Interview with the Cellar Master of Cognac D’Ussé : How is D’Ussé made?

We talked to Michel Casavecchia, the cellar master of the Château de Cognac, France – the producers of Otard »”>Baron Otard and Cognac D’Ussé.

Cognac-Expert: Dear Monsieur Casavecchia, thank you for taking the time.

Where is D’Ussé made and can you tell us a bit about the Chateau where it’s produced?

Michel Casavecchia: D’Ussé is made in the heart of Cognac, produced by Château de Cognac, one of the most ancient Cognac producers, who also owns Cognac Baron Otard.
Our cognac house owns the historical Château de Cognac, the castle of the town of Cognac, birthplace of French King François I. – still today it’s the facility where we age our cognacs. We have done this at the Chateau for over 200 years.

D'Ussé cognac in Max' hand when we visited the Chateau

CE: How is D’Usse cognac made and what kind of blend is it?

Casavecchia: D’Ussé Cognac is a totally different blend than Baron Otard. The Eaux de Vie selected for D’Ussé are aged in a combination of dry and humid cellars, and the blend is made from Eaux de Vie coming from the four Crus we are buying from: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois.

CE: D’Usse is a VSOP cognac.  What does that mean?

Casavecchia:  A VSOP is a blend with Eaux de Vie of a minimum ageing of 4 and a half years. This is also the case for D’Ussé VSOP.

CE: What’s your preferred way of drinking D’Usse VSOP?

Casavecchia: As a Cellar Master, I enjoy drinking Cognac neat and D’Ussé is perfect for this kind of serve, but I have also tasted excellent cocktails with Cognac D’Ussé.

CE: What’s the difference between this VSOP and other VSOPs.  How does it differentiate taste wise?

Casavecchia: D’Ussé has a lot of complexity, is a very aromatic cognac, and has a very bold taste. The first sip shows woody, spicy (cinnamon) tones, a benefit from the ageing in dry cellars. The aftertaste is long, smooth and round, thanks to the ageing taking place in humid conditions.
These different ageing conditions are a benefit of the ageing process at the Château. The castle allows me to pick from numerous cellars, with a lot of differences from one cellar to the other, in terms of temperature and humidity.
Additionally, I pay a lot of attention to long maturation periods to ensure that all the Eaux de Vie that are in D’Ussé harmonise perfectly.

CE: In three words, what’s the taste structure of D’Usse VSOP?

Casavecchia:  Spicy, smooth, bold.

Cellar of Chateau de Cognac

CE: How long did it take to discover the right blend for this cognac?

Casavecchia: It took me more than a year to achieve the perfect balance for D’Ussé. Thanks to the Château, I had a lot of different Eaux de Vie that I could blend together in order to achieve the style and taste profile I was looking for. Outcome: D’Ussé.

CE:  And we can’t finish without mentioning one of the world’s biggest superstars – Jay-Z.  Are you proud about the fact that he likes your work and product?

Casavecchia: It has been a privilege for me to realise that a superstar, and also a Cognac lover, had discovered, tasted, and enjoyed D’Ussé Cognac. This, as well as all the extremely positive feedback we have received from everyone, is a sign of recognition for all the hard work we have put in this blend. The whole process of creating D’Ussé was and remains a fantastic experience.

CE: Monsieur Casavecchia, thank you for your time.

Read more about Cognac D’Usse

Comments (4)

  1. Dwayne Lewis October 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Hi guys my name is Dwayne Lewis I work for “DUTY FREE CARIBBEAN ” in BARBADOS in the liqueur dept and I would really like to know about your product D’ussè and where can I get from !

  2. David November 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Where can I purchase a bottle of D’Usse
    I live in Georgia


    How can I contact the East Coast Distributor?

  3. Paula May November 14, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I just bought my first bottle !! Very smooth with a delicious flavor! I’ll buy more! Keep up the good work! Bravo!!

  4. Vasi King November 19, 2017 at 12:53 am

    It is unfortunate when a salesman is not well educated on the type of cognac he is selling but sells it on the merit of its exterior bottle design and what others have told him. Well, who were these others who’s palette has been used to fast food?
    I was very specific in asking for a taste similar to my favorite brand Rouyer Guillet 1968 which is no longer manufactured. It had a strong masculine tone one wanted to wear let alone drink. And it went down like velvet. No burning. Excellent for cooking and baking as well.
    D’usse however is reminiscent of “fire water” to the initial scent & thereafter its taste let alone the burning sensation down the throat. A hit of wasabi.
    Definitely not luxury definitely not for rich taste-buds and definitely not for any recipe. And, no, I’m not using the word rich to describe an economic status. The bottle is lovely and shall remain that as a display piece in my curio based on the price for which I paid.

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