An Enthusiast’s guide to Cognac


For the record, I’ve been enjoying Cognac ever since listening a certain Master P song about Hennessey a few too many times in college. It has all the wonderful characteristics of whiskey: strong, rich, delightfully long lasting flavor; a warm, buttery feel in the mouth and belly; lots of badass pop culture references. But Cognac takes it to a different level. The smell of cognac is overpowering and each brand is different. Because it is fermented from wine, there is none of the dryness that grain alcohol tends to take on. And the broadness of flavor is unparalleled by all but the finest of other distillates.

In our ruthless (trembling) pursuit of knowledge, your humble Enthusiasts recently attended the The Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail’s Cognac tasting class—in large part because we were sure our $20 admission fee was going to be a great value from a purely liquid standpoint. But little did we know how much more there is to Cognac than we had originally assumed. Here is what the remarkable fellows from Beverage Alcohol Resource (Steve Olson, Andy Seymour and Dale DeGroff) taught us that magical night we spent in the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts.

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