Cognac has been around for centuries and is a well-known drink worldwide. There’s a reason why it is often referred to as “liquid gold.” The amber-colored spirit is respected for its smooth, complex flavor and luxurious feel. Made from grapes—primarily high-acid, low-alcohol that are fermented, twice-distilled, and then matured in oak barrels before blending and bottling. Before we talk about the top 5 best cognacs in the world, let’s discuss the types of cognacs that we have.
TYPES OF COGNACS
- Very Special or VS: This is the most common form of cognac, which is aged for the minimum required of two years.
- Very Superior Old Pale or VSOP: This exquisite blend is aged for at least four years.
- XO which stands for Extra Old: The youngest cognac in this blend has been aged for at least six years.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 best cognacs in the world which are all enjoyed in Nigeria.
1. HENNESSY: This cognac was originally founded in 1765—currently produces about 40% of the world’s cognac. Safe to say it is the most popular and biggest producer of cognac in the world. What’s more is that the brand has a supremely wide and versatile portfolio, which ranges from standard statements to limited-edition master blends.
For all the top-shelf drinkers out there, Hennessy XO has been the stuff of legend for nearly 150 years. In fact, some say it was the first XO ever produced. For everyone else, Hennessy VS is as reliable as it is ubiquitous. Not only are they a large production house, but their versatility is also what keeps them on top. Their brand goes from standard statements to limited-edition master blends. It caters to regular customers as well as the expert judge in matters of taste.
2. MARTELL: Easily one of the most recognizable and cherished cognac houses from the famous French region. With 300 years of passion and history under its belt, Martell is the oldest of the active cognac houses. It is a world-famous cognac that has been enjoyed by drinkers for centuries. The drink is made from a blend of Eaux-de-vie that are aged for at least two years in oak casks, and it features a distinctive flavor that has made it a favorite among cognac lovers.
Martell’s beauty lies in the simplicity of its process, using great grapes and undergoing a comprehensive and tested distillation and maturation process. That’s saying a lot, since most of the best cognac houses are really, really old. Naturally, this brand has craftsmanship and quality on lock, hence its broad slate of smooth sippers. using grapes from four different regions. This Bleu is often served as an after-dinner drink, but it can also be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed with other beverages. No matter how you choose to drink it, Martell Cordon Bleu is sure to please the palate.
3. REMY MARTIN: This is one of the top three names that come to mind when you think of cognac. It’s definitely in the top 5 best cognacs that we have in the world. Founded in 1724, it has established itself by its full spectrum of ages and prices. It is better known for its best-selling VSOP around the world and makes a perfect base for a delicious sidecar. This brand’s unique history is marked by King Louis XV of France, who granted Rémy Martin the right to plant new vines due to its excellent cognacs.
From the middle of the 19th century, Paul-Emile Rémy Martin started to export its cognacs into the USA, Asia, and the Pacific. Rémy Martin XO is the result of the perfect blend of Eaux-de-vie from the Borderies, Grande, and Petite Champagne crus.
The cognac has been aged for a minimum of 10 years in Limousin oak casks. The result is a cognac with a deep amber color and rich, complex flavors. This is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks but can also be used in cocktails. It is a perfect choice for any occasion. This cognac is a blend of up to 1,200 Eaux-de-vie and is aged for a minimum of 10 years. It has a complex flavor with notes of dark fruit, nuts, and caramel.
4. COURVOISIER VSOP: This is another classic region distillery with a meticulous masterful process that produces incredible styles of cognac. To create unique and stunning blends full of nuance and depth, Courvoisier uses several premium grapes, like Petite Champagne, Grande Champagne, Fins Bois, and Broderies. As with some of the other cognac houses on our list, Courvoisier leans hard into its playful side, with beautiful, bright bottles and bold fruity and floral flavors.
5. D’USSE: D’Usse is the brainchild of Cellar Casavecchia and is part-owned by Jay-Z (the other owners are Bacardi and Sovereign Brands). The vision was to create a cultural icon that is bold, free, and authentic.
There are two expressions under the brand. The first is the VSOP, which is bold and full-bodied. It has a rich woody, cinnamon, and floral notes on the nose with an unexpectedly smooth finish and hints of spice with undertones of honey and dried fruits. Then the second is an XO with the Eaux-de-vie hand-selected by Michel. Expect a balanced finish with rich notes of ripe blackberry and apricot and hints of walnut and dark chocolate. Serve this one on the rocks, with a coffee-infused ice cube, or in a billionaire’s sidecar cocktail.
These are our Top 5 best cognacs in the world. We do know there are other top cognacs that didn’t make the list, such as the Meukow, which was awarded in 2015 both Best Cognac VS and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. However, we can’t fit all in the list and we didn’t want to make a long list.
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