Cognac is one of those drinks that is so misunderstood, much like Champagne. I hear far too many people refer to it as just, "X.O.", as if it qualifies you as some sort of authority on the matter by referring to it as such. It's a product of X.O. usually being in the largest font on the bottle label, and people automatically assuming that that's what it's called. Shameful.
Having said that, cognac isn't my eau-de-vie of choice. Maybe I havn't been drinking enough cognacs, but most likely, I havn't been drinking the right ones. It's like drinking Yellow Tail chardonnay all your life, but not truly understanding the chardonnay grape until that first taste of Chablis. I'm still looking for that transcendant cognac experience that truly expresses what cognac can achieve.
Pictured above, I'm currently drinking a Remy Martin V.S.O.P. Cognac. It's a fine eau-de-vie, just completely without personality or any other identifying cognac characteristic. Creamy weight, yes, but what tells you that this is a cognac? I taste lots of wood, but if I want wood, well........you know my thoughts on that.
Too bad. These huge companies in cognac, pumping out this bland version of what should be a noble and important distilled spirit. Too bad. Good, small producers of cognac are available, but the very limited quantity and resultant price are just too restrictive. It's such a shame. Until I have the means to be able to drink these great cognacs, like Paul Giraud Grande Champagne, I think I'll stick to single malts from Islay.