What is Cognac?
Cognac is briefly described as French brandy-type brandy from the Cognac area. Cognac comes from distilled white wine of approx. 8% alcohol, which is typically from the Ugni Blanc grape variety.
The white wine is distilled twice, after which the distillate enters oak casks from the Limousin or Troncais area. Here, the distillate has an alcohol percentage between 40-43. How long the distillate rests depends on which flavors the Cognac house wants.
The distillate is known in French as "eaux-de-vie".
Cognac is known to have one of the following abbreviations on the bottle:
- VS (Very Special) lying on the plate min. 2 years.
- VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) min. 4.5 years.
- XO (Extra Old), Jaws an age of at least 10 years
If you taste a VS or VSOP cognac, you often experience a sharper and fresher taste than with XO cognac. XO Cognac has a deeper, darker and more rounded taste.
- VS and VSOP Cognac can be advantageously used for cocktails.
- VSOP Cognac can also be enjoyed on the rocks (on ice).
- XO Cognac is enjoyed neat.
The producer ' Hennessy ' has been making Cognac since 1765 and is today known for their high quality. They produce VSVSOP and XO plus a few extra special varieties.
Below you can read more about their sublime XO version:
Hennessy XO Cognac
Hennessy XO Cognac is a blend of 100 "eaux-de-vie" from the four premier crus of the Cognac area: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois and Borderies.
The oldest of these eaux-de-vie is approaching 30 years of age and gives Hennessy XO its exceptional quality, consistency and complexity.
The aroma is rich in dried fruit in the form of prunes or dried figs. The aroma develops into dense notes of chocolate and black pepper, tempered by cinnamon, clove and cardamom spices.
Generous aromas of candied fruit, oak and spices.
Taste: very balanced on the palate, and Hennessy XO Cognac smells of dried fruit, chocolate, peppery notes and hints of oak. A lovely long aftertaste gives sweet notes of cinnamon and vanilla.