Best Hors d’Age Cognac for 2016 under $350: Family Tasting

After having selected our top 10 XO Cognacs in 2016, we now focus on the Top 10 Hors d’Age Cognacs you should discover. While the definition of XO is “Extra Old” Cognac, and the youngest part of the cognac is at least 10 years old, it’s not quite as simple when it comes to Hors d’age. Hors d’Age is literally translated to “Beyond Age”, suggesting that the Cognac is really, really old.

We tasted a selection Hors d’Age Cognacs during a private family tasting, and here are our results. We used a rating up to 100 points based on eye, nose, palate, and finish of each blend. You’ll see each rating noted alongside the Cognac.

93 points: Raymond Ragnaud Hors d’Age

The Raymond Ragnaud Hors d’Age Cognac is a delightful, excellent quality, old Cognac created solely from eaux-de-vie from the premier growing region–the Grande Champagne.

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Raymond Ragnaud Hors d’Age received a 93 points rating.

91 points: Normandin Mercier Grande Champagne

The Normandin Mercier Grande Champagne Cognac is 42% proof (so slightly higher than a regular Cognac), and consists only of eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne terroir. The blend contained in the 500ml bottle is a great example of ‘rancio’–a taste phenomenon that develops after the eau-de-vie has aged for a considerable time in oak.

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Normandin Mercier Grande Champagne Cognac received a 91 points rating.

89 points: Bache Gabrielsen Hors d’Age

Another Grande Champagne delight, the Bache Gabrielsen Hors d’Age blend boasts an eau-de-vie from the year 1917! And the youngest is ‘merely’ from 1960. It also benefits from having a melange of different grapes–Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Folle Blanche making up the mix.

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The Bache Gabrielsen Hors d’Age Grande Champagne Cognac received an 89 points rating.

87 points: Paul Giraud Très Rare

The second oldest Cognac in the Paul Giraud range, the Très Rare, is a Grande Champagne blend with a delightful mix of aroma, palate, rancio, and satisfyingly long finish.

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The Paul Giraud Tres Rare Cognac received an 87 points rating.

86 points: Brillet Hors d’Age

The Brillet Hors d’Age is a single estate Cognac aged in old oak barrels for more than a generation before being transferred to new barrels prior to bottling. A Grande Champagne offering, it offers a gentle taste of rancio along with delightful lime tones on the palate and a truly aromatic finish.

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The Brillet Hors d’Age Cognac received an 86 point rating.

86 points: Paul Beau Hors d’Age

Winner of 5 gold medals at the Concours Général de Paris since 2000, plus numerous awards at the IWSC, this is one of the most highly decorated Cognacs we know. Paul Beau Hors d’Age is 25 years of age and boasts a massive complexity of flavors and aromas.

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The Paul Beau Hors d’Age Cognac received an 86 point rating.

85 points: Esteve Très Vieux de la Propriété

Another multi-award winning cognac, the Esteve Tres Vieux de la Propriete is a Petite Champagne blend, with each eaux-de-vie having been aged for around half a century.  Silky, luxurious, and delightfully complex, it has a satisfying finish with notes of dark chocolate and candied orange.

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The Esteve Tres Vieux de la Propriete Cognac received an 85 points rating.

84 points: Chateau Montifaud Heritage Louis Vallet L50

Round, mellow, and with exceptional rancio, the Chateau Montifaud Heritage Louis Vallet L50 is a cask strength (50%) delight.  Each of the eaux-de-vies contained within the blend are from between 1947-1955.

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The Chateau Montifaud Heritage Louis Vallet L50 Cognac received an 84 points rating.

83 points: Daniel Bouju Divinessence Cognac

The Daniel Bouju Divinessence is a beautiful, amber colored cognac made solely from Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie.  Presented in a stylish, yet simplistic crystal decanter with a wooden presentation box, we love the mellow taste of this cognac.  The aromas and palate take one on a journey of sensory bliss – perfect for the cognac connoisseur, or for those who want to experience a truly good cognac.

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The Daniel Bouju Divinessence Cognac received an 83 points rating.

81 points: Gautier Tradition Rare

Another must-award winning cognac, the Gautier Tradition Rare Vieille Reserve Cognac »”>Reserve Cognac is produced in a limited annual edition of only 2,400 bottles.  Each of the eaux-de-vie that go into making up the blend is taken from the Paradis Cellar of the family Gautier.

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The Gautier Tradition Rare Vieille Reserve Cognac received an 81 points rating.

We hope you enjoyed our list! Please share your thoughts, we always love to hear about your personal favorites. Please comment below!

And just in case you were wondering how independent Cognac-Expert really is… We were not asked to include any of these Cognac houses nor were we paid by them to include their bottles.

Comments (2)

  1. Brenda B. Coates April 26, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I am in the process of opening the first brandy bar in North Carolina. This has turned out to be incredibly troublesome since NC is an ABC controlled state which means I am limited to buying only what the state offers. Since there are limited brandies to select from do you know of any sources that I/State could work with to get better and more diverse brandy selection from which to choose? Thanks in advance.

  2. Max (Cognac-Expert.com) May 25, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Hey Brenda, the only source we can suggest is cognac-expert.com 😉 but we are more of a b2c seller. Let us know if that is of any interest to you. All the best

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