The best cognacs in the UK 2023

Cognac is not only an alcoholic beverage. It also represents the luxury, history and tradition of the French city of the same name. This wine brandy with 40% alcohol has been recognized since the year 1909. After testing several bottles, our opinions are unanimous about Courvoisier Vsop Cognac. Ideally, it should be drunk with long drinks.

Richard Delisle XO Cognac 1

Best value for money

Richard Delisle XO Cognac

The best cognac in 2021

This Richard Delisle XO cognac is the ultimate expression of luxury in a limited edition from the French producer. Beautifully presented, of course, as any good XO cognac should be. It won a silver medal at the 2012 Spirits Business Cognac Masters.

76 £ on Amazon

This limited edition XO of the famous Richard Delisle cognac is made from eaux-de-vie distilled exclusively from wines from the Grande Champagne region of Cognac. The youngest eau-de-vie in the blend is aged for at least six years in the traditional cellars of the Cabanne family on the banks of the Charente.

It delivers notes of wood, vanilla and a touch of black pepper. The fruity component takes a few moments to release. On the palate, wood and a mix of wood spice and black pepper are confirmed, along with cinnamon and clove. There are also fruity notes, barely perceptible and finally, notes of orange jam. With its heavy glass design and gold embellishment, the presentation of this Richard Delisle XO cognac could be mistaken for a bottle of cologne. It is the perfect gift for yourself or someone special.

Courvoisier Vsop Cognac 2

Best value for money

Courvoisier Vsop Cognac

The best entry-level cognac

Courvoisier Vsop cognac is highly appreciated internationally and is the result of a blend of quality vintages that has received the San Francisco Spirits award. The brand, renowned for its excellence and know-how, needs no introduction.

28,72 £ on Amazon

It is a clever blend of several varieties of vintages, including Fins Bois and Grandes and Petites Champagnes. There is no risk that these combinations will alter the taste of the cognac. On the contrary, the ingredients blend perfectly to offer a fine and fruity flavor. Indeed, you will like this note of peach and roasted almonds harmoniously associated with a little touch of jasmine and vanilla.

As all cognac lovers know, the quality of such a drink can be recognized by its degree of aging. And as usual, Courvoisier has left nothing to chance. The Courvoisier Vsop Cognac has been aged for at least 3 years, with the particularity of being suitable for vegetarians.

Hennessy XO Extra Old 3

Best value for money

Hennessy XO Extra Old

The best high-end cognac

Get ready to discover all your senses with the Hennessy XO Extra Old Cognac, a mosaic piece. As the world's largest Cognac house, Hennessy offers the ultimate sensory experience.

147 £ on Amazon

The Hennessy XO Extra Old bottle is a sumptuous, curved decanter, one of the distinctive elements of an excellent cognac. It has been reinvented over and over again since 1870 through various limited editions. It will certainly occupy a place of choice in your drinks cabinet. It is a blend of approximately 100 different eaux-de-vie made from Ugni Blanc grapes from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fin Bois appellations aged for up to thirty years in French oak barrels from the Limousin region.

This cognac with an alcohol content of 40% is dark amber in color. The smell reveals dried and candied fruits at first impression, followed by warm cinnamon spices with a light touch of black pepper towards the end. On the palate, we clearly feel a mixture of orange, black pepper, cocoa powder and oak leather. Despite its powerful expression in the mouth, the Hennessy XO Extra Old has an unexpected finesse.

ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur 4

A unique cognac

ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur

The one and only cognac originating from the Château de Cognac

A blend of elegant cognac and intense honey from the Charente forest, ABK6 Honey is smooth, with a floral and brandy touch. From a single-domain cognac, ABK6 succeeds in offering us a spirit with a thousand flavors.

33,60 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best cognac

Any specific needs?

The best cognac in 2021

The best entry-level cognac

The best high-end cognac

The one and only cognac originating from the Château de Cognac

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best cognacs

Richard Delisle XO Cognac 5
Courvoisier Vsop Cognac 6
Hennessy XO Extra Old 7
ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur 8
Richard Delisle XO Cognac
Courvoisier Vsop Cognac
Hennessy XO Extra Old
ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur
This Richard Delisle XO cognac is the ultimate expression of luxury in a limited edition from the French producer. Beautifully presented, of course, as any good XO cognac should be. It won a silver medal at the 2012 Spirits Business Cognac Masters.
Courvoisier Vsop cognac is highly appreciated internationally and is the result of a blend of quality vintages that has received the San Francisco Spirits award. The brand, renowned for its excellence and know-how, needs no introduction.
Get ready to discover all your senses with the Hennessy XO Extra Old Cognac, a mosaic piece. As the world's largest Cognac house, Hennessy offers the ultimate sensory experience.
A blend of elegant cognac and intense honey from the Charente forest, ABK6 Honey is smooth, with a floral and brandy touch. From a single-domain cognac, ABK6 succeeds in offering us a spirit with a thousand flavors.
15 years old
3 years
18 years old
10 years old
Degree of alcohol
40% Vol.
40% Vol.
40% Vol.
35% Vol.
700 mL
700 mL
700 mL
700 mL
Black pepper touch
Suitable for vegetarians
Chocolate tones
Soft and strong
Country of origin
England / Wales

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How to choose your cognac

Cognac is by definition one of the noblest brandies. It has a long and rich history. Like any other beverage considered of high lineage, cognac must be tasted with a well mastered technique. But how to make the best choice? We will guide you to the most suitable product by taking into account these important criteria.

#1 - Quality and age

It is important to know that the older the cognac, the better its quality. It is therefore chosen according to its age. Currently, you will find on the market 3 types of cognacs namely:

  • VS or Very Special : with its 3 stars, the cognac is essentially composed of eaux-de-vie, the youngest of which is at least 2 years old.
  • VSOP or Very Superior Old Pale : the youngest of the eaux-de-vie used to make it is at least 4 years old, which is where the 4-star distinction comes from.
  • The X.O meaning Extra Old, Hors d'Âge or Gold : indicates cognacs whose youngest eau-de-vie is at least 10 years old.

#2 - Origin

The name "cognac" comes specifically from the name of the city where the alcoholic beverage was produced. Thus, it must be understood that only wine from the Cognac region can bear this denomination. Divided into 6 distinct crus, you will discover in particular the Grande Champagne recognized thanks to its remarkable capacity of ageing. Together with the Petite Champagne, which also offers eaux-de-vie of the same quality, they constitute the 2 most appreciated crus.

#3 - Required information

Of course, some mentions are mandatory while others are only optional. To be sure that the cognac chosen is a real one, the bottle must include the indications on :

  • Its sales name
  • The address and the name of the manufacturer
  • The capacity of the bottle
  • The TAV (Titre alcoométrique volumique) or the alcoholic degree expressed in %/Vol. In general, the cognac is 40%.

In addition, the bottle label may also mention its regional appellation (such as Fins Bois, Petite Champagne, etc.), the age of the youngest brandy...

#4 - Usage


specifically, you need to define when you want to open your bottle

of cognac. If you plan to serve yourself as a cocktail or as an aperitif over ice, prefer VSOP cognac. This alcoholic beverage stands out because of its crisp and fresh character. In addition, choose XO or Hors d'Âge cognac if you are going to serve it to your guests as a digestif. It has the particularity of being perfectly suited to chocolate desserts.

#5 - Packaging

A beautiful packaging proves to be very appreciated by all collectors of good cognacs, whether they are amateurs or professionals. If you want to fill your cognac library, opt for a design bottle as well as a packaging with unique colors and style. Better yet, we recommend that you opt for limited edition bottles.

"To pour water into cognac is to waste two good things." Charles Lamb

All about Cognac

Historically, cognac is...

Cognac is not only a simple spirit, it represents a whole history. In order to preserve the quality of the wine, the Dutch were at the origin of the distillation technique which allowed to obtain this very popular alcoholic drink. Its initial name was "brandwijn", from which the name "brandy" appeared a few years later. It was around the 18th century that the decision of double distillation was born in the minds of the Charentais. The first technique, combined with maturation in oak barrels, allowed them to obtain this luxury beverage.

The best method of conservation

The preservation of cognac is usually done in oak barrels, which will allow you to accentuate its flavor, aroma and taste in the best conditions. As soon as it is bottled, the improvement stops. Thereafter, it is important to find a dark and dry place for it.

The nutritional value of cognac

Cognac brings more nutrients to the body than other types of spirits. Low in calories, you will only absorb about 64 calories with a 30 mL glass. It is the ideal alcoholic drink if you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Just take a 50-minute walk to burn them off.

The different types of cognacs

In order to choose the best cognac, it is essential to consider its ageing time. Indeed, cognac cannot be sold on the market without having been aged for at least 2 years in accordance with article 302 G of the general tax code.

VS Cognac (Very Special)

The acronym VS stands for Very Special or 3 stars. It is a type of cognac composed of a wide variety of eaux-de-vie, the youngest of which has benefited from a minimum of 2 years of aging in casks

. It is classified as such in count 2 and will be considered as very young.

The cognac is kept in a barrel or in a wooden cask. Once it is transferred to a glass bottle, the aging process stops immediately. Ideal for preparing a sauce, VS cognac can also be used at parties with friends or family. Besides, it is the cheapest in terms of cognac bottle.

VSOP Cognac (Very Superior Old Pale)


English, VSOP stands for Very Superior Old Pale. It is a brandy with twice the age of a VS cognac, meaning that the youngest brandy in it is at least 4 years old

. The procedure of conservation remains the same for any cognac that respects itself.

It was created at the beginning of the 19th century following a request from the British Royal House. Indeed, the latter wanted a cognac called "pale", without additives, sugar or caramel. VSOP cognac is mainly drunk as a cocktail or as an aperitif on ice. It presents an excellent quality/price ratio.

XO Cognac (Extra Old)

XO or Extra Old cognac is a blend of eaux-de-vie with a minimum age of 6 years. The ageing count will, around 2018, be increased to 10 years. Considered the champion in terms of quality, this type of cognac benefits from the same conservation process as VS and VSOP cognacs. It can be enjoyed as a digestive. Note that its price is relatively high.

Good to know

There is another type of cognac: the Hors d'Âge. Much older than the XO, it does not fit into any category! This blend of eaux-de-vie is considered to be the most prestigious of all cognacs. Its ageing period of several decades has allowed it to accentuate its taste, its aromas and its perfume. More complex, Hors d'Âge cognac will reach perfection after 50 years.

Cognac or Whisky ?


A 300 year old tradition, cognac is a brandy distilled from grapes. It remains exclusively a product of the wine territory bearing the same appellation. The opinions of all cognac lovers agree that it is the best brandy in the world. And for good reason, cognac is the result of several years of fermentation and distillation of the grapes, although it has followed a more typical process compared to other alcoholic beverages. There are currently French laws governing the type of grapes to be used in the making of cognac, as well as the procedures to be followed.

The brandy must be made from approximately 90% of a single grape variety such as Ugni Blanc, Colombard or Folle Blanche to qualify for the "cognac" appellation. The distillation process of the drink is done in 2 times in immobile jars before being stored for a minimum of 2 years. Thereafter, it will be labeled. This is what makes its authenticity. However, it is possible to discover several ranges of cognac offering different flavors, aromas, heat and intensity.


Whisky, most famous in ancient Rome, is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. Unlike cognac, it is the result of the fermentation and distillation of cereals, including barley. This grain is mixed with yeast and water, then distilled before finally being refined and aged in oak barrels. Several years are required in the aging process. Whisky can be made anywhere in the world. However, the product from Scotland is specifically called Scotch or Scotch whisky.

The age of the whisky is easily expressed in numbers since it depends on the duration of maturation. For example, we can say that a whisky is 10 or 15 years old. In addition, you can distinguish several types of whisky, including Irish Whiskey, Japanese whisky, Scotch whisky or even Scottish malt.


The biggest differences between cognac and whisky lie in the raw materials used as a basis for their production, their maturation period, their origin and their place of production. However, they are among the most popular alcoholic beverages internationally.

Although they can be enjoyed in the same way, tastes can vary from one individual to another. If you want to enjoy more developed and complex aromas and a fruity flavor, don't hesitate to choose a good bottle of cognac. It will, of course, be quite expensive, but the investment is well worth it. In the case of the geographical limit, you may not always have access to this luxury spirit. Thus, whisky represents a great alternative.

Why buy cognac ?

To relieve respiratory problems

Brandy has anti-inflammatory properties. It was therefore traditionally used to treat respiratory problems. So if you have a sore throat or cough, drinking brandy can help relieve your symptoms.

To strengthen your immune system

Cognac strengthens your immune system. In addition, it has antibacterial properties. So you can drink cognac to fight a cold or flu. It is also an excellent drink to prevent cancer, especially bladder and ovarian cancer.

To help you sleep

Cognac has soothing, relaxing and comforting properties. Therefore, drinking cognac before going to bed will allow you to have a restful sleep. Moreover, alcohol helps you to overcome depression. It is also a very effective digestive and also helps to lose weight thanks to its properties that stimulate the metabolism. To put it simply, cognac helps to digest fats so that they do not accumulate in our body and to favor the storage of good cholesterols.

To benefit from its anti-aging properties

Cognac is rich in antioxidants. It prevents the appearance of wrinkles and cognitive problems. Rich in vitamin C, cognac also helps to prevent the decline of your eyesight as well as the repetitive health problems typical of the elderly. The presence of copper in the vats strongly contributes to the development of these antioxidants which prevent the deterioration of epidermal cells, hair loss or the death of certain internal organs.

To limit heart problems

Thanks to its antioxidant properties, cognac protects against various heart-related diseases. By consuming this alcoholic beverage, you will have a more stable heart rhythm and avoid the most common cardiovascular pathologies. A moderate consumption of just one glass can help you regulate your heartbeat.

The best brands of cognacs

In our opinion, the best brands of cognacs in 2022 are :

Richard Delisle

Richard Delisle is an old brand of cognac from the Hawkins Distribution company located in Bourg sur Charente. Apart from cognac which has a very good reputation, the company also produces other top brand spirits such as Alsace and Burgundy. Richard Delisle is a very well known brand in the cognac world and is part of the high quality.

Actually, Courvoisier is one of the world's leading cognac houses and continues to excel in the spirits category with its renowned blends, including VS, VSOP, Exclusif, Napoleon, XO, Initiale Extra, Millennium, Courvoisier Succession JS, L'Essence de Courvoisier, Courvoisier Rosé and L'Esprit de Courvoisier.


is a brand of Jas Hennessy & Co. the world's largest producer of cognac . Indeed, it sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide providing more than 40% of the world's cognac and a variety of brandy. The company is owned by Moët Hennessy, itself owned by LVMH (66%) and Diageo (34%).

Honey Cognac is a premium brandy superbly blended from the finest eaux-de-vie and honey. It is known for its fantastic taste and also for the sweetness it has to offer. It has a rich and floral taste and is known for its fantastic quality which makes it one of the most premium cognacs.

The Martell cognac house is founded in 1715 by Jean Martell. Martell already exports more than two hundred thousand liters of cognac to the UK. The brand is distributed in China, Japan and Hong Kong. Edouard Martell created Cordon Bleu, with a taste dominated by Borderies brandies. This brand is known for its excellent quality and strong taste.

What is the price for a cognac

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

25 £ to 50 £
50 £ to 100 £
more than 100 £
Price range diagram


Learn to taste your cognac with your senses

You don't just taste your cognac with your mouth and tongue. All your senses will be awakened to enjoy all the flavors offered by the drink. With your eyes, you will appreciate its shaded color and the design of the bottle, which defines its quality. In addition, your sense of smell will give you the opportunity to smell the different flavors of the brandies used: fruity, spicy, woody...

Enjoy the full aroma of your cognac


olfactory sense of each person can differ from one person to another. It is based on one's life experiences as well as individual experiences. If some of us notice too much intensity, others will judge that the cognac lacks subtlety. Improve your technique and enjoy each aroma by bringing your nose closer together gradually and slowly.

Gestures to avoid


combining cognac with cigarettes at the risk of altering its taste. The same is true for coffee. Therefore, if you have just had a cup, do not be tempted by this alcoholic drink. Prefer bread or water to revitalize the whole inside of your mouth.

Use an appropriate glass


better appreciate cognac, we recommend 2 types of flutes namely the balloon glass and the tulip glass. They are the most practical ones especially for their ergonomics and size. They will enhance the intensity and finesse of the cognac's aromas. While the balloon glass makes tasting much easier, the tulip glass has a narrow head that ensures optimal capture of the essence of the spirit.

Drink your cognac the right way


boire du cognac requires special techniques. This is so that you can enjoy all the flavors and fruity notes of the drink. For some, drinking cognac dry is more enjoyable. In other cases, the alcohol is accompanied by a few pieces of ice or a little cool water. Those who do not tolerate its warm touch will enjoy it in cocktails or long drinks, in order to soften the flavor.


What is the best cognac?

The best cognac depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide for the best products of the moment.

How can we estimate the price of a bottle of cognac?

Wines, champagnes or spirits, these alcoholic beverages can be estimated online. However, it requires a thorough knowledge of the subject. A specialized auctioneer would be better suited to perform the estimation.

How to drink cognac responsibly?

Having an alcohol content of at least 40%, this spirit should be consumed in moderation. Note that 100 mL of cognac contains nearly 68 mL of water and 32 mL of alcohol.

How to find the rarest bottle?

If you are a collector, you will surely find the rare bottle in auctions. If you are a collector, you will surely find the rare bottle at the auction. You can find a vintage cognac or special editions.

What are the processes involved in making cognac?

A drink considered AOC since 1936, cognac obeys certain strict rules during its production. It must be made from grapes from the Cognac region, preserved exclusively in oak barrels and not consumed until after several years of aging.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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  2. 10 of the best cognac distillers tours and tastings France,
  3. Cognac draws its inspiration from whiskey,
  4. Difference Between Whiskey and Cognac,
  5. Cognac vs Whiskey: 4 Differences To Help You Choose The Best,
  6. What's the difference between Cognac Brandy Bourbon Scotch and Whiskey?,
  7. 10 Best XO Cognacs: A Family Tasting in 2020 Lockdown,
  8. The Guide to Finding Great Cognac,
  9. The Best Cognacs,
  10. City of Cognac,
  11. Cognac (Charente) - Wikipedia,
  12. - the official website of the Cognac appellation,
  13. Cognac (brandy) - Wikipedia,
  14. Cognac - Office de Tourisme de Cognac en Charente ....,
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See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Richard Delisle XO Cognac 9
Richard Delisle XO Cognac
Courvoisier Vsop Cognac 10
Courvoisier Vsop Cognac
Hennessy XO Extra Old 11
Hennessy XO Extra Old
ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur 12
ABK6 Honey Cognac Liqueur


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