Cognac is one of the many things France is known for. Popular among the rich and famous, this drink is on the pricier side of alcoholic drinks. This liquor is a type of brandy produced in the town of Cognac, France. It is distilled in the wine growing regions located in the French departments of Charente and Charente Maritime.
The French are a bit protective of their cognac, which is why there is a sense of rarity when it comes to this spirit. For a brandy to be categorized as such, it must be produced thru methods explicitly provided for by the government.
It must be made from specific types of grapes (ugni blanc is the most popular variant of grapes for this). The processed grape juice must be distilled two times in pot stills. It must also be aged in French oak barrels for at least 2 years. Like its wine and whiskey counterparts, it is aged longer than the minimum requirement, ensuring better taste and flavor.
The Five Best Cognacs You Should Try
It is just normal to assume that buying a bottle of this liquor will be more expensive than buying a bottle of unbranded red wine. But you do not have to worry because there are still brands out there that make exceptionally great drinks without the sky-high prices. You can buy these at a price that is just right for some celebrations. These are your top options.
Gautier Cognac VSOP
Gautier Cognac VSOP is a brand that came a long way back in making this famed liquor. It started to distill the drink in the 17th century, so it should not be a surprise that it knows very well how to make a great tasting spirit. It was in 1775 that the Gautier family received a royal warrant to make this drink, and since then it has committed itself to perfecting its brandy production.
It uses a unique blend of grapes so that it is able to produce an alcohol with a trace of vanilla aroma and a tinge of fruit and oak flavors. It also has an apple and a light citrus aftertaste that seals its unique and perfect taste. In many ways, this is one of the most authentic liquors coming from this part of France. A bottle bearing this name sells for $40. Not bad considering the taste you are getting.
Remy Martin is another name that is closely related to this spirit. Established in the early 1700’s, this name is considered to be a pioneer in the industry. Perhaps what made it ahead of the others was its move to hire a female cellar master, a first in the world of cognac production. This decision, however, paid off for the company, as today it is doing very well.
Its drink is known to have a complex but pleasant taste, a mix of plum, toffee, fig, butterscotch, spice, and chocolate. All these flavors offer a creamy and silky smooth finish. A 750ml bottle of Remy Martin VSOP would set you back somewhere between $44.99 and $59.99, but it is worth it.
Cognac Prunier VSOP
Cognac Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne is made in Borderies, France. The Camus family, the people behind this brand, has been making the liquor for five generations already. The secret to the taste of each bottle of brandy made here is the unique soil and weather of the Borderies. These unique topographical factors make it ideal to grow grapes suitable for the production of this purely French spirit.
A bottle of Camus distilled liquor has notes of peach, vanilla, spice, and even fruit, with a complimenting aroma of honey, apple, and cinnamon. Selling for $55 a bottle, this should really make special occasions stand out.
Hennessy started the Hennessy Privilege VSOP in the wine-making region of France. Hennessy was commissioned by the then Prince of Wales, George IV, to create a special old and pale spirit for him. This commission invented the VSOP distinction in the industry.
The Privilege has aromas of oak, cinnamon, and fruit on the nose. This is topped off with flavors of vanilla, honey, spice, and apple on the palate. Selling for up to $60 a bottle of Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège, you can expect a lot from every sip of this drink.
Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne
Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne has been operated by the House of Prunier for 250 years now. This gave them experience and expertise in aging and blending brandies. The VSOP uses grapes that are only found and grown in Grande Champagne, which is especially known for its fruity, floral aromas highlighted with notes of rose, apple, and orange.
What makes this drink really special (made very clear by its $73 price tag) is its ability to tease the palate with vanilla and toasted oak accented with caramel thru the tip of the tongue.