The Griffin, a ginger and citrus cognac cocktail perfect for sundowners and garden parties, named for the legendary creature whose likeness adorns every bottle of Bisquit & Dubouché cognac. Click on the picture to get the recipe.
The Griffin, a ginger and citrus cognac cocktail perfect for sundowners and garden parties, named for the legendary creature whose likeness adorns every bottle of Bisquit & Dubouché cognac. Click on the picture to get the recipe.
Image: Bisquit & Dubouché

Every journey tells a story, and each success — no matter how grand or modest — is a narrative of perseverance, passion and triumph. Nowhere is this narrative more evident than in the meticulous process of crafting cognac. 

Cognac is a celebration of history, legacy and exquisite craftsmanship. This tradition is deeply intertwined with the legacy of Bisquit & Dubouché, which has been crafting its award-winning cognacs for more than 200 years. It’s not only about remarkable flavours of cognac, but about the unique story that each sip symbolises. 

To celebrate and deepen your appreciation of this exceptional spirit, here are three facts you might not know about cognac:

1. Cognac’s history traces back to the Dutch

The history of cognac goes back to 16th-century Dutch settlers who frequented the southwest of France to acquire commodities like wood, salt and wine. Facing challenges in ensuring the wine survived the journey home, they experimented with distillation. 

Initially, they distilled the wine only once in an attempt to retain its wine-like qualities. However, they discovered that double distillation produced a far more refined spirit — a distilled wine they called “brandwijn” (burnt wine). 

Realising it was more economical to distil the wine before shipping, the Dutch installed the first formal distilleries in the Cognac region of France with imported copper stills from Amsterdam. This innovative approach and the accidental ageing of the spirit in casks formed the basis for the exquisite cognacs we know today.

2. True cognac can come only from the Cognac region

Cognac is located 450km from Paris, surrounded by lush hills and breathtaking views. This landscape is home to 75,000ha of vines tended by more than 4,700 dedicated winegrowers. 

The region is divided into six distinct CRUs (high-quality vineyards), each distinguished by the unique characteristics of its soil and microclimate:

  • Borderies;
  • Grande Champagne;
  • Petite Champagne;
  • Fin Bois;
  • Bon Bois; and
  • Bois Ordinaires.

The region’s chalky soil, coupled with its temperate climate, provides the ideal conditions for cultivating the grape varieties used in cognac production. These grapes thrive in the terroir, developing the delicate balance of acidity and aroma essential for producing exceptional eaux-de-vie (grape spirits).

A Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon, but this cocktail is even more enjoyable when made with Bisquit & Dubouché cognac instead. Click on the picture to get the recipe.
A Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon, but this cocktail is even more enjoyable when made with Bisquit & Dubouché cognac instead. Click on the picture to get the recipe.
Image: Bisquit & Dubouché

Bisquit & Dubouché sources eaux-de-vie primarily from Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fin Bois and Bon Bois for its VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) cognac.

For its XO (Extra Old) cognac, Bisquit & Dubouché elevates the experience further by using the most prestigious eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne — CRUs that are renowned for producing some of the finest cognacs in the world, and their contribution is evident in the XO's complex character.

3. Double distillation is the key to cognac’s complexity

Creating the refined, complex flavours of cognac begins with a double distillation process. The journey starts with fermenting white wine known for its high acidity and low alcohol content, a balance ideal for distillation.

The first distillation (première chauffe) involves heating the wine in traditional copper pot stills. The process, lasting between eight and 10 hours, produces a cloudy liquid called brouillis. The second distillation (bonne chauffe) refines the brouillis to create the final spirit. 

Then, the master distiller carefully separates the “heads” (first portions), “hearts” (middle portion), and “tails” (last portions) of the distillate. Only the “heart,” known as la coeur, is kept for ageing — it contains the purest and most aromatic compounds, which are essential for creating high-quality cognac.

Bisquit & Dubouché elevates the art of distillation with a unique process refined over more than 200 years. Unlike other producers, Bisquit & Dubouché distils its wine on the lees (the residual yeast). This complex technique requires unparalleled expertise and attention but results in a broader range of aromas and a richer, more complex spirit.

Their signature Long Cut Method, conceived by Alexandre Bisquit, extends the extraction period during the second distillation. By cutting the distillate at a later stage, they obtain an “extra heart”. These aromatic components maximise the fruity and floral notes, enhancing the final spirit’s fragrance and complexity. 

It’s as much an art as it is a science, relying on the experience, smell and taste of distillers who wait for the precise moment to cut distillation.

Toast To Your Journey

Join Bisquit & Dubouché in celebrating not just a spirit, but a story. Raise a glass to the bumps on the road, the victories won and the unique journey that defines you. With Bisquit & Dubouché, every sip is a chapter in your tale. 

Here's to success, innovation and the stories that make us who we are. Cheers to “A Story to Sip”.

This article was sponsored by Bisquit & Dubouché.

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