Best cognac to buy 2023

Where is cognac made?

Cognac can only be made in the Cognac region of France, under tightly regulated conditions. There are thousands of vineyards in Cognac, divided into six zones (crus). Cognacs from the Grande Champagne zone are the most sought after. Other crus include Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaries. Each region will produce cognacs with their own distinct character.

Different types of cognac

A cognac is typically a blend of spirits of different ages and origins. Cognacs are classified by age into the following groups:

  • VS – a minimum of two years of ageing
  • VSOP – a minimum of four years of ageing (both this and VS are the most widely sold type of cognacs)
  • Napoleon – six years of ageing
  • XO – a minimum of 10 years of ageing
  • XXO – a minimum of 14 years of ageing

What does cognac taste like?

The flavours and aromas of cognac will vary depending on how old it is. Younger cognacs will be light and fresh, with floral, fruity and citrussy notes. Older spirits will have more dominant notes of dried fruit and spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla. The ones aged for longest will be rich and intense, with notes of cigars, toffee, chocolate and nuts, among others.

How do you drink cognac?

Cognac is traditionally sipped neat from balloon snifters, but it’s now more common to use tulip-shaped glasses. Older cognacs are best enjoyed neat, but younger cognacs such as VS work really well in cocktails. Classics include the sidecar (cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice), sazerac (sugar, cognac and/or rye whisky, Peychaud’s bitters, absinthe) and vieux carré (cognac, rye whisky, benedictine, sweet vermouth, Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters).

10 best cognacs to buy at a glance

  • Best affordable cognac: Pierre Ferrand Ten Générations, £38.54
  • Best organic cognac: Jean-Luc Pasquet L’Organic Folle Blanche L.XII, £66.95
  • Best cognac for spicy notes: AE Dor Napoleon Cognac, £79.50
  • Best single variety cognac: WV Baker Rare Pale Cognac N° 02-15, £33.25
  • Best blowout cognac: Tesseron Lot 53 XO Perfection Cognac, £295
  • Best unusual cognac: La Guilde du Cognac Saint Preuil Extra, £120
  • Best classic cognac: Ragnaud Sabourin No.10 VSOP Cognac, £72.74
  • Best smooth cognac: Normandin-Mercier Extra Old, £132
  • Best complex cognac: Frapin 1993, £160
  • Best cognac for cocktails: Seignette VS, £35.24

10 best cognacs to buy 2023

Pierre Ferrand Ten Générations

Pierre Ferrand Ten Générations

Best affordable cognac

An easy-drinking cognac – fresh yet full-bodied, with honeyed apple and pear notes, floral blossom, pepper and oak flavours. Try using in an old fashioned cocktail in place of whisky.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£38.54)
Amazon (£42)

Jean-Luc Pasquet L’Organic Folle Blanche L.XII

Jean-Luc Pasquet L’Organic Folle Blanche L.XII

Best organic cognac

This organic cognac, unusually, is made from 100% Folle Blanche grapes in Grande Champagne. It’s been aged for 10 years and is pleasingly bright and fruity, with notes of stone fruits, honey, citrus zest and spice.

More like this

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£66.95)

AE Dor Napoleon Cognac

AE Dor Napoleon Cognac1

Best cognac for spicy notes

Napoleon cognac is a VSOP cognac that has been aged for six or more years. This example has been aged in a dry cellar with lower levels of humidity, which tends to produce more intense cognacs with woody, spicy notes. This one is lively with spice, but still slips down like silk. Cognacs aged in humid cellars close to water are more mellow, with a rounded end result.

Available from:
The Whisky Exchange (£79.50)
Amazon (£82.74)

WV Baker Rare Pale Cognac N° 02-15

WV Baker Rare Pale Cognac N° 02-15

Best single variety cognac

Small independent bottler WV Baker specialises in the singular – single barrels, single grape varietals and single estates. His Rare Pale – a 2015 vintage – comes from just one vineyard and has been aged in a single cask for six years. Winningly accessible and drinkable, it comes at a great price point, so it’s perfect for those new to congnac or on more of a budget.

#cognac #buy

Trả lời