The Big 4 Cognac Houses

There are many Cognac houses in Europe but today we’ll be talking about the 4 big Cognac houses which are not only well known in the region but internationally as well.

These Cognac houses consist of (in no particular order):

1. Hennessy

Hennessy was first founded in 1765 by Richard Hennessy and is currently the largest Cognac producer in the world, selling 50 million bottles a year. It is currently owed by Moet Hennessy.

These are the top 3 Hennessy cognacs rated by Cognac Club:

Hennessy Imperial Paradis


An impressive 2011 release from Hennessy, the Paradis Imperial is a blend of rare 19th and 20th century cognacs inspired by the cognac that the company created in 1818 for Tsar Alexander I as a present from his mother. It’s packaged in an elegant crystal decanter designed by Stephanie Balini and features an 18-carat gold plated label.

The unprecedented alliance of age & finesse, Paradis Imperial is a Cognac of magisterial complexity, balance, and the finest texture, continually revealing new tones of expression and delicate floral essences on the palate.

Hennessy X.O


The original ‘extra-old’ cognac, first bottled in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy for family and friends. Darker and much more complex than the VSOP, with appealing leather and tobacco notes and a touch of spice – a great cigar Cognac.

Hennessy VSOP



The world’s first, and favourite V.S.O.P Cognac blends over 60 eaux-de-vie to achieve perfect harmony – a testament to the enduring expertise of the Hennessy Master Blenders. A natural balance of strength and smoothness with a long-lasting finish.

2. Martell

Martell was first founded in 1715 by Jean Martell and is currently owed by Pernod Ricard.

These are the top 3 Martell cognacs rated by Cognac Club:

1. Martell Cordon Bleu


First bottled in 1912 by Edouard Martell, this classic Cognac is Martell’s flagship brand and has become synonymous with the highest standard of quality. Cordon Bleu remains many connoisseurs’ favourite expression of Martell.

An explosion of deliciously fruited, spice notes. Elegance linked to aromatic richness.

2. Martell X.O


The Martell XO is a special cognac, extra old, coming from the house of Martell, presenting a blend of the rough elements of the Grande Champagne and the smooth effects of the Borderies.

An explosion of deliciously fruited, spice notes. Elegance linked to aromatic richness.

Martell X.O has a spicy, rich crescendo starting with the mellow elegance of the Borderies, followed by the intensity and finesse typical of Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie.

3. Martell L’Or


L’Or de Jean Martell means the Gold of Jean Martell – it’s a great cognac with more than 300 different eaux-de-vie, some of them more than 100 years old. It is packaged in a remarkable crystal decanter and contains the company’s finest stock of old Borderies and Grande Champagne.

Martell L’Or has a veritable effusion of sensations marked by a light, sylph-like quality for all its length. Much like a familiar, melodious symphony of fresh citrus notes, fruit, gingerbread and precious wood, in which the senses answer each other in subtle echoes.

3. Rémy Martin

Rémy Martin was first founded in 1724 by Rémy Martin himself and is currently owed by Rémy Cointreau.
These are the top 3 Rémy Martin cognacs rated by Cognac Club:

Rémy Martin V.S.O.P


Rémy Martin’s V.S.O.P. is the flagship of the brand. One bottle contains hundreds of blend components, ranging from four to fifteen years in age. The brand itself is a Fine Champagne Cognac taken from the two best crus resulting in a Cognac of some complexity – balanced and mature.

Deep golden yellow in colour. Nose of vanilla, oak, and apricot jam, developing more intense floral, hazelnut, apricot notes. The aromas continue onto the smooth, medium weight palate.

Rémy Martin Club


Rémy Martin Club is a full and round Cognac, a first class cognac. Its a Fine Champagne blend, which means that the distilled eaux-de-vie from Grande and Petite Champagne: 70% from the Grande and 30% of Petite. The aged spirits are between 5 and 25 years old, matured in oak barrels in the cellars of Rémy Martin.

The cognac is complex, on the nose some nice vanilla, rose and jasmine flower, on the palate apricot, some almonds and nutmeg.

Rémy Martin Louis XIII


Pierrette Trichet, Rémy Martin’s Cellar Master, has crafted this exquisite masterpiece from eaux-de-vie from the most prized vineyards of Cognac. These eaux-de-vie, from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne, offer considerable ageing potential and, in the case of Centaure de Diamant, are aged for between 20 and 50 years.

Notes of Caramel, vanilla, wood, tobacco, spice and flowers. Beautiful smooth taste that is extremely complex and rich with a very long length.

4. Courvoisier

Courvoisier was first founded in 1835 by Felix Courvoisier and is currently owed by Beam Suntory.

These are the top 3 Courvoisier cognacs rated by Cognac Club:

Courvoisier X.O


Well matured Grandes Champagnes and Borderies. Triple aged in French oak casks then in ancient oak, this beautifully balanced blend offers a great richness and a sumptuous smoothness

Intense aromas of violet and leather, from long aging in humid cellars by the Charente river. It offers a revolutionary richness, with ripe rare flavours of exotic fruit, toffee and honey.

Courvoisier V.S.O.P


Blend of different crus of cognac region with mainly Fins Bois, Petite Champagne and old Borderies. Fins Bois give a fruity character, Petite Champagne the depth while Borderies add rich exotic spice. Courvoisier V.S.O.P is aged in new French oak and traditional casks before being married in ancient wooden vats.

Aging in new French oak casks creates punchy aromas of vanilla and roasted nuts. A second aging in traditional casks gives notes of dried fruits. Then the marriage in ancient wooden vats adds an unrivalled richness and complexity, to deliver delicate floral notes.

Courvoisier Initiale Extra


An elegant and rare blend of eaux-de-vie at the peak of flavour.Perfectly marrying the Grande Champagne and Borderies crus, starting at the delicate age of 30 and maturing up to and beyond 50 years old.

Fragrance starts with humid forest and rich truffle aroma, then port wine and cedar wood, followed by spicy hints of hot fruit cake.