If you’re an avid reader of this blog (which, let’s be honest, you aren’t) then you’ve probably noticed an upward trend the booze I’ve been drinking. I’ve been getting all high class with single malts and now a trump card, VSOP Cognac. I’ve come a long way from drinking vanilla flavored E&J XO.* Anyways, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I am, shall we say more financially liquid, than before. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that anything above $25 didn’t come from my wallet—this was a gift from my old man, who is ever grateful that my student loans now come from my accounts. Regardless of where it comes from, drinking Cognac has an air of elegance, sophistication and superiority. Not necessarily superiority in social class mind you, I mean superiority in drinking class; it’s a sign of some maturity and taste. Perhaps there are some of you thinking about (and youtubing) the song “Pass the Courvoisier,” and you’re probably thinking that kind of kills the cache of the beverage. I’m not going to assert that Busta Rhymes is a man of exquisite taste, but go ahead disregard that. What I am saying, and perhaps I should have gotten to this point far earlier, is that good Cognac has not only a fine flavor, but a culture of sophistication with a secret language, a rich history. With fancy French wine regions as it’s provenance (this is 50-50 Grand and Petit Champagne) and fancy grade names, V.S.O.P. meaning Very Superior Old Pale, the language of Cognac is almost like a secret code for the knowing drinker. Take into account the fact that Courvoisier is known as the Cognac of Napoleon (also Busta), and you know that this is drink with history. Rival Hennessey can only boast the dictatorship of Kim Jung-Il, amateur.
So what do you get once you’ve joined the brotherhood? Here’s my impressions: Warm on the tongue with an herbal aroma, a rounded molasses body, and a rich vanilla finish with a warm bite that cuts through and lingers like a furnace in the back of your throat. Overall it’s quite well balanced with pleasant dark overtones, though the heat isn’t actually my favorite. Somehow, though I love high proof bourbon, this heat was unexpected and I’m not crazy about it. I am pretty crazy about the rest of the flavors though, and most of all, I’m crazy about the way it makes me feel. Beyond that oh so wonderful cognac buzz, which wraps your brain up like warm a down sleeping bag, there is that wonderful feeling that you’re drinking in good company when you drink VSOP Courvoisier—even if you’re just watching Seinfeld alone and still in your workout clothes.
*My E&J XO Brandy post is actually by far my most read, so perhaps I should keep my damned mouth shut.