Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire – A Rare Sip


Exquisite is the perfect word for Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire, and when I shared this photo of sipping it the social networks erupted.  So I figured I’d share a bit more about the liqueur and my tasting experience.

Sampling 150 year-old Grand Marnier aka Cuvée Spéciale Cent Cinquantenaire. Wow. Like a different drink.

Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire was launched to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the House of Grand Marnier in 1977.  It was created specifically for cognac enthusiasts and was originally marketed as:

“Hard to find, impossible to pronounce, and prohibitively expensive.”

It’s an accurate tagline and I was lucky that my friends chose to open this rare bottle when I was visiting.  I’m not sure I want to get accustomed to it, but I certainly enjoyed the experience to the fullest.

Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire

This outstanding bitter orange cognac has been aged for 150 years, and the complexity shows it’s age. Deep, rich and nuanced, this cognac almost begs for you to stop everything you are doing, sit, sip and contemplate.

The Cent Cinquantenaire has so much more depth and character than regular Grand Marnier it’s almost shocking to compare them.  Which of course we did.  The first thing you notice is the distinct difference in colour.
Grand Marnier vs Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire

The Cinquantenaire is a dark burnt-orange and almost glows when held beside Grand Marnier. If you swirl it, and I dare you to try this without a swirl or two, you’ll notice the the legs are amazing.  A horizontal line was left on my glass that I thought for a moment was a crack.

Then a tentative sniff, followed by a deep intoxicating inhale left me wondering if I just wanted to spend the evening exploring the fragrance rather than drinking.  Yes, I know this sounds a little much… but it’s true.  Of course I didn’t, since sipping it was just as much of an exploration of flavour.

The  website suggests pairing the Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire with desserts such as chocolate sponge cake and tiramisu. Or even hard cheeses such as aged gouda and comté, or parmigiano.  I’d say simply sip it by a roaring fire with the dogs at your feet and let the servants turn down your bed.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Marion Cunningham says:


  2. Bonnie Massey says:

    Reminds me suddenly–of tippling GM in the 70s with your Momma–from those cool little heavy bottomed shot glasses with the bubble—listening to The Ring of The Nibelung! Whether it was your image or the words—it was nice to be taken back there!!!

  3. Alexa Clark says:

    Bonnie Massey we still have those glasses and occasionally sip something lovely like this from them. It’s amazing how the memories flood back isn’t it, I’m so glad I could do that for you!

  4. Bonnie Massey says:

    Hugs Lex–and thank you!!!

  5. Robert P Cotterill says:

    I would love to sample 150 year old GM !! But for we less financially blessed, the regular stuff will have to do … sigh …

  6. grrrr says:

    this was one of the purest hedonistic experiences i’ve had in quite some time
    ok. the Scandinave Spa was close… hmmm… how to combine the two?

  7. AlexaClark says:

    grrrr oh wouldn’t that be lovely?!? But they only let us take in water at Scandinave. For good reason.

  8. AlexaClark says:

    @Robert P Cotterill Of course the problem with sampling the 150 is that the regular stuff pales in comparison, leaving you with the risk of losing the joy of “regular” Grand Marnier.

  9. Rivet Licker says:

    My Mum picked up a bottle of this in ’77 from a famous Sydney restaurateur. We opened it in 2008 on my 20th birthday (note, the drinking age in Australia is 18 and now at 25, I have stopped drinking alcohol all together).
    The cork was destroyed, so we poured the leftovers into another bottle. It was extremely strong, almost unbearable, considering I used to down Absinthe like water and laugh in the face of Vodka. Once it mellowed, it became very orangey. I can’t say I had the palette to actually appreciate it. I didn’t like it, but my Dad really, really enjoyed it. I’m now wondering how it’s faring at the age of 187, not that I’m going to drink it, unless Dad has already got to it!

  10. Anne Hills says:

    AlexaClark I was lucky enough to aquire 2 bottles a few years ago.. unfortunately only one has a tatty box.  I opened one to try … its without doubt one of the nicest drinks ive ever tasted.  I have half of that bottle still in tact and one unopened bottle in tact if anyone would like to make me an offer!!

  11. Anne Hills says:

    Any offers for my unopened bottle?

  12. AlexaClark says:

    @Anne Hills Oh Anne, I didn’t even see your comment until now. I see no one has bitten, but I’ll plunk a note on our facebook page just in case too. Good luck.

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