We recently were in New York City and checked out the cognac vibes. Let’s keep in mind that the US market is the most important one. So wherever we saw some spirits stores, we had a look what kind of offer they had.

4 cognac stops in New York

The first stop is the smaller spirits shop B & G Wine & Liquor Store at W 42nd St and 10th Avenue.

B & G Wine & Liquor Store

And how many cognac bottles can you find in this store? 2 different cognacs! Hennessy VS for $38 and Delamain XO for $110.

B & G Wine & Liquor Store

The second stop is Bowery & Vine, Wine and Spirits on 269 Bowery. The offer of different cognac is quite impressive.

Bowery & Vine, Wine and Spirits

We discover Adet, Pierre Ferrand, Camus, Paul Beau and other smaller brands. But the manager tells us that those bottles still can’t compete with Hennessy and Co. The marketing is just too agressive.

Bowery & Vine, Wine and Spirits

The clients of the Bowery & Vine store are mostly tourists, the cognac bottles are bought from the official importers of each brand.

Bowery & Vine, Wine and Spirits

The third stop is the well known Brandy Library on 25 N. Moore Street, Tribeca. This is an interesting place – even when not at all exciting from outside, the inside presents a nice lounge with over 2000 different bottles. It’s a bar and a library.

Brandy Library New York

It’s’ called “Library” because there are some books about brand and cognac – seriously, a great place for every connaisseur.

Brandy Library New York

There are also lots of other brandies, Whiskies, Armagnac etc. – and if you are into cocktails, you should try one here. You won’t probably find a bigger cognac collection on the American continent. Impressive.

By the way: 60% of the customers are female.

Brandy Library New York

The last stop is in Brooklyn at UVA wines and spirits on 199 Bedford avenue at North 6th street.
A very nice, small shop.

UVA wines and spirits

The available range of cognacs is, let’s say, small – but at least more than 2: Paul Beau Hors D’Age and VSOP, Dudognon and pasquet cognac »”>Pasquet Cognac.

UVA wines and spirits

New York, New York – you are a strange place to drink cognac. It does not really fit, perhaps a cocktail – but not straight. It’s like drinking Rosé Wine in Scandinavia.. but that’s just us.

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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.

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    It’s so hard to find brick and mortar stores with any breadth of selection in the USA. I think you have to go to New York or Los Angeles to have the best chance. When I order online, the bottles typically ship from one of those two places.

    In most places in the Southeast of the USA where I am it’s just Hennessey, Courvoisier, Remy, and Martell, and maybe not even all four. And usually it’s no higher than VSOP. Less frequently you’ll find cheap Meukow, Conjure, and some of the novelty items like bottles shaped like tigers or women or something. Sometimes you’ll find the cheaper grades of Hardy. Less frequently than that you’ll find Kelt VSOP (sometimes XO), Hine VSOP, Camus VS and VSOP, and XOs from the big 4. The stores that have those kinds of bottles sometimes, thank God, have Delamain Pale & Dry XO, as well as Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Reserve, and once in a while, Selection des Anges. At the two nicest places in Atlanta I found Martell Cordon Bleu. At one place in Atlanta (Green’s on Buford Hwy.), I found a selection of very nice bottles I had never heard of in the $100s, $200s, and $300s in addition to the usual XOs and some sub-$100 bottles such as a couple from Maison Surenne. At Pearson’s in Atlanta I found the Germain-Robin line of alambic brandies, which are on par with good cognacs. Other than that the selection is random, sparse, and almost always disappointing.

    I even went to Paris and thought I would find every cognac imaginable, but the selection in the various shops I found there wasn’t very broad either. Certainly there were bottles there that I had never seen in the USA, but I was hoping for many many more. But then again as a foreigner with minimal French and only there for a week, I probably did not know the best places to go.

    Aside from the Brandy Library in NYC, do any Americans know of any places in the USA that specialize in cognac and have staff that can speak intelligently about the different bottles? There are so many cognacs – I would love to find a place that has even a couple of dozen.

  2. Avatar

    Dream is right! Cognac Only looks heavenly. Look at all those bottles. And the proprietor is from a cognac family and would know what he was talking about. A dream. That alone is worth a trip back to France. I feel like there are two cognac demographics in the US – the dying one that used to consist of wealthy old men and the hip hop one that drinks VS mixed with Coke – and nothing in between. So I guess there is no business justification for catering to the in-betweens. Where are my fellow young enthusiasts hunting down interesting top-quality cognacs?!

    Maybe I will find them at this XO Bar when I go back to Atlanta. I’m so glad to hear about that. Thank you so much for telling me. I hate paying ridiculous prices for single glasses of cognac instead of buying a whole bottle and getting to know it over time, but tough times call for tough measures. I will definitely go there next time I’m in town. I wonder if they would sell me whole bottles not marked up at by-the-glass prices? If they are able to source so many different cognacs from all the different distributors, they are much more valuable to me than any liquor store. Thanks again.

  3. Avatar
    HENRY CLAY

    need to find out older bottels worth USD have some very old cognac martell if you can help thank s

  4. Avatar
    Cognac Expert

    Dear Henry, please use our SUBMIT BOTTLE function. You can upload pictures, information and details.

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