Review: 4 Delamain Cognacs – Pale & Dry, Vesper, Tres Venerable, and Extra

Review: 4 Delamain Cognacs – Pale & Dry, Vesper, Tres Venerable, and Extra

The four Cognacs reviewed below represent $1,150 worth of booze (in 750ml bottle formats)… and compared to the latest entry in Delamain’s collection, that’s pretty much nothing.

Delamain’s latest — Le Voyage — costs $7,000 a bottle, which includes a Baccarat decanter and leather “traveling box.” I haven’t tried Le Voyage (that’s on tap, I’m promised, in September, when Delamain brings a bottle to town in that leather box), but the company was kind enough to send minis of its four most widely available spirits (all are 80 proof) in advance of the grand arrival. Here are some thoughts.

Delamain “Pale & Dry” XO Cognac – It’s rare that a brandy maker’s cheapest bottling is an XO, which is the top grade of brandy for most mainstream manufacturers. (“Extra Old” typically entails a minimum of 6 1/2 years in cask and often climbs well into the double digits.) Delamain doesn’t indicate a cask time for its XO, and it’s the lightest in color of the four tasted here. Vanilla is strong in this one, with a lot of alcoholic heat. The floral notes present are overpowered by the vanilla, ultimately, leaving you with an intriguing spirit that is reminiscent of good bourbon. Very good. B+ / $149

Delamain Vesper Cognac – No relation to the Vesper cocktail, Vesper is older than the XO and different in style. Vanilla is still strong here, but the spirit is heavier, with a caramel apple character that’s really enticing. Oaky and hefty in the mouth, this is a very smooth brandy that goes down so easily it’s silly. A- / $199 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Delamain Tres Venerable Cognac de Grande Champagne – How venerable? Tres venerable. This “extremely old” Cognac tastes, quite frankly, too old, picking up perhaps a charcoal-like character from all that time in the cask. Very woody and a tad bitter, it’s not my favorite of the line. B / $399 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Delamain Extra de Grande Champagne Cognac – Woody, but with a curious secondary set of characters of apples, butter… maybe mushrooms and escargot. Call me crazy. Great blending job on this… the perfumy notes stays with you for minutes… you can smell hints of the Extra long after you swallow your last drop. Really impressive. Comes in a fancy, squat decanter. A / $399

Here’s what the minis look like… though you won’t see them available for sale, sadly.

Delamain Extra de Grande Champagne Cognac




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Jeff Ostermiller on March 9, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I have a very old bottle of Delamain Cognac Pale & Dry it is inherited and maybe 20-30?? years old. How would I find out how old it is and its value?
    I appreciate any help I could get
    Thank You

  2. Phillip Saruk on August 25, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I used to sell Delamain Cognac Pale Dry XO when I worked for Morand Brothers Beverage Company in the Early 70’s. I think it may have been imported by Julius Wile back then. I sold it to the most exclusive Private Clubs, Restaurants and Hotels in Downtown Chicago. It is an Excellent Cognac but is very hard to find even in some of the bigger Cities. I live in Killen, Alabama and finding a bottle is like finding the winning numbers to the Tennessee Lottery. Unfortunately all Liquor sales are State Controlled and you can only purchase what the State allows. Love to get a Bottle maybe when I get to New York or Philly.

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