is the leading online portal for all things cognac. But that is, in a great part, down to you. Because we’d be nothing without our readers. The ethos of our website is to provide up to the minute news to other like minded people, and to literally share the love about our favourite tipple. And naturally, we’re always looking for ways to improve our site, so it was quite logical to go a step further – from daily commenting on both our blog or Facebook and Twitter, or contributions by such an outstanding connoisseur like Don Henny – to contributions in form of an article by readers who are willing to share their passion to cognac with us.

So here we go, an article written by one of our readers about his favourite cognacs, Jim Pearson, a public school janitor living about 30km north of New Orleans.  Cheers Jim, and many thanks for getting in contact.

How did you become familiar with cognac?

In 1974 I was a young soldier stationed in West Berlin when my daughter was born.  Our German landlord shared a bottle of cognac with us in celebration.  It was my first taste and the beginning of a long and much-enjoyed love affair with this wonderful spirit.  Taste is subjective, but for me I have savoured almost every single sip. The adventure of finding new and different brands, reading interesting labels and touching beautiful and sometimes fanciful glassware adds to the pleasure.

These are a few of the 70+ bottles I have collected. I try to save a bottle of each unique cognac I have tasted. I have emptied more than these.

Rémy Martin

For many years a close friend and I who both have birthdays at Christmas time have purchased a bottle of Remy Martin XO.  It was, and is, a luxury for us and we would promise each and every time that we would only sample it on special occasions; and make it last the whole year.  The bottle would be gone by New Year.  We couldn’t resist.

Rémy Martin: The most accessible brand, VSOP is my benchline of choice. I love the hints of oak. The EXTRA was so smooth.

Along with Hennessy and Courvoisier, Remy Martin can be found at almost any convenience store or gas station.  I do drink all three, but Remy is by far my favorite of these.


Hine is another of my choices. A little better than the Remy and one that I bought whenever I could.  Sadly, it is no longer available locally.  The Vielle Fine Champagne was the oldest bottle I have opened.  It was excellent and quite a find.  I bought it via the Internet.



My first bottle of Martell was bought at a duty-free store on my way home from Korea.  Perhaps that’s why Martell tastes “expensive“ to me, because I always feel like a Hong Kong high roller when I drink it.  Higher end shops frequently have the Cordon Bleu, but the XO is to be found only around holiday periods.  It’s a very sophisticated cognac.

Martell Cognacs I have enjoyed. Definitely a better brand, 10% - 20% more expensive than the common brands.

Pierre Ferrand

One of my newer favourites, Pierre Ferrand is super smooth.  The Selection des Anges and Ancestrale are exceptional.  I was recently given a bottle of Abel, but I’ve not tasted it yet.  Pierre Ferrand Cognac has become widely available locally and at competitive prices.

Another fine cognac. Maybe 5% above benchline cost, but good availability.


Another super good, super smooth, wonderful tasting cognac, although somewhat different to  most other cognacs I have enjoyed.  Perhaps this is down to the early landed aging process?   My one wish is that it was less expensive.  In the same way as Martell, the better qualities only appear on the shelves around the holidays.

Readers Choice Cognacs: Jim Pearson


Kelt Cognac makes a sea voyage before bottling.  While as smooth as other brands, I find the taste more masculine – but not in a bad way.  I do like this cognac, although I’m not sure I like paying for the extra mileage.

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Leopold Gourmel 

I saw the Leopold Gourmel Age du Fruit bottle on display in a wonderful wooden box in a store in Atlanta.  The color of the cognac and the beauty of the decanter blew me away; I had to have it.  At the time it was the most expensive bottle I had ever bought, but was worth it: A sublime spirit.  The Age des Fleurs was also very good, but doesn’t rank as high on my favorites list.

Perhaps more delicate than I deserve. I like the Age Du Fruit more than the Age des Fleurs. It is expensive, 20% above baseline and rare in this area.


I have never seen Gautier Cognac for sale in my area.  However, I sometimes travel to Houston where there is a wonderful liquor store.  Both of these bottles were purchased there.

Only occasionally available; average price, average quality. Of course average is pretty damn good!

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Readers Choice Cognacs: Jim Pearson

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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 Comment

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    What a wonderfully written article. It was especially nice seeing the pictures of the bottles, too! Kudos to Jim.

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