The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,122 other subscribers
  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 14,285,682 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Brandy/Cognac Reviews

Brandy Reviews

Brandy is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an alcoholic liquor distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice. As limited as that statement is, it is an accurate stating point. Brandy is usually bottled between 35 to 60 per cent alcohol by volume, sometimes it is aged in wooden (oak) casks although (depending upon the jurisdiction), it may be unaged and coloured with caramel instead of aged. Brandy may be produced from fruit grown anywhere in the world, and may be distilled upon a large variety of stills.



Cognac Reviews

Certain styles of Brandy have become much more refined in where how they may be produced, the most common of these refined styles are Armagnac and Cognac.

The making of cognac is governed by strict rules designed to guarantee consistency of quality and character. All cognac must be produced from a specific region of France whose appellation was first set out by decree on May 1, 1909. Since 1938, this appellation has been composed of six crus: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bon Bois, and Bois a Terroir. (You can think of these crus a specific grape growing regions within the overall appellation.) The grape juice from which the cognac is distilled is produced solely from white grapes which have been grown within the appellation.

Cognac is distilled twice upon a copper Charentes Still. The resulting distillate must be aged in new french oak or french oak that previously contained only Cognac eaux de vie. The minimum aging for Cognac is 2 years, and if Cognac carries an age statement, it must be the youngest cognac in the blend which is represented. The youngest Cognac eaux de vie in a blend which is labelled VS must be at least 2 years; the youngest eaux de vie in a VSOP blend must be 4 years, and a Cognac labeled XO must not have any eaux de vie younger than 6 years.


A Quick Note Regarding Armagnac

It is not true to say that Armagnac is just Cognac grown in another region of France. Armagnac is actually significantly different from Cognac in not just where it is produced, but also in how it is produced.

It is produced from grapes (nine varietals allowed) grown in the Armagnac appellation of France (in Gascony). It is generally produced upon a column still and aged in oak casks. Armagnac is not as tightly regulated as Cognac allowing producers more choices in their distillation and aging techniques.


Pisco Reviews

Pisco, for those who are unfamiliar with the spirit, is a style of brandy made in both Chile and Peru. It was developed by early Spanish settlers in sixteenth century.  Although the spirit is sipped neat by some (especially in Chile and Peru), it is for usually intended to be a cocktail spirit.






5 Responses to “Brandy/Cognac Reviews”

  1. Jim W. said

    Would you please do a review of the Hennessy Cognac line? I have been enjoying the “Privledge” but would like to learn more about it & more of the line. What others would you compare to closely compete or beat “Privledge”? Thanks JIM

    • Hi Jim

      Sorry it took so long to reply.

      I have been eying the Hennessy line for a while now and reviews may be upcoming later this summer. At this time, I have not sampled “Priveledge”, hopefully this will change soon.

      • Hi Jim

        Tomorrow I am tasting 5 VSOP Cognacs, H by Hine, Camus Elegance, Hennessy Privilege, Courvoisier, and Remy Martin. Revies of each will follow which will hopefully more fully answer your questions. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: