Review: Courvoisier Rose Cognac Liqueur

Review: Courvoisier Rose Cognac Liqueur

A rose wine: Sure. But how does one make a rose brandy? By blending cognac with red wine, that’s how.

Courvoisier calls this a “Cognac Innovation,” and that’s an understatement. Adding wine to cognac — something I didn’t previously think was possible but which, in retrospect, makes plenty of sense on its merits — creates an entirely new category of drink. Rather than an 80-proof sipper, Courvoisier is a 36-proof spirit on par with (or even less alcoholic than) any fortified wine. Result: Something that’s closer to Lillet than it is to Courvoisier.

The ruddy, translucent liquid could pass for sherry or tawny port in the glass, and if you didn’t know what you were drinking, the nose might indicate — perhaps — the latter. But a sip tells a different story. This is a different kind of drinking experience, like cognac with all the bite ripped out of it. Cognac mixed with water. Or, since all the sweetness is left behind, Kool-Aid.

What remains is an odd half-cognac, the essence of cognac’s raisins, wood, and fresh fruit flavors — apples are easily evident — left behind. There’s distinct milk chocolate notes on the finish. The lack of body is at first jarring; Courvoisier Rose is meant to be served chilled or on the rocks, to give it more weight. But once you acclimate to what is a unique drinking experience, its pleasures become evident. This is not a drink, as regular cognac is, for after dinner but rather for before it. The bracing but not cloying sweetness and the long finish make it a real oddity in the liqueur world and one which hints at versatility. I’d actually like to try it in lieu of vermouth in a Manhattan, or other cocktails, just to see what happens.

36 proof.

B+ / $25 / 

Courvoisier Rosé Cognac Liqueur




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. DJ HawaiianShirt on June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Honestly, I have no idea what to make of your review. It borders on sarcasm.

    This product is interesting. I’ve been trying to make a red wine/brandy cocktail, so this stuff sounds pretty enticing. I’ll have to pick up a bottle to see what the fuss is about.

  2. Christopher Null on June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    DJ – I just re-read the review and can assure you, jokery aside, it is “serious.”

  3. DJ HawaiianShirt on September 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I just got the stuff. Stunningly, what you say is exactly correct. It’s a half-proof sweet cognac that tastes almost like the real stuff but with almost none of the original flavor taken away. The Rose kicks ass on ice for some reason, too. Other than that, I’m at a loss at how to mix it.

  4. jellydonut (@frakwit) on February 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    At 18% it is clearly a fortified and sweetened wine, like Lillet, rather than a liqueur. bbuuut I suppose it’s all down to marketing.

    It would be interesting to use it as a vermouth replacer like one uses Lillet.

    How about a Negroni?!?

  5. Joseph Thomas on June 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    i purchase this on the regular bases. its very simple, very smooth. i’ve made dinner for the wife and have poured this on ice, then ive mixed a little remy 1738 in it, because really its a ladies drink, the remy makes it a little harder…its pretty great.

  6. Cognac J on June 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    There are some people who like this Liqueur by Courvoisier Cognac.. It’s at an ABV of 18% and much sweeter!

  7. Cognac J on September 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Courvoisier just launched a complementary product called Courvoisier Gold. It is an original blend of Moscato wine from the South of France and signature Courvoisier Cognac.

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