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Hine Antique XO Cognac Premier Cru, 100% Grande Champagne Grapes, Rich & Sophisticated Hine Cognac, Aged 20 Years In French Oak Casks, Very Rich & Fruity Grande Champagne Cognac, 70cl, 40% ABV

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Like Delamain’s Pale & Dry, this old favourite has recently celebrated its 100th birthday, and time hasn’t diminished its superlative quality one jot. Hine’s vinous style comes to the fore here: all delicacy and finesse, but with a deceptive structure and evolved character from the inclusion of decades-old eaux-de-vie. Alc 40% This is the same liquid as the previous bottle but has been aged in the cellars under The Orangerie at Maison Hine in Jarnac, France, where conditions are very different. Nose

A rich nose filled with leather, honey and vanilla, and dappled with hints of spice and floral elements. Taste If you’re looking for a vintage comparison between Early Landed and Jarnac aged, why not try Hine 1983 Vintage Cognac alongside Hine 1983 Early Landed Vintage Cognac . Hine 1985 Grande Champagne, Aged in Jarnac Alike in every way to the previous Bonneuil except that the grapes were harvested in 2008 and give a snapshot of that year. NoseIndeed, cognac can be found in just about any liquor or convenience store with a license. However, while the quantity is certainly there, quality is another matter entirely. These single estate and single vintage Cognacs from the Bonneuil vineyard in Grand Champagne are about producing and demonstrating Cognacs with a wine approach. Both versions we try are aged to around 19 years old and come from the same plot, meaning the only difference is the year they were harvested (so what the grapes tastes like that year). There are around 8,000 bottles released and Rudolph, who is hosting our tasting, explains the expressions need longer ageing, but are still an interesting experiment into terroir. Nose Our panel — made up of accredited cognac experts and consumers — tested each bottle blind; first neat, then diluted with water to soften the alcohol and allow the core flavours to shine. They were looking for well-balanced examples offering a smooth mouthfeel and complexity. Younger cognacs should display a light and lively profile of fruit and floral notes, while aged examples should bring greater complexity, heavier oak and jammy dried fruit. Finally, we’d like to clarify that we’ve listed the best cognacs that are easy to find in the list above. After all, Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, and Rémy Martin represent 90% of the market in the USA. Maurice Hennessy is reputed to have created the Extra Old (XO) term more than 150 years ago, and this remains, for many, the epitome of the style. We’re leaving delicacy behind here and moving into powerful, rich and spicy territory, with lots of wood-driven smoke and tangy, dried fruit. Dark chocolate, clove and peppercorn come through on a robust and well-structured palate. Alc 40%

Among the oldest Cognac brands in the world, with a legacy that spans some 300 years, Martell rightfully takes its place as one of the industry’s most respected Maisons. Despite its towering history and famous legacy, Martell isn’t afraid of innovation. At Kelt, they believe this influence is crucial to the liquid, which is why the brand takes its barrels on a 90-day sea journey around the world before bottling. Kelt considers this its own essential stage of maturation and means it can offer the original taste of exported cognac. The highly regarded Kelt XO Tour du Monde (Tour of the World) shows there is method in the madness. The family believes cognac should be strong and aromatic, which is reflected in the brand’s powerful blends. Creating these XO styles is the point at which the great Cognac terroir of Grande and Petite Champagne comes into its own. Those deep, chalky soils help to create a distillate that rewards patience and long years in oak – whether produced by one of the big, multinational-owned Cognac houses, or by a small farm operation using only the fruit of its own vineyards. Best XO Cognacs Strikingly different from the UK-aged vintage! Rich toffee and salted caramel, with a fruit basket of cherry, prune and dark berries that is complex without weighing heavily on the palate. Suggested ServeCognac is a specific type of brandy, made from distilled white wine. However, just as all champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne; all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac... you follow?

Our British founder, Thomas Hine, chose the emblematic stag to represent Hine, most likely because of the analogy between the words Hine and hind. However legend has it that in Dorset, Thomas Hine’s home county, lived a white hart, a harbinger of good fortune and that this is why he elected the stag. Although the drink itself is over 100 years old, the bottle plays a big part in this cognac’s price. Made with 6,500 diamonds and two precious metals, the bottle is as much a work of art as it is a container. For over 260 years, generations of dedicated craftsmen and women have kept a keen eye on ensuring the longevity of our independent and family-owned heritage and recognized know-how that make our Maison’s cognacs one of a kind.

Cognac is the spirit you should be reaching for and drinking now,” says certified cognac educator Ms. Franky Marshall. That’s, in part, because of its diversity. Made from grapes—primarily high-acid, low-alcohol ugni blanc variety—that are fermented, twice-distilled, and then matured in oak barrels before blending and bottling, this brandy from France’s Cognac region is not just for sipping after dinner by the fire. In fact, it’s one of the widest-ranging spirits categories out there. Camus is one of the few cognac brands to have remained independent since opening in 1863, and it is fiercely proud of it. Having operated with the same philosophy through five generations, Camus offers its band of loyal consumers an unrivaled level of consistency. It is also believed he took several barrels of cognac with him to St. Helena, where he was exiled, and even shared it with the British soldiers on his journey there. Unlike Napoleon, Courvoisier succeeded in conquering the world, at least in sales. Its XO blend, which contains eaux-de-vie aged from 11 to 25 years, is one of the best-selling of its kind. Visit Hine: 16, quai de l'Orangerie ,16200 Jarnac ,+33 5 45 35 59 59 ,Visit Hine: 16, quai de l'Orangerie, 16200 Jarnac , +33 5 45 35 59 59 The taste is refined and elegant with dry cedar notes and a very light, white blossom honey. Suggested Serve

Although it may vary slightly, cognac prices are relatively consistent. Needless to say, older cognacs are more expensive and some Hors d’Âge blends like Louis XIII can easily cost several thousand dollars. Courvoisier is also one of the most experimental of the great Cognac houses. The house recently revealed an experimental cognac aged in rare Japanese mizunara oak casks. These exceptionally rare casks are prized among distillers for their ability to impart a particular spice to a spirit. Due to its slow growth and tendency to twist, the oak itself is in very short supply. This is surprisingly different from everything we’ve tried so far. Rhubarb custard sweetness pairs with a saline quality on the palate to create an unusual and dynamic expression that it is worth travelling to France to try! Suggested Serve An independent family domaine with a link to successive Hennessy Master Distillers, Jean Fillioux has about 20ha of vineyard in the heart of Grande Champagne. Bottled at an unusually high strength, this has great intensity and complexity, with more flavours leaping from the glass the longer you leave it: peaches in syrup, orange blossom, dark honey and cigar humidor. Alc 44%While food pairing is possible, generally speaking, cognac is best served as a digestif, or aperitif. While the old-school set would only serve it neat and at room temperature, we’re not ones to follow the rules.

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