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 2,123 other subscribers
  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 14,293,170 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Archive for the ‘Brandy and Cognac Reviews’ Category

Review: St-Rémy V.S.O.P French Brandy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2021

In 1886 Paul-Emile Rémy Martin II established the original St-Rémy Distillery in the tiny village of Machecoul. After 30 years of experimentation (in 1917), St. Remy launched Fine St-Rémy, the French Brandy which came to define the St-Rémy style and character for decades to come. The distillery began to exported their French Brandy to the rest of Europe in the 1920s and then jumped the Atlantic to Canada in 1967. Within another decade, the St-Remy spirit was sold on all five major continents, and today St-Rémy proudly proclaims itself the World’s No. 1 French Brandy.

The production of St-Remy V.S.O.P. French Brandy begins with the selection of grapes, harvested in France’s most prestigious wine-growing regions, such as Burgundy, Champagne, Rhône Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire Valley, Bordeaux and Beaujolais. Distillation takes place in both column and pot stills where the fermented wine is heated until the contained alcohol evaporates and becomes eaux-de-vie. The heart of the second distillation is carefully selected by the distiller to have the proper characteristics such that the eaux-de-vie will develop into brandy as they are matured in small French oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: St-Rémy V.S.O.P French Brandy

“… impressions of fine oak spice, butterscotch, raisins and green apple. Then we notice vanilla and red licorice. This is followed by leather, wood shavings, cigarette tobacco, and some herbal grasses …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my serving suggestion, the Sidecar.




Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Brandy Review | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Hine Antique Cognac XO

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 30, 2018

Hine is one of the oldest Cognac Houses in the commune of Jarnac, (within the Cognac appellation in France of course). Hine has produced their Cognac since 1763.

Hine Antique XO Cognac is produced from a blend 40 Cognac spirits in the heart of France’s Cognac appellation on the banks of the River Charente. Recently the brand upgraded the blend such that every drop of Hine Antique is now distilled from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne cru. The Grand Champagne cru is the most recognizable Cognac region of France known for consistently producing high quality grape harvests. In addition, all of the eau de vie for this cognac blend have been aged a minimum of ten years which is four years longer than required by French law.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Hine Antique Cognac XO

“… The initial nose is perhaps a tad restrained as scents of  oak spice and vanilla mingle within a fruited caramel aroma. As the glass breathes, I begin to notice a growing herbaceous quality with camphor, menthol and cinnamon weaving themselves into the lightly sweet caramel. Fresh fruit, (apples, pears and apricots) as well as a bits of raisin unravel into the breezes above the glass as well …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!



Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Hine Antique Cognac XO

Review – Hennessy X.O.

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2018

Jas Hennessy & Co., is the largest Cognac producer in the world today with sales that exceed 45 million bottles per year. The company was founded in 1765 by Richard Hennessy who was an Irish Officer in the army of Louis XV. Hennessy XO Cognac traces its development back to 1870 when Maurice Hennessy created a special cognac for him to share with his closest friends. This cognac meant for his ‘inner circle’ was given the name X.O to denote it as an “extra old” cognac. This X.O designation has become a labeling standard used throughout the industry, and today denotes an older Cognac style which must meet a minimum age requirement of 6 years for all of the eaux de vie within  its assemblage.

The subject of this review is the modern Hennessy X.O Cognac. The spirit is produced from the fruity Ugni Blanc grapes which have been harvested from the four great crus of the Cognac region (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois). The grape wine produced is (of course) double distilled upon Hennessy Distillery’s copper pot stills, and then selected eaux-de-vie is set down to age (some for as long as 30 years) in french oak casks which have constructed from old growth oak timbers.

Here is a link to my review:

Review – Hennessy X.O.

“… The initial aroma displayed a strong indication of oak and wood spice with firm scents of caramel and raisin buried within that spiciness. The oak is dominant, however there is enough caramel sweetness and raisin-like fruitiness to compliment the oak and entice me to go further …”

Enjoy my review.


Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Review – Hennessy X.O.

Review – Camus XO Borderies

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2018

The construction of the CAMUS XO Borderies begins at the home of Camus within the Borderies cru (the smallest appellation in the Cognac region) with a selection of grapes which are produced mainly from the vines of the Domaines CAMUS Estate. The wine produced from these grapes is distilled on the lees after which the eaux-de-vie is set down to age in French oak barrels.

The ages of the various XO Borderies eaux-de-vie which make up the blend must be (by law) a minimum of six years of age, although to achieve the desired flavour profile, it would not be unusual for some of the specific Cognac in the blend to be aged much longer, in fact some of the Cognac for the CAMUS XO Borderies may be aged as for long as 30 years.

Here is a link to my full review of the CAMUS XO Borderies:

Review – Camus XO Borderies

“… The XO Borderies fills the mouth with fruity flavours of fresh green grape, yellow apples, and green pears, as well as with flavours of raisins and dried apricots. So much obvious fruit in front of the oak in an XO Cognac is unusual. There is also firm undercurrent of herbal flavours which remind me of sawgrass, heather, licorice and green spearmint …”

Please enjoy my review.


Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review – Camus XO Borderies

Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 19, 2018

Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac is blended solely from aged eaux de vie produced within the 1st Cru de Cognac, specifically from the Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes grown within the Grande Champagne Cognac appellation (region) of France. Although the final spirit has no age statement, this is because the spirit is blended to meet an age profile that represents a 20-year-old spirit. To maintain product consistency from year to year, the actual average age of the blended cognac will vary depending upon the cellar conditions during maturation and the interactions between the oak and the aging eaux de vie.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve

“… The aroma from the glass brings forward impressions of lightly musty leather and oak spice alongside indications of dry fruit and raisins. Some lighter aroma akin to Granny Smith apples and fresh green grape are apparent as well, but it is the darker fruit which is more dominant. Some honeycomb reaches up giving me an impression of light sweetness with touches of almond and crushed walnut shells rounding out the aroma …”

Oh yes, do try my recipe for Leo Engels’ 1878 Brandy Cocktail which is found at the end of the review!



Posted in Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve

%d bloggers like this: