Featured Best Buy Booze: Hennessy VS Cognac

June 27, 2011 — Hennessy VS Cognac

So, before we get too deep into this week’s featured best buy booze, it’s worth asking — what’s the difference between cognac and brandy?

It’s kind of like squares.

All cognacs are brandies. Not all brandies are cognacs.


My man Josh Davis is the king of cognac. So he’ll be able to tell me if I’m completely messing everything up.

Cognac is named after the town of Cognac in France. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name. To be called cognac, it must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Most cognacs are aged longer than the legal requirement, as cognac matures much in the same way as whiskies and wine when aged.

Now, we’re breaking of Josh’s rule of nothing below VSOP, but the Hennessy VS is the only one below $25, so it will be our best buy booze. And it still makes some solid cocktails.

The Hennessy VS has that strong wine flavor that you’d expect from brandy, with just a little bit of alcoholic “oomph” on the end. Not exactly great for sipping neat or on the rocks, but a great back for cocktails.


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