Cognac’s greatest adversary is reputation. As the vanity liquor of hip hop and carefree businessmen it has depended on high prices and gorgeous bottles for sales for decades. But if you go beyond the bling you’ll quickly realize that the grape-based brandy from France is as varied, subtle, and obsession worthy as America’s favorite liquor of choice.
We’ve selected nine examples that show the versatility of cognac, from rich and spicy high-proof expressions, to single vintage, single-harvest eaux de vie that could go toe to toe with the best single barrel bourbon around. There’s even one of those super pricey gems in the collection… and plenty of affordable ones too.