NLF: Hardy Red Corner VS

Hardy Red Corner VS
80 Proof – Cognac
Approx. $27.99 750ml

Jeff’s Review:
Ever since I could remember, I have never been a big fan of change. But lately, change has been, well, a good change of pace. I’m not only talking about what I’m drinking, but in general. I read a quote that stuck in my head, “It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change.” So lately, I have been trying to shake things up a little and so far so good. Tonight’s review is a good example of change, I picked up a bottle of Hardy Red Corner VS, a cognac.

Now I know a few of you might know a little bit about cognac, but I really didn’t have a clue. Don’t get me wrong, I have drank a few big name cognacs, I just never knew what I was drinking. I looked into it a little bit and it cleared a few things up.

First of all, cognac is a brandy but meets certain legal requirements. It’s made from a certain french grape, has been twice distilled in copper pot stills, and then it’s aged at least two years in oak barrels. So really, cognac is a fancy brandy that has matured like a whiskey.

Now as much as that cleared up, I still was confused about something. Almost all cognacs have one of these on the bottle: VS, VSOP, XO. Well apparently that is a quality grade. It mainly represents the age of the cognac. VS, very special, is aged two years. VSOP, very superior old pale, is aged four years. XO, extra old, has aged for at least ten years, but up to thirty years.

OK, now I know I’m drinking a french brandy that has been aged around two years, and knowing a little bit about what I’m reviewing, makes me feel a little better. Hardy Red Corner VS smells sweet and I can detect a hint of honey. Drinking it straight…wasn’t wise. It doesn’t burn and it doesn’t taste bad, but it kind of sits in the back of the throat and stays there. But I’m guessing, just  like that great whiskey burn, you could get used to it and enjoy it, but I wasn’t used to it.

I quickly changed it up and added some coke, but it seems that the coke brings out an overly sweet honey flavor. Before I could finish my drink, change happened. My cup was instantly emptied…when i dropped it on the floor. The good to come out of this change is, Tony made me a new drink before I could tell him I didn’t like it, and for some reason, my second cup was alot better. I guess Tony got the mix down and the honey flavor was there, but just enough to notice and enjoy it. Also, I wouldn’t try shooting it. It’s not horrible, but I need a chaser after every shot just to wash away the lingering taste from my throat.

If you want to start on the path of change, Hardy Red Corner VS is a good start, but if you already drink cognac, go pick up a bottle of whiskey.

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