Larsen Cognac House was founded by Norwegian Jens Rydar Larsen in 1926. He moved to the French Cognac Province in 1919, married a Frenchwoman and bought Joseph Gautier’s Cognac Factory. In 2012, Larsen was first sold to Remy Cointreu, who sold it a year later to the Finnish Altia Group. Larsen’s cognac was initially exported mainly to the Scandinavian countries, and most of the production is still sold there, as well as in the Baltic countries, where Altia is a strong player. Since then, Altia has also started selling Larsen to the Chinese market.
Larsen VS is a blend of a distillate made from grapes grown in different cognac regions, which has been matured in oak barrels for about 2-3 years. There is 11g of added sugar per liter. Larsen is one of the cheapest cognacs in Estonia, a 35 cl bottle costs 13€.
The aroma is very light, slightly fruity and floral. The taste is also light, sweetish, there is some apricot, dried fruit and orange peel. Clearly a very young distillate, but the burn of alcohol is not still so strong. The cognac was sweeter at the time the bottle was opened for the first time. Now on closer analysis, half the bottle has stood for more than half a year. Oxidation has clearly eliminated aromas and also sweetness, and it is very lean. Unlike the most of older brandies that go better due to oxidation, Larsen VS is worth drinking out quickly if you want to taste the little aromas that exist in it. Overall, Larsen VS is a quite weak product and although it is one of the cheapest cognacs, it is still not worth the price. High-quality brandies are available at a lower price and they give more taste to drinks also. The difference between Larsen’s VSOP is only a few euros, so VS is clearly worth leaving on the store shelf.