We all know the usual suspects of the cognac world — Hennessy, Remi Martin, Courvoisier, and the like — but there are so many other options out there. Picking up one of these 10 selects will give you a whole new appreciation for the subtle French spirit.
Meukow 90 Cognac
If you have been to the right where you may find this iconic bottle, do not know what it might contain on earth. Origins is an interesting story that two Russians sent to get the best cognac czar, but they set up their own brandy house and never return to Russia.
Godet Special VSOP Cognac
A multiple award winner in its class, this Godet Special VSOP is a great value for those seeking something on the slightly lighter end of the spectrum. Think peaches, honey, butter, and spice with this one.
Louis Royer VS Cognac
Brandy Louis Royer had always existed, but they never really gained the same level of fame as the cannon of other industries. Said they were definitely worthy of attention, especially considering that the delicious XO got the best of this year’s World Brandy category.
Jean Fillioux Très Vieux Cognac (XO)
If you read our recent piece about going behind the scenes at Hennessy, the last name Fillioux might sound a little familiar. Members of the Fillioux family have been master blenders at Hennessy for eight generations, but in 1880, another part of the family started their own estate and has been producing high-quality cognac in low volume ever since.
Leopold Gourmel Age Du Fruits 10 Carats Cognac
Erring on the fruity and fresh side of the spectrum (hence the name), this Leopold Gourmel cognac is aged 10 years before bottling (qualifying it as an XO cognac). The house is relatively new, having launched in 1972, and bears the name of one of the founders’ grandfathers.
A. de Fussigny Pure Organic VSOP Cognac
A. De Fussigny is another “old boy” in the Cognac region with a relatively small number of producers offering an organic-certified version of the spirit. Their gold medal is in the light and the flowers tasting the spectrum, with a very weak association with the oak blend. If you like your whiskey in the light end instead of smoke and peat, this brandy should be your specialty.
Leyrat XO Elite Cognac
Exclusive production of grapes grown in finely woody Cognac areas – the best growing areas you can find in the area – Leyrat XO is exceptional. While the houses are by no means new, they are only in the North American market for the past two years.
Frapin VSOP Cognac
With a family history going back 20 generations, the Frapin family is about as “old hat” as you get in the cognac game. Even after all these years, they continue to use traditional methods and avoid modern practices like the use of cultivated yeasts and the like.
Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac
Some of the different views of this bottle of Pierre de Ferrand have developed the golden age of cocktails. Its taste is enough to mix with other raw materials is not too bold and other dark cognac brandy can occasionally overwhelm.
Hine — H By Hine Cognac
This entry-level brandy from Hahn is one of the best choices to be made as a fresh, bright drinker with a slight sweetness, on its own, all working well or cocktails.