A Tale of Two Marniers

Most readers will probably be more familiar with Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge than Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune.  Though Cordon Jaune is a long-available product in Euruope, it is not available in the U.S.A.  Since most orange-flavored brandy liqueur is made by blending aged brandy (often that from Cognac) with Curaçao liqueur, I suppose that it should be of no surprise that Marnier-Lapostolle made Curaçao liqueur.  I recently took delivery of a bottle of Cordon Jaune.

When comparing Cordon Jaune to Cordon Rouge, one notices the lack of brandy in the Jaune.  It might be like tasting Bénédictine liqueur after only having had B&B liqueur.  In fact, if Cordon Jaune were marketted in the U.S.A., It might be more useful than Cordon Rouge.  Being able to mix Cordon Jaune with whichever Cognac brandy I preferred, and in whichever proportion I wanted, would probably make stocking Cordon Rouge redundant.

Since it is a triple-sec Curaçao liqueur, Cordon Jaune should be compared with other high-quality triple-sec Curaçao liqueurs like Cointreau (original) and Combier.

Compared to Cointreau (original), Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune seems a little less-sweet, but carries a slightly stiffer sensation of alcohol.  Cordon Jaune carries more orange peel in the mid-taste, while Cointreau carries more of it in the after-taste.

Compared to Combier (the first triple-sec Curacao liqueur), Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune seems more skillfully distilled and without any of the questionable heat of Combier.

In my opinion, there is real contention between Cointreau (original) and Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune.  If you like your triple-sec Curaçao liqueur to be mostly free of the sensation of ethanol, slightly to the sweet side, and with plenty of orange peel after-taste, you will probably favor Cointreau.  If you don’t mind a little sensation of alcohol in your triple-sec Curaçao liqueur, prefer orange peel in the mid-taste and don’t mind the fact that it is a little less sweet, you will probably favor Grand Marnier Cordon Jaune.

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