Full disclosure: I’ve always had a soft spot for Martell cognacs — its Cordon Bleu expression was my regular favourite when i was younger and could afford it (and when it was in the market). Recently relaunched in Canada, Martell is back. Its VSOP “Medallion” sports an engaging, complex aroma suggesting spicy, polished wood, fragrant dried fruit and toasted nuts (apricot and almond) with a dash of powdered baking spice and vanilla. Round, supple and nicely balanced, it offers up layers of spicy orange peel, vanilla custard and cocoa. Lots of sweet fruit, but dry and crisp on the finish. The perfect foil to a cold Canadian winter.