The cognac aroma wheel: your guide to cognac harmony

4 July 2014 by in Wine and spirits

This infographic is taken from Cognac, by Nicholas Faith, who has also written Nicholas Faith’s guide to cognac, which you can download free here. Both guides highlight the extraordinary range of cognacs available and will teach even the most clued-up cognac fan a few things about their favourite drink.

The great thing about cognac is the complexity of its flavours, which alter according to the seasons and the more mature the spirit, the better. See if you can spot any of these flavours the next time you have a glass:
Cognac flavour wheel demonstrating the complexity of flavours in cognac

New release: Cognac by Nicholas Faith

2 October 2013 by in Book publishing, Wine and spirits

What is it that inspires people to spend astronomical sums of money on a cask of cognac? And what is it about this golden drink that has even driven people to violence? To put it simply: why is cognac the world’s greatest brandy?

Nicholas Faith has the answers in his acclaimed Cognac, an unparalleled collection of insights into the world’s finest brandy. This book is an expertly led tour through cognac’s fascinating history, with quick reference sections to amuse and intrigue. Find out why Snoop Doggy Dog and Jay-Z get a mention; which are the best years for quality vintages (and which should be avoided); which firms produce the finest cognacs (from one-man operations to huge manufacturers), and which oaks impart the best flavours.

Nicholas Faith is the world’s leading authority on cognac and has twice won the prestigious André Simon prize. Our completely updated third edition of Cognac includes a fully updated directory of the top producers and their brandies, including the author’s tasting notes.

Our favourite parts of the book have to be the sections on combining cognac with chocolate, and the assortment of cocktail recipes. We thought we’d share a few with you here.

To make a Brandy Julep you will need:

5–6 mint leaves
1 tsp caster sugar
1 measure of cognac

Put the ingredients into a Collins glass (a small but tall tumbler) and stir until the mint rises to the top.

To make a Brandy Collins, simply mix together:

1tsp caster sugar
1 small measure of cognac
Juice of ½ lemon