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

Drinkhacker’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2022 |

When they said Covid was over, we didn’t think we’d be summarily dropped into a new financial crisis to replace the one we just got out of. The good news is that the holidays have arrived just in time to provide a welcome (if brief) break from yet another year of chaos. At Drinkhacker, we…

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Review: Cognacs of Drouet – VSOP, XO Ulysee, Fine Mélina, and Muscat Cask Finish

By Drew Beard | October 29, 2022 |

Drouet is a Cognac producer that traces its history back to 1848. Revitalized by the present, 4th generation, they use sustainable agriculture practices across their 40 hectares of vines located in both the Grande Champagne (70%) and Petite Champagne (30%) crus to create an impressively broad portfolio of traditional expressions and unique “craft” Cognacs. We…

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Review: Ferrand Renegade Barrel No. 3

By Christopher Null | July 13, 2022 |

Cognac Ferrand launched its Renegade Barrel collection — in which its brandies were finished in various types of different casks — back in 2018. This edition, #3, is our first encounter with the line. It begins with vintage 2011 Ferrand Premier Cru Cognac and finishes the brandy in Plantation 1996 Jamaica HJC rum casks (which…

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Review: Sazerac de Forge “Finest Original” Cognac

By Christopher Null | July 9, 2022 |

The Sazerac Company — best known as the parent of Buffalo Trace — has immense spirits holdings globally. Among them is a namesake Cognac, Sazerac de Forge. This is a relaunch of an old brand, and there’s some history to wade through, should you be so inclined. So here goes: Previously available exclusively at Sazerac…

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Review: Branson Cognac, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2022 |

Branson (along with Le Chemin du Roi Champagne) is part of the Sire Spirits brand, which is famously owned by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Branson Cognac is available in four expressions, all of which we received for review. Ready to get started? All are 80 proof. Branson Cognac Phantom – Essentially a VS bottling, this…

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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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