Winter is well on the way (at least, it is for those of us north of the equator). For those who thrive on the endless days of summer sun, the coldest months of the year bring with them a gloomy outlook. Dark when you leave for work, dark on your return… It’s no wonder so many of us get a bit depressed at this time of year.
Enter the art of “hygge”, a concept our Scandinavian cousins have embraced for centuries to subtly interject comfort, joy, and optimism into their lives, no matter how scarce the hours of sunlight might be.
Pronounced “hoo-gah”, it’s certainly a word worth weaving into your vocabulary.
The winter blues are real
We humans have a complex relationship with sunlight. Our circadian clock influences when we feel active, sleepy, hungry, and more. While there’s still no definitive scientific proof as to why shorter days increase the likelihood of feeling sad, the leading theory is linked to these rhythms being knocked out of sync as the sun leaves us bereft of natural light for months on end.
Nowhere on earth is this more evident than the snowy shores of Scandinavia. So it makes sense that those who live there have perfected a method to weave a way of life that “lights up” their lives during these dark days.
In short, hygge means to create moments that are comforting, cozy, happy, safe, snug, warming… You get the picture. And what better way to do that than enjoying a sip of your favorite Cognac? After all, there’s got to be a reason the Norwegians have such a close relationship with both the town and drink, and we’d love to think that the art of hygge has something to do with it. There’s no denying that some very distinctive Cognac houses have histories that are firmly based in this land of fjords, mountains, and icy beauty.
So let’s take an exploratory journey into the world of hygge drinks from Norway, and discover the delightful way you can introduce the snuggly concept of hygge into your life this winter.
The granddaddy of them all, the house of Bache Gabrielsen Cognac is the best-selling brand in Norway. Founded in 1905 by Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen from Holmestrand, today Herve Bache-Gabrielsen holds the reins. Always active in promoting the wonder that is Cognac, his house is a market leader in the creation of innovative delights that target not only the traditional Cognac drinker, but the younger, hipster market as well.
The following are some great examples of delicious blends to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s night:
A wonderful Cognac that’s been decorated with many medals from top industry competitions, Reserve Sérénité is the perfect way to inject cheer with its deliciously light and flowery profile. Even the name adds a nod towards the concept of hygge, with “sérénité” referring to happiness.
Discover more about Bache Gabrielsen Reserve Sérénité, a Grande Champagne Cognac guaranteed to make even the darkest of winter days shine that little bit brighter.
ii. Bache Gabrielsen Cercle 30 Years Cognac
The newest addition to its illustrious stable, Cercle is a celebration of cellar master Jean Phillippe Bergier’s three decades with the house. This delightful blend has been created from eaux-de-vie produced by the local estates who’ve partnered with Bache over the past three decades, with the anniversary of “Les Rencontres” being celebrated on September 10 2019.
Discover more about the carefully curated range of Norway’s favorite Cognac on our Bache Gabrielsen brand page.
Known as the “Cognac of Vikings,” Larsen Cognac was founded in 1926 by Jens Reidar Larsen. At age 24 he’d set his sights on the American dream, setting sail from his home country of Norway to forge his carefully planned future. But fate had other ideas… His boat needed repairs, and an enforced lengthy stopover in Bordeaux provided the perfect opportunity for cupid’s carefully aimed arrow to pierce his heart. The young man fell in love, married a local girl, and Cognac became his forever home.
His passion also encompassed that of the famous local brandy, and this passionate young man dove into the world of viticulture, honing his expertise with secrets from local cellar masters. From this love of exploration the house of Larsen was born, and today the adventurous spirit still holds true, with high-end offerings often presented in luxury decanters of Limoges Porcelain and Baccarat Crystal.
i. Larsen Viking Ship Platinum & Gold Cognac
The iconic Viking ship decanter is surely a necessity for any quality liquor collection, and the Platinum & Gold is one of the most stunning yet… The instantly recognizable symbol is that of Larsen’s emblem, and the style of the decanter hasn’t changed since its creation in 1952. The presentation is brought about by the globally renowned French porcelain house of Limoges, and the Cognac within is a Fine Champagne work of art that’s as sublime and eye-popping as the presentation.
As a limited edition it’s sure to be one that’ll be a prize in any collector’s treasure hoard. Find out more about the Larsen Viking Ship Platinum & Gold and the other much-desired iterations in this classic collection.
ii. Larsen Extra Or Cognac
If ever there was a Cognac that epitomized the premium signature style of Larsen it has to be the Extra Or. Tones of coffee and cocoa provide that much-needed lift to your spirits—imagine the shadows of natural flame dancing on the wall, the smell of crackling pine logs, and the warming glow that only a real fire can bring. This, surely, is what hygge is all about…!
This gold medal-winning Cognac will take the connoisseur on an ecstatic tease of the senses. And for those at the beginning of their Cognac journey, there’s no better example to showcase why older eaux-de-vies represent the pinnacle of taste. Find out more and claim a bottle of Larsen Extra Or Cognac for your own.
Dive into the world of the Vikings and discover why the house of Larsen Cognac will soothe your senses as you sail through the shortest months of the year.
The house of Braastad Cognac is an artisan brand under the larger umbrella of Tiffon Cognac, which also has strong ties to Norway. In 1899 Sverre Braastad traveled from Gjovik, Norway, to Cognac, joining his uncle who was working for the house of Bisquit. Once again romance played her part in the creation of the brand, with Sverre becoming betrothed to the heiress of Cognac Tiffon, Edith Rosseau. They married, and at the end of The Great War he and Edith took place as head of the company.
Today the house remains in the family home of the Chateau de Triac, bringing a wonderful selection of Cognacs that beautifully represent the subtle art of hygge.
i. Braastad XO Vingen Limited Edition Cognac
What better way to lift your spirits than sliding down the largest ski jump in the world (or scare yourself to death, depending on your point of view). This limited edition Cognac is named after the jump that represents the qualities of all that brave the hill: courage, audacity, and technicality. In exactly the same manner, the Cognac combines all of these attributes, with the handsome decanter also continuing the theme.
Fire your hygge journey into the stratosphere with the Braastad XO Vingen Limited Edition Cognac.
ii. Braastad 1919 Celebration Limited Edition Cognac
Created in homage to Sverre Braastad, there’s no better example of the deep links between Norway and Cognac than this delicious and rare blend. Comforting notes of warm spice and cacao abound, and the celebratory offering will certainly bring joy into the life of all who taste it.
With only 1919 bottles available it’s sure to be snapped up fast. Reserve yours now, and enhance your winter with a purchase of the Braastad 1919 Celebration Limited Edition Cognac.
Discover the wonders of the complete collection from Braastad Cognac
4. Baron Otard
The house of Baron Otard Cognac can trace its origins back to a 9th-century Norwegian warrior called, Ottar. The house itself was founded in 1985, and today brings us a wonderful selection of award winning Cognacs such as:
i. Baron Otard XO Extra Old
The multi-medal winning Cognac is no longer produced, but we can still offer them for as long at the remaining stocks remain available.
Get your bottle of the deliciously warming Baron Otard XO Extra Old Cognac before it disappears forever!
ii. Baron Otard Extra 1795 Cognac
What’s better than sipping an hors d’age masterpiece for lifting your spirits. This outstanding Cognac isn’t just loved by us, industry awards agree, having showered it with medals over many years.
If ever there was a flavor of hygge, surely it has to be that of Rancio, one that the Baron Otard Extra 1795 Cognac has in spades…
Find out more about the warrior inspired house of Baron Otard Cognac.
And let’s not forget…
5. Birkedal Hartmann Cognac
With far-reaching links to Norway, Birkedal Hartmann Cognac today follows the path of collaboration with producers and blenders, as opposed to creating their own Cognacs. The man at the helm, Norwegian-born Kim Birkedal Hartmann, continues to forge incredible innovations that take the industry by storm. From famous offerings such as Conjure (the one with Ludacris) and Honor, his latest offering is well explained in our exclusive interview the man himself, Revanche Cognac: Conjuring a sweet, honorable revenge.
6. Dupuy Cognac
Dupuy Cognac deserves a mention thanks to being acquired by two Norwegian men, Thomas Bache-Gabrielsen and Peter Rustad back in 1905. Now re-branded and firmly under the umbrella of Bache-Gabrielsen, the brand is a worldwide name.
Discover more about Dupuy Cognac.
7. Jenssen Cognac
Jenssen was created in the year 2000 by a Norwegian investor, and then sold to the Russian drinks group, MMVZ in 2005. The house was the subject of much scandal come 2011, when the ex-president of the Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, was declared as being the real owner. Today all is very quiet about the brand, although in 2012 the estate was advertised for sale.
Introducing the delights of hygge into your life with that extra special Cognac is an easy method creating that wonderful cozy feeling that lifts your spirits. So delve into the world of Norwegian Cognacs and open your arms in welcome to the coming winter months. And if that doesn’t work, you can always console yourself with thoughts of next year’s summer vacation. (Hint hint… the Cognac region has so much to offer, and not just that of our favorite drink. Check out our article 12 Secret Travel Destinations for a wonderful pick me up as you sip your hygge inspired Cognac…