Cognac’s unique taste lends itself to many uses in cocktails and cooking. However, only certain cognacs taste best drunk straight, and the quality ultimately depends on the distiller.
Many people, like myself, enjoy a glass of cognac after dinner, taking it at room temperature and drinking it neat.
The following list of top shelf cognac options is prestigious enough to enjoy any way you’d like.
This list contains cognac brands that emphasize various aspects of the spirit, like flavor, aroma, and decanter.
Pierre Ferrand Réserve
Pierre Ferrand Réserve is a French cognac developed in the Champagne area. You will notice its light amber color from inside the sophisticated glass bottle. Tasting highlights for this cognac include vanilla, dried roses, apricots, walnuts, and spices like cinnamon and clove. This drink is a great spirit for those who enjoy a robust flavor.
Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No. 3
From the Hennessy brand, this Master Blender’s Selection No. 3 is a cognac crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail, from the bottle to the palate. This golden amber cognac smells light and sweet, like walking into a bakery. For taste, it includes notes of pastries and praline.
Hine Antique XO Premier Cru Cognac
This French cognac spirit is distilled and aged in the Grande Champagne countryside. It features flavors and aromas that blur the line between sweet and earthy. Tasting notes for this cognac include dried fruit, oak, hazelnut, quince, and spice.
D’usse Cognac XO
This D’usse XO cognac is both elegant and enchanting, partly because it comes in a black and silver bottle that makes a statement. This cognac has a rich flavor to match its regal appearance. Tasting notes include blackberry, apricot, dark chocolate, and walnut. Each flavor combines for a smooth and balanced drinking experience.
Cognac Park XO Cigar Blend Vieille Fine Champagne
To accentuate the fruit flavor, distillers from Cognac Park age their spirits for at least 30 years, intensifying the tasting experience. This distillery also blends cognac from multiple French regions, including Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. Placed in medium toast barrels, this cognac is the perfect companion for cigars.
Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac
Just as the name suggests, the Remy Martin 1738 Royal cognac is quite a lavish experience. This full-bodied cognac has a creamy and nutty aftertaste due to its time spent in French oak barrels. At first smell, you may notice plum, fig jam, and toffee, and its sweet taste includes notes of butterscotch, dark chocolate, and spices.
Courvoisier XO Cognac
This prestigious cognac opens with fruitful notes of fig, raisin, plum, and orange. Then, you may notice more unique floral flavors like iris. Finally, you taste sweet hints of vanilla and crème brûlée. Because of its rich and sweet flavor, this cognac pairs well with bold cheeses like Roquefort.
Louis XIII Cognac
Louis XIII cognac cultivates a specific grape blend from vineyards across Grande Champagne in France. At first taste, you will notice a curated blend of floral, fruity, and spiced flavors. Later on, more earthy notes should come forward, like oak, cigar, and leather. Its ornate decanter bottle and bright red box make the experience extra special.
Frapin Château Fontpinot XO
The Frapin Château Fontpinot XO’s sleek bottled design matches its traditional yet elegant distillery process and taste. This cognac spends a lengthy aging process in French oak cellars, giving ample time for optimal flavor development. Some of the tasting notes include dried fruit, marzipan, and hazelnut.
Camus Ile de Ré Fine Island
With lively packaging, this Camus cognac evokes the summer countryside in France. The cognac smells of light fruits like peaches and pear flavor. The tasting notes include a balance of fresh, crisp, sweet, and nutty. The rich flavors in this cognac pair perfectly in a glass on the rocks and alongside seafood dishes.
A family-owned distillery, Bache-Gabrielsen appreciates creating new experiences out of authentic cognac flavors. Each of their cognacs has a distinct flavor profile, cultivated from grapes across France. They celebrate the boldness of cognac with their American Oak spirits and the fruit-forward taste with their Tre Kors.
Martell XO is a versatile cognac that many people can enjoy. It has a copper color with an aroma of blended pepper and coriander spices. Martell XO tastes like fig, blackcurrant, and fresh berries. This cognac achieves its long-lasting flavor from a variety of grapes harvested in the Champagne region.
Enjoy your next glass of cognac from any of these distillers, and they will not disappoint! This list contains various flavors and types of cognac, so there are options for everyone.
What is your favorite top shelf cognac? Let us know in the comments below.
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