Cognac and Armagnac are still the most highly regarded of all the worlds brandies. Cognac is produced in two separate distillations and is matured in Limousin oak. Cognacs are classified according to the length of time they have been aged, as VS, VSOP and XO. Armagnac, traditionally a single distilled spirit matured in black Gascon oak, claims a longer history than Cognac and is generally softer and rounder on the nose and palate. Some houses produce vintage Armagnacs, made from grapes harvested in an outstanding year. Fine Armagnacs and Cognacs are usually taken neat as a digestif.

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