Cognac Ages

There are 15 cognac ages
  • VS Cognac

    VS stands for Very Special (or 3 stars ***) and means the youngest element in the blend is at least two-and-a-half years old. Although VS Cognacs already have the typical Cognac color, they are a little more sharp on the nose and palate, but they can still be enjoyed straight, on ice or in a mix-drink. VS Cognacs are a bit unruly and need to be tamed. It should be understood that a VS or *** designation simply tells us the age of the youngest eau-de-vie in the product. This in no way prevents a Cognac producer from using older products in the blend. The next age level would be VSOP Cognac (Very Superior Old Pale). Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • VSOP Cognac

    Officially, VSOP Cognac stands for Very Superior Old Pale Cognac. Often however it gets referred to as Very Special Old pale. This age designation can sometimes also be labelled as VO (Very Old), or simply Reserve, and it indicates that the youngest element in the blend is at least four-and-a-half years old. The average age of a VSOP is often much older. The origin of the abreviation goes back to an order from the British Royal Court in 1817 that specified it wanted a “pale cognac”, one which is not sweetened or colored. The next age levels are XO Cognac and Napoleon Cognac. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • XO Cognac

    Discover your XO

    XO stands for Extra Old, which means that the youngest element in the blend is aged for at least six, but an average of 20 years and more. From 2016, the minimum age for an XO Cognac will officially be set to 10 years. The abreviation XO was used for the first time in 1870. Generally, an XO Cognac is a more mature and smoother than a VS or a VSOP and enjoyed neat at room temperature. Officially XO Cognac is equal to Napoleon Cognac in terms of minimum age, but normally Napoleon is marketed as an in-between of a  VSOP and an XO Cognac. The next age level beyond XO is Extra, Vieille Reserve and Hors d’Age. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Napoléon Cognac

    Napoleon means that the youngest element in the blend is aged for at least six, but an average of 20 years and upwards. Legend has it that the name Napoleon Cognac originated from the French Emperor Napoléon, who had his Cognac bottles delivered to him. Officially Napoleon is equal to XO Cognac in terms of minimum age but normally marketed as an in-between of a VSOP  and an XO Cognac. The next age level beyond Napoleon is Extra, Vieille Reserve and Hors d'Age. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Réserve Cognac

    Often "Vieille Reserve" or Réserve de Famille (Family Réserve) is at least 6-8 years old Cognac but generally much older than that. This class is similar to Napoleon, XO and Extra.

  • Extra Cognac

    Similar to Napoleon or XO Cognacs, Extra Cognac is aged for at least six years. However, an Extra Cognac is usually superior in age compared to a Napoleon or an XO. The next age level beyond Extra is Vieille Reserve and Hors d’Age. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Vintage Cognac

    A Vintage Cognac is distilled from one specific harvest only, one vintage (i.e. 1990). The Cognac producer decides to set aside a selection of barrels for vintage designation, and an inspector literally seals and locks the barrels away for restricted access. This procedure allows the producer to print the year of the vintage on the label. It is important that the bottling date is written on the label, as it indicates for how long the Cognac has actually been aging in the barrel. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Hors d'Age Cognac

    Officially, Hors d’ Age means „beyond age“ and is stated as being equal to the age of an XO Cognac, but it is actually used to communicate a very high quality product, which is beyond the official age scale. Hors d’Age can be 20, 30 or even 40, even up to a 100 years old. It all depends – it is amongst the oldest Cognac you can get, together with Ancestrale, Très Vieille Réserve and Vieille Réserve. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Cuvée Cognac

    Cuvée classification does not necessarily refer to age. It means technically means blend or batch, and is especially used in Champagne classification. When applied to Cognac it is intended not to be labelled with the standard classifications of VS, VSOP and XO.

  • Collection Cognac

    Collection Cognacs are very special and prestigious cognacs for collectors and connaisseurs. These often include gift and tasting sets. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Prestige Cognac

    Prestige Cognacs are very old cognacs that are often presented in luxurious decanters and high-end packaging. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Ancestrale Cognac

    Ancestrale stands for very old cognac, similar to "Vieille Réserve" or "Réserve Limitée".

  • Sélection des Anges Cognac

    Sélection des Anges is a description that is very rarely used. The word refers to the angel's share during the ageing process.

  • Special Cognac

    We here at Cognac-Expert.com decided to list all unique products under “Special”, listing cognacs or non-cognacs that do not fall into a standard age or quality category. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.

  • Liqueur Cognac

    What is a Cognac Liqueur? A liqueur based Cognac is a quite strong, sweet flavored alcoholic liquor, usually enjoyed after a meal as a digestif. Liqueurs often begin with a base liquor, on our site that’s Cognac. Sugar is added to the base along with a mix of herbs, fruits or spices, depending on the desired flavor. ABV ranges from 14 to 22%. Read more about Cognac ages, or Cognac education in general.