Put that whiskey down. I’ve got something better. For years, I, too, was a huge whiskey drinker – first bourbon, then rye, followed by Scotch. But my stiff beverage of choice would be replaced after the death of my teetotaling grandfather. As the family boozer, I was tasked with assessing Grandpa’s liquor cabinet, largely untouched for the last 30 years.
- Soon, I was unceremoniously dumping dozens of corroded, half-drunk bottles of ancient gin, cheap blackberry brandy, and oddly colored wine down the sink.
- All that remained after the Great Liquor Massacre of ’16 was some Michter’s rye from the ’80s, a bit of fancy-looking Bordeaux (that turned out to be about as valuable as a jug of Drano), and a modest bottle of Cognac.
Judging by its faded, unassuming label, my cousins and I had assumed that the Cognac – like most bottles sampled before it — would taste like hot ass. For laughs, I cracked it open anyway to facetiously savor a long, comical sip. Butit was good. Really good.
Incredible, in fact. Courtesy When poured, aromas of dried figs, vanilla, and leather practically burst out of the glass. It was even more intense on the palate: rich and sweet, with a smooth, elegant finish that seemed to last forever. Within moments, we had tracked down a duplicate bottle of this 1970s Martell VSOP Cognacselling on an auction site for over $400.
I choked a little, inhaling a few drops of my future child’s college fund. What was this delicious spirit, and why was it so expensive? Wasn’t this the stuff that Fetty Wap had named his squad after? How the hell did it get into my Grandpa’s hands? Distilled from wine, Cognac is a French product invented by foreigners; to this day, far more Cognac is exported than enjoyed in France.
- To get French wine back to the Netherlands without spoiling, visiting Dutch merchants would double-distill it into “brandewijn” (or “burnt wine”), and transport it home in oak barrels.
- It is this maturation process that would transform “brandy” into something truly extraordinary, infusing it with vanilla, caramel, and “rancio” flavors from the oak that can best be described as nutty, earthy, or even funky.
Cognac, of course, is brandy specifically from the Cognac region of France. Like Scotch whisky or tequila (a type of mezcal), it comes from the actual place for which its named. But unlike Scotch, made from malted barley, Cognac is made from a much more delicate, seasonal raw material: grapes.
And unlike tequila, Cognac is barrel-aged for a much, much longer time. Thus, Cognac isn’t just expensive to entice status symbol seekers – its high price is justified by its extremely limited production (Cognac makes up less than 1% of the world’s spirits by volume!). Courtesy I fell in love with Cognac not only for its similarities to barrel-aged whiskey, but also for the importance its provenance contributes to its identity.
It’s a craft product that can be imitated, but not replicated anywhere else in the world. If you’re now as intrigued as I was, check out the following tips – and product suggestions – for enjoying your Cognac like a well-informed pro.
- 1 What category of alcohol is cognac?
- 2 Is cognac a spirit or liqueur?
- 3 What makes cognac so special?
- 4 Is cognac better with age?
What category of alcohol is cognac?
Production process – Cognac is a type of brandy, and after the distillation and during the aging process, is also called eau de vie, It is produced by twice distilling grapes produced in any of the designated growing regions.
Is A cognac A whiskey?
Is cognac a whisky? – While cognac is therefore a wine and a spirit, one thing certain is that cognac is not a type of whisky. On a superficial level, the confusion is understandable. Both are amber-colour spirits, the product of generations of savoir-faire with a strong affinity to their region of production.
- Yet the process to produce cognac and whisky is rather different.
- Where cognac is produced from grapes, whisky is generally produced from barley and corn.
- There is also the question of origin.
- Where cognac is from a specific region of France, whisky can be produced all over the world, aside from Scotch that must be distilled and aged in Scotland.
Whisky is distilled twice, or sometimes three times, in pot or hybrid stills to achieve the required strength and purity. Generally speaking, it is then aged in used oak barrels for a minimum of three years, though most well-known whiskies are aged far longer.
Is cognac a brandy or a wine?
Cognac Vs. Brandy – What’s the Difference, How They’re Made, and Prices Victor Hugo called cognac the “liquor of the gods.” It’s become known as a symbol of French luxury, the best brandy money can buy—because, yes, is a brandy. But just as not all wine is, there are plenty of details that set cognac apart from other types of brandy.
Is cognac high class?
How To Drink Cognac Properly
Image Credit: Camus For many, Cognac is a drink that epitomises luxury and decadence. The renowned French brandy oozes class, sophistication and history. From the revered names of the ‘big four’ houses to small organic and family-owned producers, the world of Cognac really offers something for everyone.
What are the 4 grades of cognac?
Is cognac a spirit or liqueur?
Cognac is somewhat simpler than its name suggests. The best way to understand the French spirit is to treat it like its closest cousin: Wine. In short, Cognac is a type of brandy made in its namesake commune in western France. Similar to the best wine, it is tied to a specific place on the map and must be made from a select list of grapes in a particular style.
There are aging and blending requirements tied to Cognac, much like a Chianti Italian wine or Bordeaux. Further, Cognac is best enjoyed in a particular kind of Cognac glass (the wine comparisons continue) that allows you to drink Cognac the right way, Get in there and sniff and savor the stuff. Many would argue that Cognac is a luxury item, as it has been elevated to celebrity status courtesy of brands by the likes of Jay-Z ( D’Ussé ), Ludacris ( Conjure ), and more.
Nevertheless, it’s a spirit enjoyed by all types of drinkers, born out of a simple desire from traveling European merchants to have some quality hooch on trips. In a nutshell, the best way to describe Cognac is a polished version of brandy — smoother and often more complex.
Why is cognac not brandy?
What is cognac? – You know how every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square? That’s brandy and cognac. Every cognac is a brandy, but not all brandy is a cognac. As previously mentioned, brandy is distilled fruit juice, and it can be any kind of fruit juice, while cognac is a specific type of distilled fruit juice with lots of qualifications.
Cognac comes from the Cognac region of southwestern France, and is made with a fruit juice base of white grapes. It also undergoes two rounds of distillation between October 1 and March 31. Yes, it’s a very strict process for cognac to be cognac! You’ll probably also notice a qualification on cognac bottle labels, too.
VS means Very Special, and refers to a cognac that has been aged for at least two years. VSOP means Very Superior Old Pale, for a cognac that has aged for four or more years. And XO means Extra Old, for a cognac that has aged six or more years. Whew! So, main takeaway here—cognac is a type of brandy made in a very specific region of France with very specific grapes and very specific qualifications.
What makes cognac so special?
The Grapes and Terroir Are Important – Cognac has been around for a very long time. It’s made by double distilling white wines from a variety of grapes, including Folle Blanche, Colombard, Sémillon, Montils, Folignan and, the most common, Ugni Blanc. Image: Benoit Linero “Cognac is a region, a town and a spirit,” explains Cognac Park Owner and Master Blender Jérôme Tessendier.
That is, indeed, very hard to beat. It is made from white grapes; the dominant variety is Ugni Blanc. Cognac must be distilled twice and the distillation season lasts from October 1st through March 31st. After distillation, the eau-de- vie is aged and blended. The blending is what really makes cognac special.
Cognac is the most complex spirit in the world to make and it takes the longest time to produce — centuries, in some cases. We work, today, for the future generations.” Cognacs are born from a blend of terroir, know-how and passion, says Boileau. “The grapes from a specific region, double distillation in copper stills on an open flame, long aging process in oak casks, and the patience in terms of time all make cognac special.
- Cognac is about blending, which allows the master blender to “create” the tastes he/she is looking for.
- The Cognac appellation has a long history and a singular heritage.
- There is a man or a woman behind each step of the cognac making process and incredible know-how.
- There are as many cognacs as people who make it.” Image: Benoit Linero Cognac is made from white grapes, coming from six diverse terroirs of the Cognac region.
“Each terroir has different soil characteristics capable of producing different-tasting eau-de-vie,” says Cognac Park Owner and Master Blender Jérôme Tessendier. “Therefore, cognac can develop a great variety of fruitful aromas that cannot be found in other spirits.” The grapes have a major role, since it has been proven that wine is 20 times more aromatic than grain, adds BNIC’s Boileau.
What means XO in cognac?
What Do The Initials VS, VSOP And XO Mean? | Martell Cognac VS, VSOP and XO refer to the age and quality of the cognac. Each corresponds to how long the brandy has been aged in oak barrels. In 1983, following a request by the BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac)*, the French government drafted regulations governing the terms used to describe a cognac”s quality.
- These designations, which may be included on the label, refer to the age of the youngest eau-de-vie used in making the cognac.
- VS stands for “Very Special”: only eaux-de-vie at least two years old can be used to make a VS cognac.
- Other denominators and expressions are permitted, such as “3 stars” or “luxury”, and as such are included in the VS cognac category.
VSOP stands for “Very Superior Old Pale”: VSOP cognacs are created from eaux-de-vie aged for at least four years. The VSOP category includes designations such as “Old” or “Reserve”. XO stands for “Extra Old”: XO cognacs are made only from eaux-de-vie at least six years old.
Incidentally, the reason these abbreviations are in English is because cognac has been exported for many years and the first importers spoke English.*Public-service organisation responsible for looking after the interests of cognac and all related activities.For more detail on cognac and how it is made at Martell, see our,
: What Do The Initials VS, VSOP And XO Mean? | Martell Cognac
Is cognac good to get drunk?
When it comes to getting drunk, there is no one definitive answer. The amount of cognac champagne that it takes to get you drunk will depend on many factors, including your weight, your tolerance, and the strength of the cognac champagne. However, as a general rule of thumb, it takes about four glasses of cognac champagne to get a person of average weight drunk.
You can become drunk (over 0.0 alcohol in ml) in an hour by drinking two glasses of this sparkling beverage. A bottle of champagne is estimated to contain approximately 12 ounces of alcohol. Because Champagne has a high concentration of gas, it can be absorbed much more quickly into the bloodstream and stomach.
This tasty wine contains over 12 different types of minerals. It contains only 2% alcohol. Air bubbles should remain in the tightly sealed, refrigeratored bottle for up to five days. The consumption of moderate amounts of bubbly may be beneficial to your brain.
A snifter glass is a good choice for traditional tasting moments like after dinner as a digestif, when the cognac is served neat, warmed by your hands, and then served chilled. It’s a good idea to drink cognac neat after dinner. On the rocks, cook your broccoli in a large tub with two ice cubes and serve in a large tub.
When a blend of eaux-de-vie is included, a “Fine Champagne Cognac” is said to be a “Fine Champagne Cognac.” The blend must be 50 % champagne from the Grande Champagne estate. When it comes to Champagne, the word will be preceded by the words Grande, Petite, or Fine.
Is cognac better with age?
If a cognac has been aged for longer, it does not necessarily mean it is better. Younger cognacs, such as a VS, tend to have a fresher, livelier aromas of fruit, where as older eaux-de-vie such as VSOPs tend to be smoother, with clear notes of oak and spices.
What does VSOP stand for in cognac?
What does VSOP and XO cognac mean? Discover what separates aged cognac from other spirits. Learn more about the meaning of different aging mentions and quality grades of cognac. Before we start it is important to understand what – besides its strictly controlled regional origin – fundamentally separates aged cognac from other spirits: Rémy Martin cognac represents a perpetual signature of taste. Unlike other spirits: a bottle of cognac does not stand for ONE vintage but for the perfected composition of a blended selection of eaux-de-vie. What began in 1927 as a truly visionary and audacious decision by Rémy Martin’s Cellar Master,, to create the very first VSOP Cognac Fine Champagne has become known as one of the brand’s most unique differentiators. VSOP, “Very Superior Old Pale”, which is now common for all Cognac Houses actually dates back to 1817 British Royal Court.
- So, what does VSOP stand for exactly? For a cognac to be classified as a VSOP, the minimum age of the youngest eau-de-vie in the blend must be at least 4 years old.
- Rémy Martin’s Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau orientates himself on creating the perfect harmony of powerful and elegant aromas for the final blend of Rémy Martin VSOP,
In fact, it is Baptiste Loiseau’s incredible expertise and experience to create and recreate this distinctive signature sensation that all carry with them – in the full collection, year for year, decade for decade. Rémy Martin specializes in, differentiating themselves by only using grapes from the prestigious growth areas of Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne in the Cognac region. Rémy Martin VSOP A truly visionary and audacious decision – The creation of Rémy Martin VSOP in 1927. Rémy Martin XO Rémy Martin XO cognac, an expression of opulence of Cognac Fine Champagne was created in 1981. Cognac is differentiated based on the duration of its aging: Rémy Martin’s Icon of Excellence, XO cognac is the perfect expression of Cognac Fine Champagne opulence with its superior aromatic complexity of hundreds of eaux-de-vie blended together by the Cellar Master. XO cognac is the result of outstanding craftsmanship from the harvest of the grapes of Grande and Petite Champagne to the aging in French oak casks, for at least 10 years, enabling Rémy Martin XO cognac to express all the opulence of Cognac Fine Champagne. Classic and neat, served on Ice or in a cocktail. Pairing VSOP cognac with Ginger Ale creates a Fresh and Spicy Long Drink called the, the perfect long drink to showcase the versatility, elegance, and fruity aromas of cognac. Or on the classier note, the transforms a casual classic into a finely dressed original with Cognac Fine Champagne. : What does VSOP and XO cognac mean?
Is cognac light or dark liquor?
Is Dark Alcohol Worse For You? – Light liquors such as vodka and gin are thought to be less harmful to the body than dark liquors such as whiskey, scotch, brandy, and cognac. Dark liquors are distilled spirits made from fermentation. This distillation process does increase the alcohol concentration because it removes water as well as other ingredients in the liquid.
- Therefore, dark liquors do have a higher concentration compared to white or clear liquors.
- But they are not necessarily more harmful in any way.
- In the end, dark and light liquors are much more different in flavor than they are in nutrition.
- And your drink’s health effects really depend on what you pair your spirits with.
The congeners which are found in dark liquors (as well as in red wine) can irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain. This can make hangovers from drinking dark spirits worse.
Is cognac A liqueur?
A Cognac Liqueur is a strong but sweet alcoholic berverage, usually enjoyed after a meal as a digestif. Liqueurs have as a base a liquor, on our site that’s Cognac.
Is cognac a brandy or Champagne?
Is Cognac made in the Champagne region or from Champagne grapes? Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny., from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snob—you can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing.
And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my for all my, Dear Dr. Vinny, When Cognac is produced, is it made in the Champagne region or is it made from the Champagne grapes? —Jerry M., Leawood, Kan. Dear Jerry, Actually, neither. Cognac is a brandy made mostly from Ugni Blanc grapes. Champagne is made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
Cognac is made in a region called Cognac, and Champagne is made in a region called Champagne. But then it gets a little confusing, because there is something called “fine Champagne Cognac.” Within Cognac are six growing regions, including two named Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne.
What category of liquor is brandy?
Brandy is a spirit made from distilled wine or other fermented fruit juices. Although most Brandy is made from distilled wine, other styles from all over the world use fruits such as pears, cherries, apples, etc.