Cognac

Cognac is grape brandy named after the region in which it is made, in an around the town of Cognac in the southwest of France. Cognac is predominantly made from three types of grapes — ugni blanc, folle blanche, and colombard, with other grape varietals showing up in the mix. They are vinified into a thin wine, then distilled twice in copper pot stills to make brandy. This brandy must by law then be aged in French oak barrels for at least two years. Brandy of this minimum age can be labeled VS in quality. After four years it can be called VSOP, and after ten years (a recent extension of time), it becomes XO. Many highly prized cognacs are much older than this — and they carry some incredibly high price tags.

Top Cognac Posts:

What’s the Difference Between Cognac and Armagnac?
Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac
Courvoisier VS, VSOP, and XO Cognac
Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac

Review: Merlet Cognac VS and VSOP

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2022 |

We’ve reviewed some of Merlet’s premium Cognac expressions in the past, but never its two most affordable bottlings, the VS and VSOP expressions. Today, we rectify that. Both are 80 proof. Merlet Cognac VS – Eaux-de-vie mostly from Fins Bois crus, but also from Bons Bois and a little bit of Petite Champagne in the…

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Review: Jean-Luc Pasquet L’Organic 04 and 10 Cognac

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2022 |

We recently covered Jean-Luc Pasquet’s L’Organic 07 Cognac — and now we’re back with two additional expressions, both also organic, and made from 100% ugni blanc grapes grown in Grande Champagne. The difference, as you might have sussed out, is age: L’Organic 04 is at least 4 years old, while L’Organic 10 is a decade…

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Review: Nyak Cognac VS

By Christopher Null | January 22, 2022 |

I’m naturally prejudiced against anything that claims to be “so smooth” on its label, but let’s set that aside for our first foray into new Cognac brand Nyak. Nyak is the brainchild of some spirits and business royalty, including CEO of Detroit Equities, Dennis McKinley; former VP for Remy Cointreau, Patrick Charpentier; and Jerome Hyafil,…

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Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

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Review: Meukow Cognac VSOP

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2021 |

Meukow is the Cognac with the panther on the bottle. Or rather, in the bottle, part of the bottle. There’s more to it than that, I’m sure, but I don’t know a whole lot more about it than that — except that the house dates back to 1862. This VSOP is reportedly aged for five…

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Review: Jean-Luc Pasquet L’Organic 07 Cognac

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2021 |

  Jean-Luc Pasquet produces this Cognac expression from ugni blanc grapes, grown in Grande Champagne, taking two vintages of Cognac, each at least 7 years old, and blending them together. The idea is that Pasquet can find a better sense of balance by combining the styles of two vintages. All of it is organic. Let’s…

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Review: Bache-Gabrielsen VS Tre Kors Cognac

By Christopher Null | September 8, 2021 |

This entry level Cognac is a blend of 25% Grande Champagne/Petite Champagne eau de vie and 75% Fins Bois eau de vie. It spends just two years in small oak barrels before bottling, qualifying it as a VS expression. Let’s dive in. The nose has many of the hallmarks of young Cognac — slightly astringent…

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Review: Ferrand S.D.A. Cognac (2021)

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2021 |

Maison Ferrand’s S.D.A. — Selection des Anges, the angels’ selection — is not a new expression, but the brand has recently retooled it, creating new packaging and upping the proof slightly from 80 to 83.6. We never reviewed the expression in its pre-Covid incarnation, but we’re digging in to a 2021 bottling all the same. It’s…

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Review: Larsen Cognac Aqua Ignis

By Christopher Null | April 7, 2021 |

Larsen’s new Aqua Ignis has a curious claim to fame: It is the first spirit in the world aged in steam-toasted barrels, specifically “triple-steamed brasero toasted barrels.” What does that mean? Instead of only toasting the barrels with open flame, they are immersed in hot water, then toasted in a brasero, causing the water to…

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Review: Hine Homage Cognac (2021)

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2021 |

Hine’s Homage is an homage to Thomas Hine, the English founder of the Hine brand back in 1763. The brandy itself is a Grand Champagne Cognac blended from more than 20 eaux-de-vie, again all made from Grande Champagne grapes. This blend is noteworthy as including four single vintages that are called “Early Landed,” which were…

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