Thinking A Century Ahead With Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD: Doreen and Elbert Pattijn
The embodiment of ancestral savoir-faire, each decanter of Louis XIII Cognac is the result of decades and centuries of foresight, the lifetime achievement of generations of cellar masters. Since its origins in 1874, each generation of cellar master has set aside the finest eau de vie as a legacy to his or her successors, who will continue to blend Louis XIII for the next century.
When current cellar master Baptiste Loiseau discovered a single tierçon of eau de vie hidden deep in the family reserves of the André Hériard Dubreuil (AHD) cellar—which is cooler, darker and damper than the other cellars—and decided that the precious liquid is exceptional enough to be bottled on its own as a special edition cognac, one can expect the Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD to be the ultimate expression of the mastery of terroir, craft and time.
Given its finite volume, the Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD is presented in a totally unprecedented 35 cl crystal decanter, with only 1498 bespoke Baccarat decanters of Cognac available worldwide. For avid Louis XIII cognac collectors Doreen and Elbert Pattijn, this was a limited edition decanter they absolutely had to get their hands on.
MEET DOREEN PATTIJN
Previously a banker from Dutch ING bank, the currently retired Doreen Pattijn recounts the couple’s fortuitous luck to secure a decanter of the previous edition from the Black Pearl Collection, “We started out procuring the Time collection but somehow missed the first Black Pearl edition before it got sold out here. Thankfully, when we were holidaying in France, we were near Cognac, so we went to the estate and managed to snag a decanter.”
She muses of the visit to the estate, “It’s beautiful and I think you really, further appreciate the cognac after learning about the heritage and the amount of meticulous thinking that has been put into the production of the liquid.”
They have a slightly different value of time in Europe, perhaps given its storied and long heritage; but many things are built to last or built to age over decades or centuries, like Louis XIII Cognac.
MEET ELBERT PATTIJN
Her husband Elbert Pattijn, and most recently the Chief Risk Officer at DBS Bank, concurs and lets in that he is more appreciative of Louis XIII “especially after learning about the way the family has been able to put cognac aside to let it age, rather than releasing after harvest; that takes long term vision”. The same astute vision that the couple have employed in the roles in the financial sector and which have allowed them to now both be retired.
On top of the couple’s 1,200 wine bottle collection, Elbert admits that “I cannot remember how many decanters [of Louis XIII] we’ve collected; we still have some decanters stashed away that are not even opened and still in their original packaging”. And asking them to choose a favourite edition is akin to asking them to pick a favourite child. “That’s very tough because every Louis XIII experience is quite special,” notes Doreen.
(Related: How Baptiste Loiseau Is A Master Of Time)
How did you start appreciating Louis XIII?
Doreen Pattijn (DP) Through a friend; she invited us for dinner and it was then that we had the chance to savour Louis XIII. We are more wine lovers and cognac was not something we would typically tend towards, but after that experience, we realised that it was a good addition to the entire meal: start off with champagne and appetisers; then white, red and dessert wine; Louis XIII comes in at the end to bring it all together as a end-of-dinner digestif.
Elbert Pattijn (EP) When we first tasted the Louis XIII, it was quite smooth and soft and it tickled our palates reasonably as opposed to other hard liquors.
What is it about Louis XIII Cognac that you two love?
EP The softness and elegant warmth. Other hard liquors can taste quite harsh, and this is absent from the Louis XIII. So we enjoyed it and thought we should try it more often.
DP It’s smooth and complex; it is a good drink to bring out to end the night.
Why do you think it is important to pass on the appreciation of Louis XIII to the next generation?
DP In this day and age, everything is about being fast and efficient and I think this sort of know-how, this sort of appreciation for things that nature and take time to bring its essence out, is good value to keep. Good things come to those who wait.
EP They have a slightly different value of time in Europe, perhaps given its storied and long heritage; but many things are built to last or built to age over decades or centuries, like Louis XIII Cognac.
What legacy and life advice would you like to pass on to the next generation?
DP Don’t give up too easily. Have a passion and give yourself time to nurture it, try to do it well and do it good. Be patient and don’t rush through things
EP I think that’s also the reason why we’re both retired, we have to find a balance; life is not just about working hard, we have to find time for other things like hobbies and spending moments with family and friends. Sometimes in the rush of things you can lose that sense of perspective, so find the balance between working hard and playing well.
(Related: 4 Of The Rarest Spirits You'll Want In Your Collection)
For the first time ever, Louis XIII presents an exquisite and totally unprecedented 35 cl crystal decanter. Part of the Black Pearl collection and named after former chairman André Hériard Dubreuil (AHD), Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD contains a rare blend of cognac drawn from a single tierçon hidden deep inside the family reserves of the AHD cellar. Given its finite volume, only a limited edition of 1498 bespoke Baccarat decanters of the Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD are available.
(Related: Happy Hour With… Louis XIII’s Ludovic Du Plessis)
We speak to four other pairs of society couples as they share their appreciation for Louis XIII Cognac.
Jeffrey and Emily Piak | Elaine Lim-Chan and Chan Kok Weng | Anthony Yong And Siow Yin Yin | Kenneth Tan And Shenise Wong
- Producer Daphne Chen-Cordeiro
- Photography Gan
- Styling Joey Tan
- Hair Zhou Aiyi/Makeup Entourage using Revlon Professional
- Make-Up Dollei Seah/Makeup Entourage using YSL Beauté