Jacques Cardin Cognac VSOP Review

jacques-cardin-vsop-cognacThis is my first official sit-down review of Cognac on everydaydrinkers. The reason? There are so many great spirits out in the world that I’m still working to touch them all. Now I’m going to play a little cognac on my tongue and see how it goes. To setup, I’ve warmed the beautiful brown liquid with my hand for about six to seven minutes to start bringing out the scents.

Jacques Cardin is a golden brown color with hues of amber as you swirl it around. The golden colors bounce off the light while a darker amber plays around in the center of the glass. The liquid streams like long sad tears down the side of the glass in perfect unison, almost eerie in its synchronization.

To appreciate a cognac one must appreciate all aspects of it, scent plays a big role in a good review of this spirit so we’re going to work some flavor profiles out of the glass. It’s appropriately warm and the bouquet begins to grow as I hold it longer in my hands. Initial flavors indicate a milk chocolate caramel profile wrapped around a very earthy center. It is almost as if the damp earth of the Cognac region is built into the scent of this liquid. Next, comes the vanilla profile, not too uncommon for a cognac along with some wet oak flavorings which probably fit the Very Special Old Pale (VSOP) aging on the cognac (at least four years old).

You get different scents if you move closer towards the glass and back away again. Sweeping the nose quick over the glass gives rise to nice ginger notes while diving too close gives you a big caramel chocolate flavor followed by a slight burn to the nose, Jacques Cardin is ready to hurt you if you get to close to it. Perhaps it’s protecting its inner flavors, allowing you time to learn to respect it before jumping in head first.

Taking my first sip, I spend more time feeling the cognac and less time working a taste profile. It has a medium body, not too thin yet not too thick with a smooth silkiness on the tongue. The second sip allows me to feel out some of the chocolates in the attack and caramel mid-palate transition into a slightly fiery and creamy vanilla leaving behind a finish of aged oak. Although Jacques Cardin Cognac VSOP is 40% alcohol by volume, it lets you know you’re alive by the finish.

Initially there is no alcoholic burn as you swirl the silky liquids around your mouth. Once you’ve swallowed the cognac it begins to light a little spicy fire upon the edges of your palate with a  bit of acidity as a bonus. The finish is quite satisfying as the alcohol subsides and leaves a thin vanilla oak coating on your tongue.  Closing my mouth tight, breathing in slowly reveals much of the flavors of the Jacques Cardin without any alcohols, this finish goes on and on for days (well, at least minutes).

Overall, this is a solid VSOP cognac, at around USD $30.00 (750ml) its a value buy. Is it the best cognac I’ll ever taste? I don’t know if that’s true but I sure do sleep well at night knowing I can spend thirty bucks on something that is smooth, clean and fairly complex in flavor profile. I’m sure this would liven up a cocktail with its silk textures as well.