A supermarket tasting: Jules Gautret VSOP vs. Puy Gaudin Cocktail Cognac

A review: The other day my father and me stopped at a supermarket to buy some food. We decided to buy some Cognac too, well aware of the fact that it’s not at all the best place to buy it.

At home we decided to taste both Cognacs in order to draw differences. One is a Puy Gaudin Cognac Long Drink at 14 € the other a Jules Gautret V.S.O.P at 25 €. Funny thing, that I passed this sign (below) of Jules Gautret Cognac a few days before.

Jules Gautret Cognac sign France

Water, some bread – okay here we go. We take our seats in front of the fireplace.

Then we startet with blind testing: My father looks away and I pour the VSOP into the small glass, the younger three star cocktail Cognac into the bigger one. Watching the color is not allowed, already it’s not that bright in the room. You can easily notice on the image above: The left Cognac is far darker than the right one… let’s have a look at that very useful BNIC graph below:

BNIC copyright

Colour and Age (BNIC copyright)

Somehow the colour of the VSOP seems to be slightly darker than usual. The VS is honey pale, just 2 years old – the youngest quality.

Father takes the first glass, starting with the VSOP. Glass to nose… smelling… and again from a little further, then more intensly.

I taste the first one… somehow it’s aggressive in the nose, far from being balanced. There is not the slightest hint of sweetness, just a little fruity – perhaps! No doubt, that must be the VS. I write it down.

The second glass. I warm it a little, smell it, ah.. more balanced. A little sip, and yes, thats the VSOP. Easy one…This Cognac is rounder and a bit sweet.

Then I ask my father “What was the first one?” “The older one”, he answers. “The second was clearly younger, less round, not to say not round at all”. Could he be right?


I taste the first one again, now knowing it’s the VSOP. Did I get everything wrong? Am I not able to distinguish between two totally different products? Of course, I think, number one is the VSOP, the other the Cocktail Cognac. I compare them faster and slowly realize that the VSOP is very sweet on the tounge but not really balanced. I cannot find that sweet vanilla note. Neither in the rest of the mouth nor during the finish. I look at the colour.

“C’est parfumé. There is caramel, look at the colour..”

It’s true the colour is very dark, too dark – the product not round, not a very good Cognac for my taste.  It’s a Cognac that tries to be something it isn’t.

Funny to say, but the VS sort of seems more coherent as a total work. Once again I have experienced the importance of “dégustations”. It’s the best way to learn and enjoy!

For the record: Gautret is part of Ugnicognac SA. Their tasting notes:

COLOUR
Intense, brilliant colour with brown and orange highlights

BOUQUET
Refined yellow fruit aromas with delicate floral overtones and a hint of honey

TASTE
A subtle blend of elegant, light Petite Champagne and smooth, round Fins Bois

OVERALL IMPRESSION
A perfectly balanced Cognac, which brings out the best of both of these growths. Relatively light with a vibrant aftertaste.

What is Unicognac?

The Union des Coopératives de Charente-Maritime acquired the firm of Jules Gautret some time ago.  In the seventies, the Cooperative changed its name to Unicognac SA, and built a large bottling and storage unit on Avenue Foch, in Jonzac.
Since 2007, all bottling and packaging is now done at a modern facility in Saint Germain de Lusignan.

You might be interested in these articles:

1 Response

#1 douglas on May 5, 2012, says:

What a pair of cognac pseuds!

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.