Review: Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac

Review: Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac

Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac

Cognac Ferrand’s latest release says, “Out with the old, in with the… old?” Designed with the help of cocktail wunderkind David Wondrich, Ferrand’s 1840 Original Formula is a “Revival” Cognac, blended and aged in an attempt to emulate what a 19th century style spirit might have tasted like — hence the name. Wondrich and Ferrand’s Alexandre Gabriel worked from a well-preserved bottle of Pinet-Castillon Cognac produced in 1840. I obviously can’t judge how close they got, but either way, they were drinking pretty well back then, it seems.

If you’re expecting something rough and hoary, think again. This is a lively and fresh Cognac, easy drinking and full of fruit. One of the big differences between other Cognacs is that it is bottled at 90 proof instead of the usual 80. You won’t notice the change, but I think the extra alcohol smooths out the brandy’s rough spots, since this after all a relatively young, VS-class spirit, as you can probably tell by the very pale gold color.

The brandy is very mild and quite sweet, with lots of apple and vanilla flavor on the nose and body. The finish offers wood character, some cinnamon and caramel notes. This tastes both young and refined at the same time, without a hint of that raw alcohol flavor that is so pungent in many younger Cognacs. It doesn’t offer a ton of complexity, but overall it’s a bargain for a spirit of this quality.

90 proof.


Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula 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. Cognac J on March 12, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Good review – this Pierre Ferrand is an excellent cognac at a reasonable price. The smaller brands are certainly starting to give the big four houses a run for their money. Check out some other, lesser known, brands here – – many are well worth a try.

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