Cognac and Armagnac: cousins not brothers.

Cognac and Armagnac: cousins not brothers.

Oct 13, 2020Paula Ayala


Both Cognac and Armagnac are strong and heavy brandies. They might be somehow similar or related, but more like cousins than siblings, indeed, for they have significant differences to be considered. While Armagnac is the oldest eau-de-vie of France and undoubtedly the local traditional liqueur, his counterpart, Cognac, is the French spirits' international figure. When it comes to taste, they are significantly different: Cognac is more subtle and gentle, while Armagnac is considered a full-flavored brandy, more complex on the palate.


Similar but not alike, vomFASS Armagnac is produced in the Bas region of Armagnac from brandies hand-selected by the curators of the Maison Delord, who has been producing Bas Armagnac on their family estate since 1893. Hand-selected expressions of Armagnac are nearly impossible to find.

Bas-Armagnac vintage 1973

Armagnac XO, 10 years

Gérard Seguinot's house of Cognac, a producer of the finest Cognac in the Grande Champagne, released this rare Cognac from his estate ground in 1890. And we have the opportunity to hand-select unique blends of Cognac, which are incredibly rare. Enjoy this outstanding and remarkable spirit!

Cognac Cuvee Cru Paradis 40-50 years - In store only

Cognac Napoleon - Premier Cru de Cognac - In store only


Terroir Differences

Cognac and Armagnac are French brandies made from white wine grapes. Still, terroir is always a distinguishing factor: Cognac is made in the southwestern area of Cognac. Armagnac is made in Armagnac (about 300 Km south of Cognac), in the Gascony region.


Distillation: Two rounds Vs. One round for Armagnac

These two regions distill thin base wines to make brandies, but Cognac goes through two rounds of distillation in pot stills, Armagnac typically only goes through one in a column still. This difference in the process significantly affects the product: Armagnac is higher in alcohol (approximately 50%-70%, ABV) than Cognac (must be at least 40%).


Type of Grapes: Ugni Blanc Vs. Blend

Cognac typically only uses the Ugni Blanc grape (white grape), while Armagnac uses three different grape varieties: Folle Blanche, Colombard, and Baco Blanc. In Cognac, 97% of the grape variety used is Ugni Blanc, while in Armagnac is about 55%.


Aging: 2 Years for Cognac Vs. 1 Year

While Armagnac can be aged for a minimum of one year to reach the VS (Very Special) standard, Cognac needs to be aged for at least two years. In fact, there's no such thing as unaged Cognac. When it comes to aging, Cognac typically sits in Limousin and Tronçais oak barrels, while Armagnac can be also be aged in Gascon oak barrels.


Whatever your preference might be between these French spirits, here at vomFASS Wiregrass, we are delighted to be able to offer you a hand-picked selection of amazing Cognac and Armagnac. Enjoy this outstanding and remarkable spirit!


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