When it comes to class and one of the most acclaimed spirits, Courvoisier always makes it to the top of the list. This cognac derivative has been around since the French Revolution and has been the brandy of some of history’s biggest names.
Get ready to find out why Courvoisier is one of the best brands today!
Courvoisier Brandy: A Brief Background
The liquor has a rich history born when Emmanuel Courvoisier and Louis Gallois developed it in 1809. Soon after, the beverage would become the flavor of the ruling class in society. Napoleon Bonaparte was particularly fond of the Courvoisier.
This brand was also the one distributed at the grand opening of the Eiffel Tower. This is a testament to the grandeur of these world-class spirits from France, in levels that shame those of wine and beer. To date, it’s been featured in films like Diamonds are Forever and rapped about by the likes of P Diddy and Busta Rhymes, which is proof of its world-class review.
How It’s Made
Courvoisier is made using old techniques and modern technology. The distillation process of Courvoisier is similar to that of whiskey, but instead of grains, only the finest fruits from 3 grape varietals are used: Piquepoul, Trebbiano, and Colombard harvested from 4 crus in the cognac region, which are Fins Bois, Grande, and Petite Champagne, and the Borderies.
The cognac is distilled twice using alembic pot stills. The eau-de-vie is used then stored to mature for 200 years in French oak barrels.
Compared to Other Brandy Brands
They say their prices determine the exclusivity of brandies. The California-produced Paul Masson is an American Spirits business that produces their brandy in the United States. The brand sells their 750 ml Paul Masson VSOP liquor for around $12.99 to $15.99, about less than half the cost of a 750 ml Courvoisier cognac VSOP.
Hennessy originated from the same region in France as Courvoisier but was established 50 years earlier. The company uses the same special crus as Courvoisier cognac, which assures the quality of their produce. They sell their cognacs above Courvoisier’s asking price: A 750 ml bottle of a Hennessy VS is sold around $33.99 to $38.99 relative to Courvoisier VS Cognac, which costs around $22.99 to $24.99.
Remy Martin is considered to be one of Courvoisier’s competitors in history. They originated from the same region in Cognac, and thanks to their unique distilling process and brand exclusivity, Remy Martin 375 ml VSOP cognacs are sold for a little shy of $50. This cost exceeds even the Courvoisier 750 ml VSOP, priced at around $35.99 – $39.99.
Nevertheless, each respective cognac house is among the best brands in France and long-standing rivals in the cognac world.
Another famous cognac distilling house in France is Martell. They follow the same old intricate process of harvesting, distilling, and aging in oak containers like that Courvoisier. That said, bottles of Martell compete at the same cost as that of Courvoisier. Martell goes toe-to-toe with the Courvoisier price, having a very similar and competitive price to type to bottle-volume ratio.
Sharing the California market is the brandy company E&J. Like their brother Paul Masson, each bottle of E&J is sold for lesser prices than authentic cognac brands. The prices of each 750 ml bottle range from about $20.99 to $22.99.
The E&J products are much newer and contemporary, which explains their experimentation with flavors and the various blends of brandies to couple perfectly with your favorite food.
Courvoisier Blends & Flavor Editions
Courvoisier VS is a blend of old and young cognacs that have been matured in a cask for at least 2 years. The VS stands for Very Special, and it boasts of a fruity taste that works best when mixed with a fruit juice blend.
The VSOP brand of Courvoisier Cognac stands for Very Special Old Pale. They store the cognac in a case for 4 years or even longer to come up with this. It’s the perfect brandy-to-cost balance – a great option for people who enjoy a glass of cognac minus the high cost of each bottle.
The XO is the more superior brother of the VSOP. These bottles of cognac have been matured in barrels for at least 6 years. This aging time highlights the cognac aromas that add richness to the already delicious flavor perfect for neat drinking .
The Napoleon rendition of the Courvoisier is luxury in a bottle. These are derived from the finest grande and petite champagnes and blended with utmost intricacy. Each bottle is aged for no less than 20 years which is a substantial amount of time to accentuate the bouquet of the classy beverage.
Courvoisier Rose is a tasteful combination of cognac and carefully picked French red wine grapes. The effect of the cognac-wines blend creates new notes that can pass as Sherry to an unsuspecting taster. One sip and a new spectrum of cognac and fresh fruity flavors can be tasted.
L’Esprit de Courvoisier
If a status symbol is what you are searching for, then the L’Esprit de Courvoisier is the one for you. Each bottle is filled with nothing but 200-year-old eau-de-vie. The prices go above and beyond, but for a highly-regarded Courvoisier cognac, every glass is truly worth it.
Courvoisier Succession J.S.
Courvoisier no longer produces this product line and is now regarded as a collector’s item. Produced from the finest grande champagne reserves, this Courvoisier cognac was created for the bicentenary celebration of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation. There are only 2000 bottles ever produced.
L’Essence de Courvoisier du Dragon
The Dragon edition of the Courvoisier cognac was released in 2012 to celebrate the Chinese year of the dragon. The brandy bottle was designed to be symbolic of baccarat and engraved with a golden dragon.
How to Drink Courvoisier
Folks in the world have different strokes when drinking Courvoisier. When you pick up an order of this brandy, you can drink it straight or partner it with your favorite dish.
Others prefer to add some ice to their glass for a cold, smooth sip. Depending on the type of brandy or cognac, you can mix and match with other drinks for an added extra unique note.
Common Courvoisier Brandy Prices
|Courvoisier VS||750 ml||80||$22.99-$24.99|
|Courvoisier VSOP||750 ml||80||$35.99 – $39.99|
|Courvoisier VSOP Exclusif||750 ml||80||$50.99 – $59.99|
|Courvoisier XO||750 ml||80||$114.99 – $149.99|
|Courvoisier Initiale Extra||750 ml||80||$349.99 – $355.99|
|Courvoisier Napoleon Fine Champagne||750 ml||80||$69.99 – $76.99|
|Courvoisier 12 Year Old||750 ml||80||$46.99 – $49.99|
|Courvoisier 21 Year Old||750 ml||80||$179.99 – $199.99|
|Courvoisier Rose||750 ml||80||$19.99-$30.99|
|Courvoisier Cognac VS||750 ml||80||$23.99-$33.99|
|Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne||750 ml||80||$43.99-$52.99|
|Courvoisier L’Esprit de Courvoisier||750 ml||80||$4999.99-$5387.99|
Popular Courvoisier-Based Cocktails
Midnight in Paris
- 2.5 ml Courvoisier VSOP
- Ginger Ale
- A slice of orange
Pour the cognac or brandy into a tall glass with ice. Fill it with ginger ale to the brim, then garnish it with some orange slices.
- 5 ml Courvoisier VSOP
- 2 ml triple sec
- 2 ml lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until thoroughly mixed and strain the mix to a glass. You may use any brandy or gin for this cocktail, but the smoothness of cognac beats everything else .
- Cube of brown sugar
- Angostura bitters
- 2.5 ml Courvoisier VSOP
Place the cube in the middle of the glass, then drop some dashes of Angostura bitters depending on your liking. Pour the cognac and fill the container with champagne or any other sparkling wine of your choosing.
Types of cocktail recipes such as this mix different notes that highlight the superiority of cognac.
- 50 ml Courvoisier VS
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp sugar syrup
- Lemon zest
Mix the lemon juice, Courvoisier, and syrup with ice in a shaker. Strain the cocktail and top it with champagne. Stir and garnish with lemon zest.
- 1 part of Courvoisier Exclusif Cognac
- 1 part of club soda
- 2 parts of ginger ale
- 4 mint leaves
Muddle the lime and mint with a dash of club soda. Mix the Courvoisier and ale, then gently pour over ice. Finish with a top of club soda and use some mint to garnish the cocktail.
Does Courvoisier go bad?
No, it doesn’t. The Cognac of Courvoisier can last indefinitely in storage, provided that proper measures will be applied. Keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place, and make sure the lid is tightly closed.
However, the brandy-like beverage may lose some flavor over time; nonetheless, consuming it is still perfectly safe.
Are Courvoisier and Hennessy the same thing?
No. Both the Courvoisier and Hennessy are brands of cognac and have been competing it out since history. The latter, established in 1765, is the biggest house to produce cognac, while the former is the youngest in the league born in 1828.
What does Courvoisier brandy taste like?
The Very Special kind has some fruity grape and pear scents. The VSOP, on the other hand, contains hints of wood from the casks. The flavor is highly affected by the amount of aging the brandy has gone through. Nevertheless, all of them are smooth to drink with a slightly longer finish.
What is the best mixer for Courvoisier?
The best mixer for Courvoisier depends on the drinker’s preference as different mixers bring about different flavors in the cocktail. For example, Very Special Courvoisier is perfect when mixed with fruit juices, lime, or mint. It depends on who handles the brandy to decide which suits themselves best.
Let’s Drink to That!
The Courvoisier class of brandy or cognac is one of the best in terms of flavor, smoothness, and of course, customer service! There is an abundance of choices to choose from that vary in cost and tastes but accommodates enthusiasts from all walks of life.
The great value to quality ratio beats all others, which makes it deserving of the best overall cognac award!
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!