First Off What Is Brandy
In this instance, brandy is not a 90s female pop singer arguing with Monica over to whom exactly the boy belongs. Its a traditional spirit made from distilling any type of fermented fruit juice or fruit mash. For a sweet tasting liquor, its fairly strong, usually hovering between 90 and 100 proof, and was traditionally served as an after-dinner digestif. Usually dark brown in color, brandy is often mistaken for being a type of whiskey .
To fully dive into the dense, lengthy history of brandy, wed probably need more text-space than . As soon as distillation began being applied to beverages, around the mid-1500s, people all over the world began distilling wine and fruit juice, thus creating brandy. The word itself is a modification of the Dutch word, brandywine, which basically means burned wine.
A lot of modern brandy is subsequently aged in oak barrels after distillation. But, as youll see below, brandy refers to many, many different subsets, each with their own specifications. This is where it gets tricky.
Before we go on, just remember this one big thing: brandy = distilled fruit juice. Thats it.
Dont Obsess Over Price
“Life is about pleasure,” says Patrice Piveteau, Cellar Master for Cognac Frapin. Whereas Americans tend to chase money, the French chase pleasure itself. I think we can learn a thing or two from the French by prioritizing enjoyment over bragging rights. Though some Cognacs may be worth thousands of dollars, they won’t necessarily bring you any more pleasure than those going for a tenth of the price . Don’t drink Cognac for any other reason than to revel in the liquid itself.
What About Blending And Aging
After distillation, the liquid is blended and aged, which is what really makes cognac special. At Hennessy, for example, a tasting committee of 7 people meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to taste about 40 different samples of “eaux de vie,” as the individual distilled spirits are known before blending. It takes 10 years of training before one can join the committee, according to the brand’s ambassador Jordan Bushell.
Cognac must be aged for at least 2 years in French oak, at which point it’s labeled “V.S. .” After that, these distinctions that break down a bottle’s age and quality:
- V.S.O.P. : the youngest brandy in the blend must be aged at least four years in oak
- X.O. : the youngest brandy in the blend must be aged at least six years in oak
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Letter Marking Of Domestic Cognac
So, only the French can produce cognac. But this fact does not prevent other countries from producing a product similar in characteristics and calling it cognac. In the Soviet Union, such a tradition developed a long time ago, cognacs are produced today in Russia and neighboring countries. Throughout history, the opinion has been formed, not without reason, that the best domestic cognac is Armenian. It is appreciated even in France, which is why European producers actively cooperate with Armenian producers.
And in Soviet times, a classification of cognacs was also created, in essence it repeated the French one. But there are some differences that you should also be aware of. For example, on domestic cognac, an asterisk is just a year of aging, and not 10 months, like the original French product. Modern domestic producers consider three years of aging to be the minimum necessary.
But in the Soviet Union one could meet ordinary cognacs with the number of stars from 1 to 5. Vintage drinks had their own designation, also alphabetic:
- HF aged brandy, infused in barrels for at least 6 years
- KVVK aged cognac of the highest quality, over 8 years old
- KS old cognac. Product aging for at least 10 years
- OS very old, this drink has been aged in the wine cellars of Armenia for 20 years or more.
Obviously, it was the old cognacs according to this marking that were considered elite in the Soviet Union. And such drinks sometimes cost even more than French elite alcohol.
Understanding The Different Styles
- 06 December 2017
Cognac labelling can be quite confusing and rarely tells you how old the liquid inside the bottle actually is. So how do we know what we are drinking? Read on to understand the definitions used for labelling the different styles of Cognac.
What is VS Cognac?
VS Cognac stands for Very Special and is the youngest age designation found on bottles of Cognac. Any bottle of Cognac with VS on the label will have been aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels. VS Cognacs are generally best either mixed and served long or made into a cocktail.
What is VSOP Cognac?
VSOP Cognac stands for Very Superior Old Pale and means that the youngest brandy in the blend must have been aged in barrel for at least four years. The term Reserve on a bottle of Cognac is equivalent to VSOP, too. VSOPs can be drunk on their own, but they also work wonderfully well in cocktails, given their extra depth of flavour compared to VS Cognacs.
What is XO Cognac?
What is Napoléon Cognac?
Bottles of Cognac with Napoléon on their label will be similar to XO Cognacs in terms of age, although XOs are regarded as superior. Napoléon references Napoléon Bonaparte, the French military leader who had barrels of Cognac his favourite drink delivered to him on the battlefield.
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Vsop Xo Vs What Are All These Letters After My Cognac
Cognac, a type of brandy and celebrated throughout the world for centuries, is an eau de vie meaning it is distilled from white wine and produced in the region of the same name. Distilled in pot stills, nowadays cognacs are usually blends that seek to convey the finesse and elegance of their base wines.According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac , the official quality grades of cognac are:
V.S. designates a blend in which the youngest brandy has been stored for at least two years in cask. Courvoisier makes a great V.S.
V.S.O.P. or Reserve designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least four years in a cask. Dusses VSOP is regarded as one of the best.
Napoléon designation, previously an unofficial term for XO Cognac, is now used to specifically denote Cognac blends with a minimum age of six years that do not meet the revised XO definition that shifted XO qualifications from 6 years to 10 years.
XO or Napoléon currently designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least six years. The minimum storage age of the youngest brandy used in an XO blend has been increased to 10 years in April 2018 this rule was originally scheduled for implementation in 2016, but was postponed due to inadequate stocks of cognac that was at least 10 years old. Courvoisier also excels in the XO department.
Why Is Cognac Aging Important
There is a lot of debate about the taste qualities of cognac and its shades, and when choosing, they often pay attention to the mysterious, but authoritative symbols VS, VSOP, XS. Older people will also remember the Soviet KV or KVVK. Intuitively, it seems that cognac marked with these letters is simply obliged to keep a high brand. True, frankly speaking, there are not many true connoisseurs of cognac among us who can determine its aging by the color, aroma and taste of the drink. But it is this factor that largely determines the quality of the drink.
To begin with, we emphasize that cognac aging is not considered the time from the moment the drink is placed in the barrel until we open the bottle, as many people think. Only the time spent by the cognac in contact with the oak container is recorded. And after the spill, no aging of the drink occurs anymore. Even being in a bottle for several years, the drink will retain the same qualities that were originally in it and will not acquire anything.
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How Should You Drink Them
Sipping a glass of cognacâespecially a V.S.O.P. or X.O.âby the fire on a cold winter night is the stereotypical image of the liquor, but it belies its versatility and suitability for mixed drinks. The Sidecar, for example, is a classic cocktail that uses cognac as its primary ingredient.
Here’s how to make it:
Ingredients.75 oz Cointreau/triple secInstructionsCombine ingredients in a cocktail shake. Fill with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass with a sugared rim.
Brandy, of course, can also be sipped neat or in cocktails .
Sipping cognac and brandy straight might give flavors of fruits like apricots, oranges, and lemons. Aged cognacs typically add notes of flowers and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
What Is Otard Xo Gold Cognac
Baron Otard XO Gold is an older member of the Cognac house. Belonging to the Extra Old category of beverages, it is a multi-award winner with a blend of eaux-de-vie deriving from the exclusive Grande Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois regions.
What Awards does Baron Otard XO win?
Baron Otard Gold Awards. The Baron Otard XO has collected various awards throughout recent years. A highly acclaimed Cognac. At the International Wine & Spirit Competition, it won: IWSC Bronze in 2011. Silver Outstanding in 2012. Silver in 2013. Silver in 2014.
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What Is The Shelf Life For Creme De Coco
Creme De Cacao cocktails. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Youll usually get the best flavor by drinking within 6 to 9 months of opening, longer if refrigerated. Youll usually get the best flavor by drinking within 6 to 9 months of opening, longer if refrigerated. Still have questions?
Vsop Cognacs From Brandyclassics:
At Brandyclassics, we specialise in selling single producer Cognacs, and hence attach rather less importance to the generic terms such as VSOP and XO, and more on the “age statements” and the talents of the individual distillers. However that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t buy VSOP Cognacs from us. We’ve a range of exceptional VSOP Cognacs from the smaller, quality cognac producers – they’re aren’t necessarily more expensive than the big brands, but we’re sure you’ll find they have a much more distinct character and flavour. Here’s a few suggestions for you…
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What Makes These Spirits Derived From Distilled Wine Actually Differentand Also The Same
Cognac and brandy are the kinds of spirits that your grandfather and/or Fetty Wap might sip by the fire on a chilly winter eve, or guzzle posted up in a bando settin goals and talkin matchin Lambos, respectively.
Youve probably tasted both cognac and brandy, even if you dont realize it. Hell, you might be holding a bottle of Hennessy in your hand at this very moment. But chances are you dont actually know the real difference between brandy and cognac. If you did, you likely wouldnt have clicked into this article that very clearly promises to detail the differences.
Cognac and brandytwo silky, smooth, pungent, and traditionally refined spirits made from distilling wineare not the same thing. But, well, they kind of are.
We know its confusing. Please, pour yourself a glass, and let us explain.
What Do The Letters On French Cognacs Mean
You can see combinations of certain Latin letters on bottles of cognac, produced, however, not only in France. And while many are struggling to decipher the mysterious inscriptions, we will talk about the true meaning of such markings. So, heres what the letters on cognac mean:
- C cognac
As you can see, nothing complicated. If you want to pass for an erudite connoisseur of elite alcohol, then just learn this transcript. Then it will be possible to impress others by revealing the secret of the combination of letters. But not everything is so simple with them its not enough just to glue the words together. For example, a drink labeled VS or very excellent must be aged in oak barrels for at least 2.5 years.
You can also find on such cognac the designation Trois Etoiles, which literally corresponds to our three stars. Another popular marking, VO means Very Old or very old. It happens that such cognac is called Reserve. This drink must be aged for at least three years.
But the VSOP combination already looks more solid. In fact, this is Very Superior Old Pale or very old and very excellent light cognac. Such a drink must be aged for at least four years, but often this period is even longer.
If you meet VVSOP, then this is an even more improved version of VSOP, it is called Grand Reserve. This drink is kept in barrels for at least 5 years.
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So Is Hennessy Brandyand Cognac
It sure is! See, youre getting it now.
Hennessy is overwhelmingly the most popular brand of cognac in the world, accounting for almost half of overall cognac sales and production in the world. Its also an incredibly old brand, with origins reaching back all the way to 1765.
Other cognac brands of note include Remy Martin, Courvoisier, and . If youve listened to rap in the past quarter-century, youve probably heard these names dropped a lotand they are all from the same diminutive region of France. .
Which Is Better Courvoisier Vs Or Vsop
Courvoisier Cognac VSOP Tasting Notes VSOP means Very Special Old Pale. Cognacs within this category are aged for at least four years. Courvoisier Cognac VSOP is 40% alcohol by volume and retails for $40 for a 750 ml bottle. The VSOP is a fraction darker than the VS. There is no hint of burn on the nose.
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About The Brand Of Hennessy Cognac Shop
XO Hennessy Cognac, Since its founding in 1765, Hennessy has been guided by a passion to craft the worlds finest Cognacs our drive to Never stop. Never settle. Composed of 7 members including the Master Blender, the Committee tastes, rates and selects the eaux-de-vie that will eventually be blended into Hennessy Cognacs.
The oak used to make our barrels comes exclusively from the Limousin forest in France, which provides the correct maturation for our Cognac. Hennessys eaux-de-vie differ from one year to the next due to weather patterns.
Nevertheless, the Master Blender, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde is charged with faithfully repeating the unique taste of Hennessy Cognacs year after year, uncompromising on quality.
XO Hennessy Cognac is crafted with a strict set of standards defined by the Master Blender and handed down from generation to generation. However, when it comes to enjoying Cognac, we havent followed any rules since 1765.
You may think, that with Hennessys ability to innovate and push boundaries, they are a thoroughly modern Cognac brand. This is a large part of their immense success and influence.
The very French brand based in the Charente region, in fact, dates all the way back to 1765 to Ireland but have managed to shapeshift enough times to remain more relevant than ever before with current Master Blender Renaud Fillioux.
TASTING NOTESNOSE: TASTE: FINISH: FAQ1. What does XO mean in Hennessy?
Tesseron Trésor Cognac
2. Is Hennessy XO a whiskey?
What Are The Different Grades Of Cognac
The current legally defined categories of Cognac include:
- V.S.: Eau de vies with a minimum age of two years. Also known as Very Special or Three Stars.
- V.S.O.P.: Eau de vies with a minimum age of four years. Also known as Very Special Old Pale or Reserve.
- X.O.: Eau de vies with a minimum age of six years.
What does Napoleon brandy mean?
What is Napoleon Cognac? An unofficial age designation, Napoleon Cognac technically falls within the official classification of a V.S.O.P which requires eaux-de-vie to be aged for a minimum of four years. However, a V.S.O.P Cognac may be referred to as a Napoleon if it has been aged for more than six years.
What you mean by VSOP?
Very Superior Old PaleVSOP 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.
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What Does Vsop And Xo Cognac Mean
This entry was posted on January 17, 2011 by Michael Collins.
Perhaps the most confusing aspect facing shoppers seeking a decent bottle of cognac is the use of generic terms such as VS, VSOP and XO. The big cognac houses such as Hennessy, Martel, Courvoisier and others use these to describe their highly blended cognacs. These big negoçiants buy their cognacs from around 5000 small producers and blend them together. Often, these blends may contain as many as 2000 different cognacs from individual producers.
The rules governing cognac are many, but essentially it must be double distilled and the final distillation must be between 67 to 72 degrees . It can take several decades for the strength to drop naturally to that which most of us drink cognac, 40 degrees. This natural process is by evaporation, the lost alcohol being known as Part des Anges, the Angels Share. To avoid waiting and to minimise cost, the negoçiants will dilute the young cognacs, often adding sugar syrup and caramel. These additives give colour and soften the fiery effects. In contrast cognacs that have aged naturally develop richer qualities and greater individuality of their flavours.