Review: Hardy Vanille Cognac & Vanilla

Review: Hardy Vanille Cognac & Vanilla

Flavored cognac is not exactly a big market, but let’s run with it (particularly since a reader requested coverage of this very spirit): A. Hardy blends authentic, French, 8-year old Hardy VSOP Cognac with natural vanilla (plus caramel color) to come up with, well, a vanilla-flavored Cognac. Bottled at 80 proof, if nothing else it sure does look enticing in its frosted glass.

Initially mild, as the cognac character is at the forefront of the spirit. But give it just a couple of minutes and, wham, the vanilla takes hold. It’s hugely sweet and dessert-like, almost like a big vanilla milkshake. While reasonably authentic in flavor, it’s ultimately just too much. As any baker knows, a little vanilla goes a very long way in a dish, especially in liquid form. Here it completely overpowers the cognac character, especially on the finish, where the vanilla becomes cloying and uninviting. One is not encouraged to take sip after sip but rather to switch to a straight, unflavored brandy in short order. Likely better as a mixer or, come to think of it, as a substitute for vanilla in your favorite baking recipes.

80 proof.

C+ / $22 /

Hardy Vanille Cognac & Vanilla




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. Cognac J on June 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for this review.

    We do not have the Hardy Vanille not have it in our Hardy Cognac list because It’s not a real cognac!
    You should better try the “true” Hardy VSOP Cognac.

  2. Marlon Williams on November 8, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I didn’t receive such powerful notes vanilla… I was a little let down because I’m a huge fan of vanilla but as far cognac goes, it was pleasant.
    I think some people just have a more sensitive palate than others… I have sense restocked my personal bar with three bottles

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