It is rich and stimulating on the nose, with tropical notes of fruits, blossoms, and spices, that hit you all at once and yet, each singularly make their presence felt. And then, as you let each drop penetrate your taste buds, it almost cajoles you into a state of stasis and surrender, with the cosy, woody, and comfortable notes of sandalwood, gingernut biscuits, and buttery toffee lulling your previously heightened senses. It will leave you deeply satiated with hints of blossom, cedar, and vanilla lingering with you long after the last drop. With every sniff, sip, and swirl, you will wonder if what you are tasting, is of this world. Many a guest assembled at the Skye Avenue Kitchen and Lounge, Surrey, on a chilly Friday evening, might have wondered the same, surprised and overwhelmed by the incredible complexity of one of the world’s finest cognacs, Louis XIII.

In a first of its kind event for British Columbia, Surrey’s premier fine dining restaurant, celebrated the crowning of a 3-litre bottle of Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac Grande Champagne on Friday, 16th of February 2024.  Attended by members of the top 1% of society, and led by Chen-Wei Lee, Canadian Private Client Director – LOUIS XIII and Brett Parker, Regional Marketing Manager – BC, RÉMY COINTREAU – Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, the super exclusive event was a celebration of the most precious of eaux-de-vie available.

Made using grapes grown in the premier cru of the Cognac region in Grande Champagne, France, the legendary Louis XIII is an extraordinary cognac, one that is slowly aged in old Limousin tiercons, in which they gradually acquire their unique, multi layered taste, one that lingers like the sweet memory of a rendezvous with someone memorable, long after the last drop has been consumed.

The history of Louis XIII is as fascinating and colourful as its taste. While Remy Martin had been crafting cognac since 1724, the brand Louis XIII was created a full 150 years later, when in 1874, Paul-Emile Remy Martin, decided to rebel against established norms and sell his finest 100% Grande Champagne cognac by the bottle instead of casks. However, the finest cognac in the world could not be sold in any bottle. The king of cognacs deserved a crown, and so it was provided one.  

In the year 1850 Martin had come across this strange but beautiful metal flask, one that transfixed his gaze. The flask of course had historic value, having been originally recovered from the site of the battle of Jarnac almost three centuries ago. But what set it apart was the way spikes on both sides framed the flask, almost reminiscent of a crown. Martin bought the flask and in an act of outstanding foresight, registered the rights for its reproduction. 

Twenty-Four years later, that flask would prove to be the inspiration behind Martin’s own design for Louis XIII’s universally recognized and iconic decanter. Today, each decanter is hand crafted by the top crystal manufacturers like Baccarat, Saint-Louis, and Cristallerie de Sèvres. While each decanter comes with 20-carat gold neck and 10 distinctive spikes on each side, since each bottle is handmade, no two are the same and each is assigned a serial number.

Given the rarity and exclusivity of an event like this, the executive chef at Skye Avenue Kitchen and Lounge, Chef Valerio Pescetelli crafted an exquisite menu especially for the celebration, and specific wines were paired to go with each course. The celebration, which was a grand success, was also a celebration of Skye Avenue, a rather unique fine dining restaurant in Surrey. Boasting of arguably the largest collection of whisky available for public consumption anywhere in the world, the restaurant has already made a name for itself for being favoured by a very niche clientele. Barely three months in operation, it is already quite difficult to find a booking at short notice.