Hine VSOP Rare Fine Champagne Cognac

Recommended 81 /100

see 9 reviews

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Dimitre I.

Reviews written: 25 (see reviews)

Average Score given: 81

Review Overview: Best & Most rated, All Reviewers & Reviews


Based in San Francisco, CA, I grew up on a vineyard in Europe. I am avid wine, and scotch enthusiast, and I have been exploring Cognacs and Armagnacs as a newly found passion.

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Hine Rare VSOP cognac never disappoints

Highly Recommended 86 /100

Hine Rare VSOP cognac never disappoints. It’s a Fine Champagne cognac, a blend of Grande Champagne (60%) and Petite Champagne (40%). Aged 6 to 12 years.

Nose: strong and vibrant. Straight from the bottle, it greets with dried fruit and flowers. Vanilla. A little time in the glass allows for orange zest and jasmine to appear.

Palate: full-bodied, with a thick, rich mouthfeel. Surprisingly smooth, for all the flavors it has. Prunes, figs, and cinnamon followed by chocolate. Christmas in a bottle. Could be confused for a sherried scotch, think Macallan or Glendronach. Scotch drinkers will love this. Oak is prominent, but balanced.

Finish: long. Oak, raisins and strong holiday spices.

Overall: Hine Rare VSOP combines the vibrancy of VS cognac with the complexity of XO. If you like light, delicate, and floral cognac, such as Camus, this is not for you. This is a bold cognac, with strong dried fruit, sherry, orange peel flavors, and rich, thick mouthfeel. I LOVE IT. It’s common knowledge that Sir Winston Churchill allegedly liked Armenian brandy, but Churchill's favorite cognac was Hine VSOP. While, there is little evidence to support the Armenian brandy claim, the brandy served most often at Chartwell, Churchill's estate, was Hine. Cheers. P.S. the crystal decanter bottle is a work of art.

Bottle / Package Design 5/5

Where is the Love? Ordinary Nice Beautiful A sight to be seen!

Value for Money 5/5

Overpriced Low Average Bargain Steal



What aromas do you get when you sniff the Cognac? Do you get hints of fruits or flowers - perhaps it's sweet? Is it intense or rather flat - and most importantly, is the nose coherent to taste and finish? The nose is the most important part when tasting Cognac.



A small sip: Allow your taste buds in the various areas of your mouth to distinguish the different flavours. This part of cognac tasting is described as ‘the palate’. Don’t just swallow it down; allow the liquid to touch all the regions of the mouth. Doing this is necessary as the taste buds pick up contrasting flavours in the different areas of the mouth; on the tip of your tongue to the sides, for example. Take a tiny sip to prep your palate for the sensory experience to come. Take a second larger sip, and gently roll the cognac around, etting it come into contact with every corner of your mouth. Focus on the perceived textural sensations. Are the sensations round and rich or fresh and elegant? Is the overall mouthfeel intense, balanced, disjointed, or lacking presence? In short, how does the cognac feel in your mouth?



Quite simply, what do you taste as you gently roll the cognac around in your mouth? Pay close attention to any flavors of fruits, flowers, oak, and spices - or a complex combination of those elements. Are the flavors cohesive with the Nose and the Mouth, giving a sense of balance and complexity?



The ‘finish’ is the experience you get after you’ve swallowed the cognac. What flavours can you detect? Is it a flat or rough finish and rather sharp, or is it a slight 'punch' you like? How long does the finish last? Also think about overall balance: How does the finish compare to nose and taste?


Overall Impression

Consider the Nose, Mouth, Taste, and Finish simultaneously - the cognac as a whole. Is there cohesion between the four categories, or does the cognac shine in some areas and appear dull in others? Quite simply, is the memory from the tasting experience one that will last your lifetime; is the memory good but nothing extraordinary; or is the cognac’s impact entirely forgettable?


Total: 86/100

  • 80-84: Recommended
  • 85-89: Highly Recommended
  • 90-95: Exceptional
  • 96-100: Superlative
Flat Acceptable Fine Excellent Ethereal Thin & weak Disjointed Balanced Exquisite Bland Ordinary Good Excellent Spectacular Non-existent, or rough Acceptable Good Memorable Endless Uninspiring, or rough Ordinary Good Excellent Memorable
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