Here's a quick guide of how we get the best out of our Cognac, perfect for XO and Grande Champagnes.
In the bottle
Getting the most out of your Cognac starts in advance with your bottle which must always be kept upright, as it risks acquiring a taste of cork.
Your environment always impacts on your experience. For us a great Cognac deserves a calm, comfortable environment, which allows us to settle into a "conversation" with our Cognac and enjoy all it has to offer.
Choosing the right glass
A serious Cognac can overpower the sense of smell if in a wide "balloon" glass, instead the glass should be neither too deep nor too narrow, fitting comfortably in one's hand, and thin-rimmed crystal glass if available.
To remove any residual taste of cleaning detergent/soap, rinse the glass with plain water.
Once ready to get started, prepare the glass by pouring in a drop of Cognac, swirl and discard.
Neat for us
In our opinion XO and Grande Champagne Cognacs should be enjoyed neat, the distiller has crafted a masterpiece that we don't need to change. We will only consider adding water to an unsubtle VS or VSOP.
Let it breathe
Once poured, don't rush, let the Cognac breathe, it's been in a bottle for a while. A rough rule of thumb is at least thirty seconds per year of age.
To start the conversation with your Cognac, hold the glass in the palm of your hand to warm it gently. Known as hand temperature, this energises your Cognac, allowing it to release delicate fragrances that you wouldn’t notice at normal temperature.
As caramel can be added to Cognac to alter its appearance (within regulated limits), your first true experience of your Cognac will be via its fragrance. To best enjoy the delicate notes, hold it away from your nose and slowly bring it in, so it's scent can build and you can enjoy its subtlety.
It would be a shame to rush your conversation with a great Cognac, savour it with sips, enjoying each one and letting each settle before the next.
The Continuing Conversation
Even when you finish the glass, your Cognac will continue its conversation with you, both with an evolution of subtle tones in your mouth and with its scent lingering for a number of hours.
Close the bottle
To help maintain its vibrancy, do not leave the bottle uncorked for longer than it takes to fill your glass.
Well that's how we enjoy our Cognac, you can choose to copy us or do it your own way, the most important thing is that you enjoy your Cognac.