Auguste-Denis Lagoute was the first liqueur-maker of Dijon, in the heart of Burgundy. In 1841 he developed the first ever Crème de Cassis, with a smooth texture and powerful aromas. His daughter, Elisabeth, would marry Henri Lejay. Lejay became a rising star in the business and the venture was re-named “Lejay Lagoute.”
The blackcurrant originally came from the colder climates of Scandinavia, Tibet and Siberia. It was introduced in France in the 15th century, at which time it was prized for the quality of its leaves.
For this unique liqueur, blackcurrants are harvested and selected when fully ripe in July. Two varieties are used. Noir De Bourgogne is the variety most emblematic of the region. It is the most powerful and fragrant. This precious, hardy berry has fine acidity. The other variety is called Blackdown. This variety is sweeter, fleshier and rounder.
Each one of the varieties of blackcurrants used is macerated separately in fine alcohol. This process takes between 8 and 10 weeks. Free-run juice from the maceration vats is transferred to the racking vats by gravity flow. Juice from the carefully-pressed fruit is then also added. By this process this “virgin mix”, called the vierge mélange, is obtained without any filtration. It is left to rest a while longer so that the clear juice alone can be extracted. This is then used to make the Crème de Cassis.
After the extraction process, the two varieties of blackcurrants are blended. Granulated sugar is then added as well as an infusion of blackcurrant buds. This unusual ingredient brings a central vegetal note to our liqueur, with the hint of citrus that is so characteristic of this Crème de Cassis.
On the nose, you get intense, fresh tart blackcurrant with succulent cherry and hints of plum. It has a rich, velvety texture on the palate, leading to hints of cherry and plum, then excotic fruit zest and, fruit jam notes and a final wave of creme brulee. Finishes rich and drying, with more blackcurrant and a hint of cherry.