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Sazerac de Forge & Fils once was a well-known cognac brand. Established in 1782 in Angoulême. Sazerac de Forge was a descendant of Louis II Sazerac des Roches. A prominent Angoulême based family with a documented history dating back to 1317. It was probably Bernard Sazerac (1742-1791) who started the Sazerac de Forge brand, but his family was granted the privilege for exporting eaux-de-vie much earlier. Louis II was in the first place a potter, and when Bernard started his own business in 1782, it too was pottery. The year before he had bought an old mill in Mouthiers-sur-Boëme that had in turns operated for forging iron, for grain and nut-oil, but Bernard turned it into a paper mill. So he had three different trades going on: pottery, paper, and eau-de-vie.
The mill was called De Forge, and now Bernard Sazerac des Roches was entitled to change his name into Sazerac de Forge. The buildings still exist and have beautiful - and now very famous - gardens that are open for visiting. Besides being merchants, the family had other professions. Bernard Sazerac de Forge was a lay-judge as was his father, Louis. Bernard’s son has been a major of Angoulême as was Laurent-Paul Sazerac de Forge in the 1860s.
Sazerac de Forge exported its cognacs overseas, and the US was an important market. In New Orleans, this cognac gave its name to one of the most famous - and probably one of the first ever - cocktails: the Sazerac. Today it is made with whiskey instead of cognac because around 1875 there was a short of cognacs due to the phylloxera crisis, but the original Sazerac cocktail additive was cognac from Sazerac de Forge & Fils. In 1957 Sazerac de Forge & Fils merges with Emile Engrand and in 1970 Engrand Sazerac de Forge is sold to Edgard Leyrat who in turn was bought by Abécassis (ABK6) in 2003. Abécassis decided to continue the production of the Leyrat brand, Engrand, but the output of Sazerac de Forge cognacs stopped around 1970. Sazerac de Forge vintages from 1811 till 1893 is still around, though not very often seen.
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