De Luze XO Tres Vielle Reserve Cognac

Cognac was the the first type of barrel aged fine spirit that I really liked, and it is what got me interested in all the wonderful alcoholic beverages in the world. It is still one of the types that I enjoy the most and also pour up a glass of the most often. It’s probably tied in the top with whisky and bourbon.

One of my latest acquisitions for my drink cabinet is this De Luze XO Tes Vielle Reserve, so I thought I should write a couple of sentences about it. For those who don’t know, cognac is almost always a blend to speak whisky terms. That means that you take different cognacs from different years and blend it together for the perfect taste. This particular cognac is an XO, which means that all the different spirits that it’s made of have been aged for at least 6 years in oak barrels. According to the maker though, most of the components supposedly have been aged for around 20 years and the oldest ingredient is from 1980.

I do like this cognac quite a bit, it’s not the best, but it is really good, especially for the money (I paid around 35€ for a 50 cl bottle). The taste is sweet, but not to sweet, it has a bit of spiciness and a hint of dried fruit. The one thing that I don’t like that much is that it has a very prominent taste of oak, it’s not to bad, but a bit to much for my taste.

As said, a good cognac that I would buy again.

My favorite beginner fountain pen

This is the Kaweco Sport and it may be my number one tip for anyone who wants to buy their first cheap fountain pen. It is cheap, it has a great 30's design, it writes well and it comes in a bunch of different colors so there should be one that matches your style. If you like it you can even get a couple of pens in different colors to match your different outfits.

Sure, it's not a super classy pen, but for a first fountain pen I would say it's perfect because of the reasons mentioned above. Another great thing about the pen is that it's made of durable plastic and has a secure cap so you just can throw it in your bag without thinking to much about it.

My Kaweco Sport on the pictures has a nib in the size fine which is perfect for taking notes in small notebooks or if you generally write small. I would however say that for most people a medium sized nib would probably be better as it writes more like most "normal" pens. A broader nib also shows of your ink of choice way better so if you like showing of all your cool ink that is also a better choice.

But now to the "bad" part. As the pen is so small it is made for using cartridges of ink and not ink from bottles. The boring thing about that is that cartridges really limits what ink you can use. You can buy what is called a converter to the pen, which lets you use ink from bottles, but the converter is so small so you will need to refill the pen quite often. But for a first pen I would recommend cartridges anyway as they are easier to use. Even if I really would like to recommend bottled ink just because of the pretty bottles you can put on your desk.

Las but not least, the pen also comes in a very cool looking retro tin box.

One of my favorite cigars

The Diplomaticos No.2 is one of my absolute favorite cigars and one of the few I would buy a whole box of. First of all, as a disclaimer, I'm a big fan of cuban cigars overall and I rarely smoke anything else. They may have some quality control issues sometimes but there is something special about them that I like, both flavour wise and "feeling" wise. 

The Diplomaticos No.2 isn't a cheap cigar, but for what you get it gives you amazing value for your money. At least I think so and I pay around 13€ a piece when I buy singles. I would highly recommend anyone to try this cigar as it's well balanced taste should be nice for both experts and beginners alike. 

It is as said a very well balanced cigar. It has a nice body, some earthy notes and just the right amount of spiciness according to me. Also it has a hint of sweet milk chocolate to really round of the taste. I recommend you to try it, but remember that it is quite a big cigar so you need to have the time to sit down for at least 1,5 hours.

A whisky I never want to be without

One thing that I like is to have a "standard" bottle of every type of spirit that I like to enjoy. That is, one certain brand and type that I always want to have at home no matter what. With that said, I don't mean a base spirit that everyone needs in their liquor cabinet, but a really nice spirit I don't want to be without.

For whisky that is Aberlour A'Bunad so I thought I should write a couple of words about it. But first, what is needed to become one of my "standards"?

1. It needs to be easily available.

That means that all limited editions are immediately disqualified, and for me it also needs to be sold at most Systembolaget stores near where I live.

2. It can't be to expensive.

A standard that you always want a bottle of at home needs to be affordable. You should never need to think twice about pouring up a big glass for yourself or to a friend. For me that means a bottle may not cost more than 100€ and preferably it should be around 50-60€ at most. 

3. It must have great taste and value

Essentially it needs to be the best tasting spirit in it's price range. Also a 100€ bottle really needs to be 100% better than a 50€ bottle, otherwise the 50€ bottle comes out on top. Of course this is very subjective.

Sherry all the way

As far as whisky goes I'm very much a sherry cask guy, so if I only could have one whisky at home it would absolutely be a "sherry bomb". That is of course exactly what Aberlour A'Bundah is! I do like other types of whisky as well but as said, if I only get one it will be something aged on sherry casks.

The A'bundah costs about 65€ here in Sweden and I would say that's a steal! This is not only a great whisky for its price, it's just an amazing whisky overall and one of my absolute favorites no matter the price. 

The taste

This is a strong, powerful spirit which usually is a round 60% ABV (120 proof), it may vary a bit depending which batch your bottle is from as it is bottled straight from the cask. The same goes for the taste but it's close enough to write a couple of words about it and one thing is for sure, it's always amazing! A short description is that this whisky is a real taste explosion with sweet fruity notes of apricot and orange zest. It is spicy and a bit rough, but in a good way. I would not water it down because it makes it a bit smoother and you loose much of the that wonderful rough taste.

The conclusion is that I can't recommend this whisky enough if you like stronger whiskys with a lot of taste..