Paul Beau VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
Paul Beau // Grande Champagne, France
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.
CognacBrandy distilled in a delimited region within France from specific grapes. Must be double-distilled to no higher than 72% abv. Required to be aged in oak for at least 2 years. Also, if labeled as the following, minimum aging is: VS-2 years, VSOP-4 years, Napoléon 6 years, XO-10 years (as of April 2018).
Cask TypeFrench oak
"Compared to the very light and pretty VS, this cognac has a bit more of everything. The Paul Beau house tends to focus on finesse and bread. The VSOP has notes of earth and barley combined with the more typical flavors of hard butterscotch-candy and floral fields. On tasting, the brandy starts with a silky character, but then moves to a complex finish of bitter cocoa, cinnamon spice, and a hint of wood tannin. Quite complex."