We get asked: what is the best Cognac of 2010, 2011 or 2012? And what are the top Cognac brands in the world?

Is there a list, is there a rule, the best taste? Is the most expensive, the best Cognac? And what if you just buy the known bottles, are you sure to get a good one?

We can tell you: There isn’t a rule. The best Cognac is the one you like: Taste, design, culture and background determine preference. It plays all together and you must admit, if you go to the distiller and experience how it’s like, inhale the athmosphere – you’ll bound with that eaux-de-vie.

Discover all Cognac Brands

Discover the background of brands, distillers and traders. Have a look at all cognac brands – and discover yourself.

Cognac Brands

There are many cognac brands, many different cognacs. The big ones, the middle-sized ones and the small producers and distillers. Have a look at the Cognac Brands on Cognac-Expert.com – we almost have all of them listed.

Or, have a look at our list of all Cognacs bottles.

In our opinion, the most attractive Cognac comes from a small, private single estate distiller – a family business you get to know: Something special, hidden and unkown.

Also interesting are tasting competition and awards, their function of a neutral third party is important for the value of a cognac. Look at the articles on the competition in San Francisco 2010, and the International Spirits Challenge 2010, that might give you an idea.

Cognac Competition Categories

  • Distillery of the Year
  • Importer of the Year
  • Best in Show, White
  • Best in Show, Whisky
  • Best in Show, Brandy
  • Best in Show, Liqueur
  • The best VS or Three Star, the best VSOP, the best XO and Hors d’age
  • of course Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze

These cognac competitions can be helpful for some sort of orientation.

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Max is a spirits expert and speaker, into marketing, technology, startups, and business development. He’s also a farmer. He likes tools and machines, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul. Included in his Top 10 Cognacs are the Audry XO and Bache Gabrielsen 1973.Max founded Cognac Expert in 2010 at his family’s estate in Poullignac, in the Cognac region, France. Started as a blog, today Cognac Expert is the world’s largest website about all things Cognac, a blog, and a specialized online shop featuring 800+ different Cognac bottles.


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    I was wondering if you have every heard of a brand of cognac called “Canonnier” if so what can you tell me about the label.
    Thank You

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    Henry Burvenich

    I have a bottle with no label it is bottled in France and has a V.S.O.P. on it the top says Raynal & Cie on it. The bottle is a dark green. Can you tell me what year and who made it.

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    Martell to me does not taste nearly as good as Meukow XO or Remy Extra.

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    I’ve had Remy, Courvassier,Hennessey and I am convinced that most people can’t tell the difference. My absolute favorite is Raynal VSOP Brandy. This tastes better and smoother than all Cognacs I have tasted in the past 30+yrs. Before you discredit my claim, always remember “All Cognac is Brandy, but not all Brandy is Cognac.” Remember, they are one in the same. Don’t be fooled spending your money on high priced brandy aka Cognac.

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    I to have too say that for the money Raynal is the best at 21.00 for a 1.75 ltr
    Try it you’ll like it.

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    I love cognac, but the days are over when bad cognac beats great brandy.
    It is a legal thing, like champagne, many sparkling wines beat them cold.

    That being said, I have to agree that Raynal is the best value
    and Meukow is amazing and under appreciated.

    I would like to put in a word for Kelt, which is shipped around the world
    before being bottled. Very unique.

    If you like cognac, try related brandies like Sempe (armannaq)

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    I love Hennessy VSOP but since I try Martell cordon bleu I immediately fell in love with Martell cordon bleu because taste is very smooth, very round and long finish …

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    Eric W Jackson

    I’ve always been a Remy VSOP kinda guy, but then I was given Remy 1738 as a present, man that is DA BOMB- Along with a nice Maduro Cigar – It’s an experience.

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    paper chaser chicago

    I have been a remy vsop remy 1738 guy and i have tried the martell the rest but i must say to me Hennesey Privilage is the best of all.

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    Ken Saveth

    I am fairly new to Cognac (not whisky though) & am serching for what I like. I JUST purchased a bottle of Remy XO but have not opened it. I am looking forwrd to it soon.

    Any comments on what to expect would be welcome.

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    opal johnson

    I just purchased Des Ribauds red box XO…Ever heard of it? If so, you thoughts.

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    Cognac Expert

    We haven’t heard of Des Ribauds as a brand, where did you purchase this XO cognac?

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    Larry Benson

    In 1995 I purchased a bottle of cognac and I can’t remember
    the name and it’s causing me many sleepless nights!!! I don’t have much information. I made the purchase in Detroit on 2/11/95, the cost was about $20.00. If someone
    could help with this nearly impossible mission, I’ll be
    so thankful.

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    out here we got that raynal now for $10 off fifth besr buy evver people don’t know people don’t know how good it is

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    Answer to Leslie: because Raynal is not distilled in the Cognac regiion of France. Only those distilleries in that area are allowed to use the term “cognac” under French law.

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    I’m a long time brandy drinker and a serious supporter of all alcoholic products.

    I’ve added the HENNESSY GOGNAC Tour in Cognac, France to my BUCKET LIST of things to do b 4 I kick the bucket. From the photos I’ve seen it’s a beautiful place to visit.

    So if someone out there has been there and done that get back with me on your wonderful trip.

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    Hey Larry Benson # 16,

    I can only guess that you were drinking some ‘HENNESSY COGNAC’ in 1995. In 1985, I too started in the dark on drinking cognac and it was on our way to a championship football in Chicksands, UK. Our bus was full fans and I had a friend name: Mitchell Fryer (R.I.P.) who gave me my very first taste of this fine brandy. I wasn’t a brandy drinker before this and I was out of wine, and wanted something else to drink and so I asked him what he was drinking and he told me “you don’t want any of this” being cognac. So I went to the back of the bus and got me some of what he was drinking and went back to my seat and took my first sip of it and damn it tasted so nasty. I asked him how do you drink this stuff? Mitch told me to just keep on sipping and I did and before we got to Chicksands I was HOOK on drinking Hennessy Cognac. I’ve tried as many as I can and loved them all however, it’s the HENNESSY COGNAC my favorite. Last June, and may I suggest u try the ‘R’EMY MARTIN 1738 Accord Royal’
    and it’s has landed itself in my No. 2 spot. It’s a smooth and royal joy to my taste buds. And since then I’ve purchased 4 of them… Happy tasting from one COGNAC drinker to another..

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