Cognac - Courvoisier V.S., Courvoisier
Courvoisier V.S. Cognac
Importer: by Courvoisier Import Company, Deerfield, Illinois
PROOF: 80 (40%)
TYPE: Cognac, VS
AGE: Varies (Blended for 2 to up to 8 years)
PRICE: $28.99 750 ML
Notes: Youngest expression of the venerable Courvoisier line which includes the usual grades V.S.O.P. ,the new V.S.O.P. designed and blended with an eye for mixing Exclusif , and their premium cognacs Napoleon, X.O.Fine Champagne , X. O Imperial, Initial® Extra, Millennium and Courvoisier® Succession J. S. L’Esprit de Courvoisier® and the Erte Collection. This particular one is a mix of Fin Bois and petite champagne.
First Impression: Apricots, prunes, figs, vanilla, and oily nuts and some oak and Virginia tobacco. A slightly sweet, aromatic relatively light bouquet compared to its older siblings.
Appearance: Light gold/yellow color, leaves thin coat on swirling. Could be mistaken for a bourbon in color.
Taste: Ever so slightly sweet, medium body, dark fruits, flowers notes of vanilla and a slightly intense but short finish.
Drinks: We tried the drinks mentioned on the website, all of them were good, if not exciting. Worked well in a Black Pagoda (basically a brandy Manhattan -see Gary Regan's Bartenders Bible) and the fruitiness made for a wonderful brandy base for red Sangria (soak the fruit in it overnight for best results) . Also very useful in cooking - cheap, stands up well in cooking and distinctive without overwhelming other ingredients.
Note: Never use anything in cooking you wouldn't drink.
Cigars: Nothing overly heavy or complex. A natural wrapper Ashton or Joya de Nicaragua perhaps.
Bottle: Simple clear glass cognac bottle (think bell or apple shaped with a long neck), somewhat distinctive (sloped shoulder and raised pommel with a Napoleon medallion). Gold / brown letters "VS" underneath with gold edged old parchment rectangular label and dark blue neck wrap.
Other: Twice-distilled in copper alembic pot stills and aged in French oak casks. This tasted like nectar of the gods, when I was in considerable pain from a broken leg and on a flight back from France - I don't think I would have made it without the Courvoisier.
Final Thoughts: A lighter, fruity cognac that is easy to drink and a great mixer. If you like bourbon or Jack Daniel's more than cognac, this cognac is for you. A good cognac, generally, but resting on its laurels in terms of price/quality ratio.
A quick-loading, informative website with large amounts of history, pictures, recipes etc., but somewhat lacking on details at times. Straight-forward and easy-to-navigate.