Let's talk Cognac....


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8 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

From Costco?

 

8 hours ago, therealrsr said:

I believe that is correct but not positive.

Yep, seen it plenty of times at Costco here in Aus. I have even seen a Tiger, Pig and Ox version. I think they were Napoleon XO Brandy.

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It may seem haughty to point out that Cognac is distinctive from brandy but it is. It comes from the west coast of the Cognac rural region of France and for me, there is a difference in comparison to

Yes, yes, yes! I'm a fan of cognac, or rather it's legal for my preferences to say brandy. I have been drinking Armenian cognac for the last few years. There were many protests from the French, but th

In my parents' generation, no Chinese banquet in the Far East was complete without cognac on the table.  As I understand it, there were only 2 (unwritten) rules - it must be XO, and it must be duty-fr

Being Asian, I have quite a few bottles of cognac; XO, VSOP, VS, Fine Champagne etc. Most of them come from my parents, who got them during the 70-90s.

My favourite would have to be a Camus XO from the mid 80s. I have a few bottles of that. Then it would be the Hennessy XO and Remy Martin XO to round out my top 3.

Btw, the Costco XO cognac is actually fairly decent. It won't stack up to the big boys, but at the price point, good for serving to people who would not appreciate the finer points of a Camus XO. And you can cook with it too.

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12 hours ago, 99call said:

My first experience of Spanish Brandy, was fairly rough 103 stuff, and my initial reaction was similarly unenthused.   I tried some Cardenal Mendoza two years ago and was blown away.  If you like PX and I believe you do,   you should defo give this a go it's absolutely fabulous.   It manages to be decadently Christmasy, without being too cloyingly sweet.  It's got a nice backdrop of walnut/date salty savoury that balances everything out.            Would pair fabulously with an after dinner 898

Also the packaging is utterly beautiful,  it's a shame they don't still come in the original cork boxes however

I would suggest, now maybe the time to give your heritage one more crack of the whip

The Cardinal and I are indeed old “friends”. From our first chance encounter 30 years ago in Saville we have danced a tango together ever since.  Often apart for long periods but never remote, like a winding river our paths weave into view and then move away again. He is forever with me even when not. Even now the sight of the bottle on your post has me reaching for his familiar arch…. Forgive me Father for I have sinned 

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I don’t drink much other than wine but if I do it’s cognac or nice aged rum from Cuba. Because I don’t drink a lot of it, all the cognac I buy are XO. Also agree that for a good cognac or even aged rum, a tulip glass is the way to go. 

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20 hours ago, JohnS said:

It may seem haughty to point out that Cognac is distinctive from brandy but it is. It comes from the west coast of the Cognac rural region of France and for me, there is a difference in comparison to brandy from other regions. I feel the same way about champagne. However, you can still get great brandies outside of Cognac, France and you can still get great sparkling white wines outside of Champagne, France.

In general, the margin of improvement you get in the quality of Cognac when its grade rises above XO (Extra Old- this designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is aged for at least ten years in a cask) doesn't match the increase in price, in my view. That being said, I don't bother with Cognac of a lower grade than VSOP (Very Special Old Pale - this designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is aged for at least four years in a cask).

Overall, the best Cognac for the price is Hennessy VSOP. My favourite XO Cognac is Martell. The big four houses (Martell, Remy Martin, Hennessy and Courvoisier) may account for up to 90% of worldwide sales but don't let that dissuade you from trying Cognac from other houses. I have been enamored with Camus Borderies XO and De Luze XO in the past year or two.

Remy Martin is a little different from the other houses because their cognacs utilise a blend of grapes from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne growing areas (or crus). These Cognacs are called Fine Champagne Cognacs. De Luze is also a Fine Champagne Cognac.

It's vital that one appreciates how important is to prepare one's palate by taking in the bouquet of the Cognac prior to sipping. This means you need to take in the smell of the Cognac into your nose and then sip (not drink). You want to 'kiss' the Cognac to best enjoy it. Also, don't bother with massive Brandy Balloons. It is better to use a tulip glass.

 

As always an absolute wealth of knowledge mixed with some class, thank you JohnS.

I enjoy Courvoisier VSOP Cognac very occasionally. Also read somewhere that Napoleon Bonaparte only drank Courvoisier, so if it’s good enough for Emperors..

Also enjoy the Metaxa 7 star Brandy.
Probably shouldn’t do this, but try Metaxa with ice, it takes It to anther level.

 

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I always keep Courvoisier VSOP on hand. It’s my go-to.  I liked the H by Hine when it was available at my local store but it disappeared long ago. I have no problem with Courvoisier at all and that is where I would encourage others to start. I have had Hennessy before and it’s also quality cognac. 

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21 hours ago, 99call said:

I can never quite work out if I like Metaxa.    One minute it's like drinking liquid flowers in a good way,  the next minute it's like drinking liquid flowers in a very bad way. 

  I think I too was put off for years after too many 1/2/3 star metaxas on holidays to Cyprus/Rhodes. I had a bottle of the 12 as a present recently and all those painful memories slid away and were replaced with the biggest grin!

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39 minutes ago, CaptainQuintero said:

I had a bottle of the 12 as a present recently and all those painful memories slid away and were replaced with the biggest grin!

Could you elaborate?,  I've never had the 12, how does it break away from that intense floral character?,   is it completely different?  or does it just express that classic Metaxa flavour is a more grown up/reserved way?

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On 12/1/2021 at 7:53 PM, 99call said:

Could you elaborate?,  I've never had the 12, how does it break away from that intense floral character?,   is it completely different?  or does it just express that classic Metaxa flavour is a more grown up/reserved way?

  To me there isn't any floral nature at all, it's a rich sticky date core, deep caramel, touches of vanilla and chocolate, possibly bits of orange?. A totally different product to those Greek holiday adventure spirits. I think it's around £30 a bottle on Amazon/masters of malt etc too. 

  The closest drink I've had to it is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked which is I think as high a praise I could give

  That original note of being a home made sticky toffee pudding in a glass is pretty close to me, but balanced up the wazoo; it's not a syrup cloying liquor thing

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2 hours ago, CaptainQuintero said:

  To me there isn't any floral nature at all, it's a rich sticky date core, deep caramel, touches of vanilla and chocolate, possibly bits of orange?. A totally different product to those Greek holiday adventure spirits. I think it's around £30 a bottle on Amazon/masters of malt etc too. 

  The closest drink I've had to it is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked which is I think as high a praise I could give

  That original note of being a home made sticky toffee pudding in a glass is pretty close to me, but balanced up the wazoo; it's not a syrup cloying liquor thing

So it’s a brandy that tastes like a bourbon?

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Ive been drinking Martell Blue Swift (finished in bourbon barrels) with cigars. I do want to try more cognacs/brandy so will use this thread as a reference point..cheers

Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk

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On 11/30/2021 at 7:40 AM, BrightonCorgi said:

Cognac is ok for me; something to enjoy while the snow is pounding down.  My "go to" for distilled is Kirsch.  That being said, you cannot go wrong any Pierre Ferrand cognac's.

http://maisonferrand.com/en/content/pierre-ferrand-cognac/

I love Ferrand and I did a tasting of the line up many years ago including the 1914.  I ended up buying the Abel (45 years old) as it had complexity, but not the real deep "rancio"  that the 1914 had.  I also think they had a cognac that was specifically for cigars and that was good also.

 

Of course I do the other cognac based spirits such as Grand Marnier (I like the 100 for drinking), but the orange infusion is not one to mix with a cigar.😝

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2 hours ago, xsquid said:

I love Ferrand and I did a tasting of the line up many years ago including the 1914.  I ended up buying the Abel (45 years old) as it had complexity, but not the real deep "rancio"  that the 1914 had.  I also think they had a cognac that was specifically for cigars and that was good also.

Of course I do the other cognac based spirits such as Grand Marnier (I like the 100 for drinking), but the orange infusion is not one to mix with a cigar.😝

I bought bottles of Abel before; great stuff.  I use try a lot of 19th century bottled cognacs.  A lot was going to auction and bought cheap (~15 years ago).  The bottle aging has an effect, but I thought it was more nostalgic than anything.  100+ year old Chartreuse is different.

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8 minutes ago, Meesterjojo said:

Can someone explain what cognac tastes like without resorting to telling me to try some.

I have in the past. As a kid in my 20s. Cheap bottle of Hennessy. Did not enjoy that at all. Very not good.

Is it sweet or bitter? Is it smokey?

It's neither sweet, bitter or smokey. When I think of the taste of cognac I think of flavours such as caramel, vanilla, floral notes and nuttiness but it does depend on the brand and age. I could add more however I feel that the link below sums up your question perfectly. There are points in there that I came to realise through my own enjoyment of the drink over many years. It's an excellent summary for the 'uninitiated'...

https://www.cognac-expert.com/what-does-cognac-taste-like/

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4 hours ago, JohnS said:

It's neither sweet, bitter or smokey. When I think of the taste of cognac I think of flavours such as caramel, vanilla, floral notes and nuttiness but it does depend on the brand and age. I could add more however I feel that the link below sums up your question perfectly. There are points in there that I came to realise through my own enjoyment of the drink over many years. It's an excellent summary for the 'uninitiated'...

https://www.cognac-expert.com/what-does-cognac-taste-like/

This is the quality material I keep coming back for. Thank you very much! 

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I saw a story on a California vineyard where the wine for this year's vintage was smoke tainted from forest fires over the season.  Instead of dumping all the wine, Hanger One took the wine and distilled into vodka.  The vodka has a slight essence of smoke.

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On 12/3/2021 at 12:54 PM, BrightonCorgi said:

I bought bottles of Abel before; great stuff.  I use try a lot of 19th century bottled cognacs.  A lot was going to auction and bought cheap (~15 years ago).  The bottle aging has an effect, but I thought it was more nostalgic than anything.  100+ year old Chartreuse is different.

 

Yes, I did not care for the 1914 as the rancio was too much for me.  The candied fruit gave way to wood and leather so Abel was the "sweet spot" for me.  I do not like Tawny Port over 20 years either.  I do have some Dow Colheita Port 1975 as that is the year I graduated from high school.  Just turned 65 and enjoyed a 96 Margaux to celebrate that milestone.  I see you are into claret and port and now cognac and obviously cigars and you are in Boston so perhaps we can share one or many of those things at some point.  Always looking for fellow aficianados of wine,  cigars, and of course a fine bourbon or scotch or Irish whiskey to sip while enjoying a smoke.  I am out by Worcester so if you want to join me for some libation and a good smoke just ping me. 

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