Cognac is named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. Brandy is simply a type of alcohol distilled from either fermented fruit juice or wine.
“For a distilled brandy to bear the name Cognac, an Appellation d’origine contrôlée, its production methods must meet certain legal requirements. In particular, it must be made from specified grapes. The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wine when aged in barrels, and most cognacs are aged considerably longer than the minimum legal requirement.”(wikipedia)
That’s about it for brandy.
We have a bottle of Hine, and although I have always loved it, and I still love it, I have found that I am a bourbon drinker. So, Hine is grape based, and bourbon is grain based. Hine, and cognac, is a very strong spirit but it is very smooth. Very balanced. Very complimentary. It isn’t likely that you will be offended by cognac, but you will be a little taken aback with its prowess.
It is definitely a gentleman’s drink, and I wouldn’t refuse it if it was offered to me. But I am not going out and buying bottles of it, either.
If you want a good bottle of cognacs, I would suggest checking out these links: