Get Your Hands On These Cognacs

Sure, some cognacs are absurdly expensive and impossible to find, but these cognacs got top marks and should be pretty easy to get your hands on!
Nov 15, 2016
  • 10
    10 Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
    89
    Fruity
    Pierre Ferrand doesn't classify their cognacs with the standard VS, VSOP, XO, etc. classifications. Using their own labeling, Ambre, their youngest standard expression, is an average of 10 years. Ferrand uses mostly ugni blanc grapes with a small portion of colombard grapes used and all were sourced from the Grande Champagne area.
  • 9
    9 Bache-Gabrielsen VSOP Natur & Eleganse
    90
    Woody & Fruity
    Bache-Gabrielsen is a revered cognac house started in 1905. The “Natur & Eleganse” line is supposed to be a break from their classical line signified with an non-traditional, short, squat bottle and a flavor profile that highlights “no-nonsense," “frank and fruity characters.” The four-plus year old brandy is all ugni blanc sourced from vines in mostly the Fins Bois, but also the Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne crus.
  • 8
    8 Camus VSOP Elegance Cognac
    90
    Fruity
    Camus (pronounced "Kah-moo") is a five-generation cognac producing family that traces its roots in the business back to 1863. Their estate vineyards in the Borderies cru, an area within Cognac, is the primary source of wine that serves as the base for their spirits with additional eaux-de-vie sourced from all six areas within the Cognac region. For the VSOP Elegance, Maison CAMUS selects aromatic eaux-de-vie partially distilled on the lees, including some from the Borderies cru. It is aged in specially selected and seasoned barrels.
  • 7
    7 ABK6 VSOP Superior Cognac
    90
    Sweet
    Don't let the sleek, modern design or the name fool you - ABK6 is a traditionally-made cognac produced at Domaines Francis Abécassis (hence the abbreviated name, ABK6) in the Fins Bois region. This single-estate VSOP is produced from grapes grown in the chalky soils and higher elevations of its vineyards. Though this category calls for grapes aged a minimum of 4.5 years, ABK6 prides itself in the maturity of the fruit used in its eaux-de-vie.
  • 6
    6 Guillon-Painturaud VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
    90
    Fruity & Sweet
    Guillon-Painturaud is a family-owned cognac grower-producer with its estate having been in the family since 1610. In the 1970s the brand ceased selling to large cognac houses and have since bottled their cognac under their family name. This practice is still very rare in the region now, and was nothing short of revolutionary at the time. After fermentation, the wine (made from estate-grown ugni blanc) is distilled unfiltered. The resulting eau-de-vie matures in bespoke French oak barrels from the Limousin and Tronçais forests. The brand's VSOP is aged, on average 15 years--far longer than the required 4 years for the category. No additives added before bottling at 80 proof.
  • 5
    5 Hine Rare VSOP Cognac
    90
    Sweet
    This VSOP from Hine is comprised of about 60% Grand Champagne and the remainder using Petite Champagne eaux-de-vie making this a Fine Champagne Cognac. The age for the cognac used in this blend range from 6-12 years with the average age being 8 years.
  • 4
    4 Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac
    90
    Fruity & Rich
    Dating back to 1724, Rémy Martin has a long and storied history in Cognac. This marque, 1738 Royal Accord, pays tribute to one of Rémy Martin's earliest accolades when the French King Louis XV bestowed a reward of excellence on the distillery. A blend of various eaux-de-vie, this Fine Champagne Cognac is a step up from Rémy's flagship VSOP.
  • 3
    3 Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac
    90
    Spicy
    The Reserve bottling from Pierre Ferrand has an average age of 20 year old cognac. Their eaux-de-vie are aged in 270 liter Limousin oak barrels. As with all of their products, the grapes were sourced only from the Grande Champagne region, the highest or 1er cru. Ferrand distills its eaux-de-vie on the lees, a choice the brands can make or not. The lees (after fermentation, the wine is unfiltered and so retains the skins, stems, etc.) will capture and retain more aromas than distilling without them will impart.
  • 2
    2 Paul Beau VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
    91
    Floral & Sweet
    The world's cognac is supplied by the big four producers -- no need to name them, no doubt you’ve at least heard of, if not tasted them. Producers that distill and bottle themselves account for a trickle of the region's production, which makes labels like Paul Beau (which started bottling independently at the end of the 1800s) such an anomaly. Their vineyards are in the heart of Cognac's Grande Champagne region (considered the best of the region). Also notable, this VSOP bottling averages brandies aged 15 years -- quite a leap from the required 4 years.
  • 1
    1 Chateau de Montifaud Napoléon Fine Petite Champagne
    92
    Rich & Fruity
    Current sixth-generation family member, Laurent Vallet, runs Chateau de Montifaud, where there's a history of production on their property dating to at least 1837. They operate as a rare grower distiller, with 110 of their 120 hectares of grapes located in Petite Champagne, and the remaining located in Grande Champagne. The Napoléon expression is aged between 15 and 18 years.