Courvoisier is perhaps the smallest of the “big four” cognac producers, who control more than 80% of cognac sales. The cognac house owned nowadays by Beam-Suntory was founded in 1835 by Emily Courvoisier. VSOP is a blend of distillates that are said to have matured for up to 12 years. However, at least 4 years, which is the minimum limit for cognacs of this age group. The distillates come from both the Grand and Petite Champagne regions. Courvoisier VSOP is priced quite competitively, a 35 cl bottle costs €17.99.
The color is a little lighter than many other VSOP series products, still the familiar mahogany brown. The nose is smooth and light. A little fruity and spicy. Not offensive in any way, but not the lightest either. The taste is surprisingly strong. Not necessarily alcoholic, but strong in aromas. It is clearly drier than, for example, Hennessy or Larsen. Plenty of dry and spicy oak, canned fruit, marmalade and a little thick, tobacco-smoked leather jacket aroma. The aftertaste is already sweeter and has caramel, honey and a slightly spicy, ripe aroma. Courvoisier VSOP is a strong and spicy cognac, whose dry and oaky taste may be a surprise to those who are used to sweet and soft vsop series products. As it became clear from VS, Courvoisier does not add too much sugar or other enhancement to its products to make them softer. It is a fair and honest, clearly long-matured cognac. Certainly a product that divides opinion and is not made to please everyone.