Friday, January 31, 2020

Cognac Review: Courvoisier VS

Courvoisier something like the fourth largest cognac house by sales volume, but its prominent placement in some critical hip-hop tracks of the 90s mean that you have almost certainly heard of it before. They're also known for having invented the Napoleon classification for cognac, though that doesn't get much play here in the States.

Me? I just want to know if it's any good.

Courvoisier VS

Nose: graham crackers, clover honey, creamy grape notes, apples and pears, gently floral. After adding a few drops of water the honey notes diminish, the oak becomes spicier, and the graham crackers disappear.

Taste: moderate grape and caramel sweetness throughout, vague floral and fruity notes around the middle, very gentle oak, vanillin, and cardboard bitterness at the back. After dilution it remains roughly the same, but maybe with a bit more grape sweetness.

Finish: smooth grape and cardboard, creamy vanillin, dried flowers

Much like the Hennessy, this is at best OK. There are some more interesting notes here, especially on the nose, but nothing especially engaging. Maybe a cocktail will bring out some more?

In a Sidecar the nose is dominated by the curaçao, with some apple and floral notes from the cognac. The sip opens with sweetness balanced by the lemon, some caramel and floral notes emerging around the middle, then a slightly bitter fade into the back. The finish is rather muddled with caramel, unpleasant floral notes, and cardboard-y orange notes.

This is both better and worse than the Hennessy. There are a few more redeeming features, but taken as a whole it is somewhat less pleasant. The floral notes really stand out, but become twisted and kind of gross. Busta Rhymes lied.


  1. What VS Cognacs do you recommend? I currently have both Courvoisier and Camus for mixing.

    1. I did a lot with Hardy VS before they bumped their price up. If you can find it for under $30 I think I would still recommend it. I also need to get to my bottle of Ferrand 1840, though its average price is a fair bit higher.