Very Superior Old Pale. We’re not sure this moniker does Courvoisier’s most popular Cognac justice. Let’s start on the right-hand side. Pale, hardly. It’s richly coloured and glows like the finest amber. Old, well yes, but it’s actually really old. Some of the components within the blend are 2.5 times older than the legally required maturation period. And finally Very Superior. More than 50% of the blend is eau-de-vie from Grande Champagne, the finest terroir in the region. As a Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the fastest growing brands in the UK, and the go-to choice for everyone from Napoleon Bonaparte to the legends of the urban music scene, Very Superior might be underselling it a little.
Explosively aromatic, expect juicy peach, quince, marzipan, golden syrup, caramelised cashews, newly coopered barrels, distant smoke, a breakfast of freshly ground coffee and honey on granary toast; then, to finish, the exotic, floral, warming muskiness of jasmine tea. Sip it on its own or mix into a Champagne Cocktail, or a Sidecar, Vieux Carré, Sazerac, Julep or an Ampersand. Courvoisier V.S.O.P. is a versatile bottle that deserves a space on any bar.