Here is the list of 10 cognacs Sophie and Max prepared for this year’s Christmas Edition of Living Poitou Charentes! If you are still looking for a 2012-2013 cognac here is our “best choice” list of cognacs for the holidays.

We thought about smaller brands like Jean Fillioux, Paul Giraud and Boutinet to mid sized ones like Hine , and last but not least the bigger ones like Martell, Hennessy and Courvoisier. Of course these cognacs are not the best cognacs in the world, or something like that… it’s simply a selection we like.

So let’s have a look at the list and we’ll start with authentic producer Paul Giraud and end with Hine.

Paul Giraud Napoleon

Paul Giraud Napoleon

Really authentic. This medium-sized producer has a long family tradition and makes a very solid cognac, one which is extremely great value for money. The Napoleon is one of Paul Giraud’s oldest bottles. Details

Sophie & Max' 2012-2013 List: Best Choice of Cognacs for Christmas and Holidays

Jean Fillioux Reserve Familiale

Jean Fillioux is proud of its ancient family tradition in the cognac industry. This cognac, Reserve Familiale is one of the house’s best cognacs. Details

Sophie & Max' 2012-2013 List: Best Choice of Cognacs for Christmas and Holidays

Bache Gabrielsen Hors d’Age Grande Champagne

A classic. For those who appreciate Scandinavian elegance (Bache-Gabrielsen is the number 1 on the Norwegian market). Its understated sophistication in design is coupled with a high quality of cognac. The Hors d’Age Grande Champagne is a blend that is enjoyed on a special occasion. Details

Sophie & Max' 2012-2013 List: Best Choice of Cognacs for Christmas and Holidays

Leopold Gourmel Bio Attitude

A very nice, light and delicate cognac. At VSOP age and price level, produced organically. There are no chemical pesticides or additives used during the production of this cognac. “Attitude” makes you feel connected to the terroir of Charente. Details

Sophie & Max' 2012-2013 List: Best Choice of Cognacs for Christmas and Holidays

Bernard Boutinet Extra Cognac

Bernard Boutinet, a smaller producer from the Cognac region makes this Extra Cognac; the blend ratio is 3:1 twenty-five and twenty year-old eaux-de-vie. A strong “rancio charentais” character underlines this sophisticated cognac. Details

Martell XO  Cognac

Martell Cordon Bleu

A classic: Taste and design. Cordon Bleu by Martell turned 100 years in 2012 and we were invited to a great evening in Monaco. Cordon Bleu just has this classic bottle design, it simply radiates confidence and tradition. Perfect for the cold months, this spicy and rather masculine cognac is one of the most important or perhaps the most important product of the 300-years old cognac house of Martell… Details

Courvoisier Vintage Connoisseur Collection 12 Years Cognac

Courvoisier 12 Years

This cognac is relatively new to Courvoisier’s range, a blend of eaux-de-vie that are 12 years and older. Rather smooth on the palate but still honest.. and a bit rough, but in a good way. Also possible to have it on the rocks or in a cocktailDetails

Prunier XO  Cognac

Prunier XO Très Vieille Grande Champagne

For those who like a fruity and more sweet cognac, this mature XO by Prunier is a perfect bottle to have. Prunier, still today a family owned and run cognac house has a two hundred year old tradition in cognac making, placing a lot of emphasis on their values and tradition. Details

Hennessy XO Extra Old Cognac

Hennessy XO

And here comes the absolute cognac XO classic. Presented in a great, compact and beautifully decorated bottle. (We know this is a commercial bottle, but hey, it’s really well done) Hennessy’s XO is not light, but rather feminine we’d call it! Details


Hine Vintage Millésime 1981 Early Landed Cognac

Hine Millésime 1983 Early Landed

This Hine “early landed” cognac is vintage brandy from 1983, a wonderful gift for any young cognac enthusiast born in 1983 for example (for a 30th birthday in 2013…) Details

Like our list? We really hope so. If you have anything to add or to say, please leave a comment below.

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Sophie & Max' 2012-2013 List: Best Choice of Cognacs for Christmas and Holidays

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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.


  1. Avatar
    Alex Chauviere

    Nice selection ! And what about a Cognac De Luze XO ?
    I’m thinking of drinking some of it for Christmas.

    (1st time I’m leaving a post on your blog but I’ve been reading a couple of articles and that’s well written, carry on)


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