Cognac.

Pierre Ferrand, Cognac

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac

“We at Pierre Ferrand have always been very proud of the extraordinary success our Cognacs have enjoyed with the world’s most accomplished bartenders," says Alexandre Gabriel. "1840 Original Formula is our way of giving something back.”

To recapture the spirit of the quintessential cocktail days in the 1800s, Cognac Ferrand is proud to present Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula®, a revival of the classic three-star Cognac. This eminently mixable Cognac, created by Cognac Ferrand president Alexandre Gabriel with help from cocktail historian David Wondrich, launches in New Orleans, LA first this July. In honor of the fact that New Orleans is a town famous for its Cognac cocktails, from the days of the old Sazerac saloon and even before, and to celebrate the Big Easy’s preeminent cocktail event, Tales of the Cocktail® where it will have its “official” first US pour, Mr. Gabriel decided to launch it here first.

Beginning in July, more than 35 restaurants and bars in New Orleans will feature cocktails made with 1840 Original Formula, including the famed Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone, the home of Tales of the Cocktail. Attendees of the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail can taste 1840 Original Formula at: The 5 Million Case Man seminar (Wed, July 20, 10am; Alexandre Gabriel is a panelist) and at the Pierre Ferrand Tasting Room (Fri, July 22, 10:30am–12pm) featuring the Chanticleer cocktail.

Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula is bottled at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof) and is best served in cocktails or sipped thoughtfully – it is much stronger than the rest of the Pierre Ferrand range, which is bottled at 80 proof. 1840 Original Formula will launch nationwide on August 1 and will have a suggested price of $45.00 for a 750ml bottle.  

"We are extremely honored that Pierre Ferrand chose New Orleans, and Tales of the Cocktail, to launch their 1840 Original Formula Cognac,” says Paul G. Tuennerman, Cofounder & Chief Business Officer, Tales of the Cocktail. “The recreation of this Spirit is a true testament to their commitment to the craft and this category."

Nowadays, we think of Cognac primarily as something to sip by the fireside after a nice dinner. Yet back in the nineteenth century, when the art of the cocktail as we know it first came together, both the barkeepers who created it and their eager customers would have all agreed that nothing made for a better mixed drink than good Cognac. The works of masters of the art such as Jerry Thomas, who wrote the first bartender’s guide, the great technician Harry Johnson, Leo Engel, who brought American bartending to England, and the wildly-inventive William “The Only William” Schmidt abound in formulae for Cognac-based Cocktails, Sours, Punches, Daisies and a dozen others. Even the mighty Mint Julep, a drink now made almost exclusively with bourbon whiskey, was then primarily a Cognac drink.

These gents were not using the oldest, rarest Cognacs for their drinks. The preferred style was known as “three star,” young enough to be lively (and, of course, affordable) and yet darker and richer in flavor, and higher in proof, than the VS Cognacs that represent its modern equivalent. Over the years, this style fell by the wayside along with Cognac cocktails in general. Now, with the renaissance in traditional, craft mixology, its absence is keenly felt.

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula is not the product of mere guesswork. It was developed by Alexandre Gabriel, the company’s proprietor, and Christian Guerin, its cellar-master, with a little help from the American spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich, after extensive tasting and evaluation of surviving examples of three-star Cognac going back to the early nineteenth century. The final blend is closely modeled on an impossibly rare and impossibly well-preserved bottle of Pinet-Castillon Cognac from the year 1840, a generation and more before the phylloxera louse devastated the vineyards of Cognac.

TASTING NOTES: Like that venerable Cognac, it is fresh and floral, yet with enough darker, tannic notes to keep it from disappearing when mixed into a Cocktail, Punch or Julep. The fact that it is, at 45% alcohol, more concentrated than a standard VS Cognac (almost always bottled at 40%) makes it particularly well adapted to the spirit-forward style of cocktail and mixed drink that was in favor before Prohibition.

“We at Pierre Ferrand have always been very proud of the extraordinary success our Cognacs have enjoyed with the world’s most accomplished bartenders," says Alexandre Gabriel. "1840 Original Formula is our way of giving something back.”  

The Chanticleer Cocktail
(Source: New York Sunday Mercury via New Orleans Daily Picayune, 1843; adapted by David Wondrich)

Put 1 barspoon/5 ml superfine or caster sugar in a small tumbler.
Add 1 barspoon/5 ml water and stir to dissolve sugar.
Add 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters or The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
Add 1 dash absinthe
Add 2 ounces/60 ml Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula

Fill glass with cracked ice and stir. Twist lemon peel over the top and serve.

Like all Pierre Ferrand Cognacs, 1840 Original Formula is produced in the most authentic ways of making Cognac – by using only the finest grapes from the “Golden Triangle” of the Grande Champagne region, the most sought after terroir in Cognac, which gives the spirit greater elegance, structure and an unparalleled mouthfeel. Ferrand distills “on the lees” leaving skins, stems and some fleshy fruit which contributes both body and bouquet. Ferrand double distills in tiny copper pot stills which adds texture while reducing harshness. And then Ferrand very carefully ages its spirit in Limousin oak allowing the lush grape character to remain without tasting like oak.

Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac is the Cognac of choice for bartenders because of its high quality and affordable price. At retail, a 750ml bottle of Ambre is approximately $45.00 making it a reasonably priced choice for at home bar chefs who want to serve their guests a special cocktail or an excellent sipping Cognac. Pierre Ferrand also offers older Cognacs, for sipping or cocktailing, like Reserve ($65) and Selection des Anges ($145). Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac is available at fine retailers nationwide and is imported to the United States by W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Manuela Savona
Savona Communications
(917) 969-1275
Email >
Visit website