Thinking A Century Ahead With Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD: Jeffrey and Emily Piak
In a world of fast fashion and fleeting trends, style is eternal. And when it comes to French savoir-faire and sophistication, it is hard to find an emblematic legacy that transcends time as well as Louis XIII Cognac.
First created in 1874, Louis XIII is an exquisite blend of up to 1,200 grapes eau de vie sourced exclusively from Grande Champagne, the first cru of the Cognac region. Under the masterful hand of generations of cellar masters, the cognac’s signature flavour profile is one of nuance and elegance. Over the centuries, this golden ambrosia has become synonymous with refinement the world over, bearing witness to significant events such as the Paris World Fair of 1900 and becoming favoured in European royal courts and the most prestigious hotels.
On top of its sublime taste, the cognac’s timelessness and symbolic expression of unparalleled heritage are exactly what captivates stylish Singaporean couple Jeffrey and Emily Piak.
MEET JEFFREY PIAK
Fashion maverick Jeffrey Piak, was awarded Most Stylish Man at the Tatler Fashion Awards 2018. The managing director of Rico Engineering Works has a discerning eye for beauty, filling his wardrobe with rare fashion pieces and also collecting special-edition fine cars, wines and spirits, including the limited edition Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD. Taken from a single tierçon found in the Cognac family reserve cellar André Hériard Dubreuil, this rare blend is a tribute to the former Cognac house’s chairman.
The self-made entrepreneur notes, “We have collected quite a number of Louis XIII cognacs, including the Black Pearl. I appreciate that there are different special editions featuring different eaux de vie of various rare casks et al.”
To me, Louis XIII is the best cognac in the world, in terms of aroma, taste, heritage—the whole package
MEET EMILY PIAK
Equally stylish with her own brand of elegance, Emily helps out with her husband’s business and is also mother to their three children. She lets in that, normally, her alcohol tolerance is not high, “But even though cognac’s alcohol percentage is much higher than wine, I like to drink Louis XIII because of its complex layers of flavours.”
The couple shares that theirs is a very tight family, with them frequently hosting dinners with the extended relatives at their’s and breaking out the Louis XIII Cognac to enjoy. “From a young age, we’ve introduced our children to wine, and subsequently trained them to drink spirits like Louis XIII Cognac.”
Their children have not only followed in the footsteps of their parents to appreciate great craftsmanship and to have an eye for stylish timelessness, but are also being groomed to take over their father’s business.
(Related: How The New Generation Of Drinkers Is Embracing Cognac)
How did you start appreciating Louis XIII?
Jeffrey Piak (JP) I first got to try Louis XIII when I was in my 20s. I used to work on a project in Brunei, so once when I flew there with some other contractors, we bought a bottle of Louis XIII from the airport. I remember it was about S$1,200, very affordable at that time. We opened it and it tasted so good, nothing like I had tasted before, the aromas were amazing. It was all everybody could talk about for days.
Emily Piak (EP) My first time trying Louis XIII was quite recent, at a Louis XIII event. I’m not usually a cognac drinker as I always think the alcohol content is too high. But when I had that first sip of Louis XIII, I thought it was amazing. The aroma is so pleasant and floral, and the sweetness is subtle.
What is it about LOUIS XIII Cognac that you two love?
JP To me, Louis XIII is the best cognac in the world, in terms of aroma, taste, heritage—the whole package.
EP I like the signature floral aromas, and that it is an after-meal drink; after you’ve had too much food, it makes a great digestif.
Why do you think it is important to pass on the appreciation of Louis XIII to the next generation?
JP Apart from Louis XIII cognac, we also drink a lot of fine wines—vintage Champagnes with finer bubbles especially, whiskies, and even sake. All of these liquors and spirits are different, they have varied tastes. It is important and good to appreciate them all, to understand their storied history and artisanal production, and how their different aromas and flavours combine to make the beverage taste as good as it is. And then there is also another level of appreciating: by pairing it with food.
What legacy and life advice would you like to pass on to your next generation?
JP I founded my company so hopefully with the next generation, it will become a family business. My son is now working for me and I’m planning to have him take over the company and carry on this legacy. As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of hard honest work, so my life advice, which I always remind my son, would be to work hard and be humble; whatever your promise to your customers, you must deliver, to build the trust and relationship with the customer.
The Louis XIII Black Pearl AHD contains a rare blend of cognac drawn from a single tierçon hidden in the family reserve, deep inside the André Hériard Dubreuil cellar. Decades of ageing in this cooler, damper and darker cellar has imbued the dark golden nectar fresh, floral and intense earthy aromas. On the palate, this singular signature tantalises with layered notes of dried roses, honey, myrrh, cigar box, plum, honeysuckle, leather, figs and passion fruit that gradually give way to the scent of wet chalk and woody undergrowth, leaving a lingering smooth elegance in the mouth.
We speak to four other pairs of society couples and find out about their appreciation for Louis XIII Cognac.
Anthony Yong And Siow Yin Yin | Kenneth Tan And Shenise Wong | Elaine Lim-Chan and Chan Kok Weng | Doreen and Elbert Pattijn
- Producer Daphne Chen-Cordeiro
- Photography Gan
- Styling Joey Tan
- Hair Karol Soh using L'Oréal
- Make-Up Jyue Huey /The Make Up Room using M.A.C