Cognacs You Should Know and Love

Meet Cognac, the often-misunderstood monarch of after-dinner libations. At its core, Cognac is a region-specific brandy—a spirit made from the distillation of wine, which is then aged in oak barrels. But there’s much more to it than that. There are three categories into which a cognac can fall. A VS label, which stands for “Very Special,” designates a spirit that was aged for 2 years in French oak casks. A Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP) expression is aged for at least 4 years, while an Extra Old (XO) Cognac is …

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