7 Decadent Martell Cognacs To Discover


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Martell was founded in 1715 as Jean Martell was intent on producing the ultimate in cognac luxury. Three hundred years later, the best Martel cognacs are still delighting discerning drinkers worldwide.

The brand’s collection has made cognac accessible to all. A delicious VS & coke, traditional VSOP digestif, refined gentleman’s club XO tipple, or breaking into the mainstream cocktail scene, Martell has a cognac to suit.

Best Martell Cognacs

The best Martell cognacs combine decadent flavours of dark fruits with exotic spices, vanilla, and even smooth woody notes. Here are 7 to consider.

1. Martell VS

Martell VS
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Clear Gold

Review

Martell VS is produced from a blend of 20 to 30 Eaux-de-vie from Fin Bois and Cognac regions known for their quick fruition. This allows Martell VS intense fruity flavours to shine through.

The youngest of Maison Martell cognac, aged for two years to produce a light fruity aromatic blend, is invitingly easy on the palate for beginners into the cognac world. Similar quality to Rémy Martin VSOP.

On The Nose

Aromas of rich plum, apricot, and peach lifted by sweet lemon candy.

On The Palate

Dark plum and orchard fruits are gently spiced with cinnamon and the slight tangy zest of lemon peel. The finish is smooth and fruity, with hints of sweet almond.

Best Served

Serve Martell VS in a Summer Collins with lemon juice and maple syrup muddles with peach slices; finish with a splash of soda water.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Martell VSOP

Martell VSOP
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Copper Gold

Review

Produced for the very first time in 1831 by Frederic Martell, great-grandson of Jean Martell. This ‘Very Superior Old Pale’ is a mix of Eaux-de-vie with the youngest aged at least four years in oak barrels. 

England was the first country to receive a shipment of this cognac before the world experienced the refined flavours of this flavoursome VSOP.

On The Nose

A delightful waft of ripe fruity aromas engulfs the nose with delicate aromas of yellowed plums, apricot, and peach.

On The Palate

The well-balanced velvety smoothness of delicious ripe plum and apricot and a hint of soft spicy notes. A woody oak finish lingers on the smooth finish.

Best Served

Enjoy Martell VSOP in a Derby cocktail, with grapefruit juice to add a bit of tang mixed with orange bitters, blackberry honey syrup, and garnished off with a sliver of grapefruit peel for a sophisticated tipple.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Copper

Review

The launch of Martell Blue Swift commemorates historical ties to the United States dating back to 1783. Martell’s VSOP is finished off in charred bourbon casks to gain the rich smoky flavours of the oak barrels.

Interestingly, this VSOP is finished in bourbon casks, which does not allow it to be recognised as cognac; hence Martell labelled Blue Swift as a ‘spirit drink’.

On The Nose

Rich, decadent aromas of baked pear, banana, burnt sugar, and hints of vanilla and spice.

On The Palate

A gently spiced combination of baked pear and peach on the open reveals banana and hints of coconut mid-palate (almost like a Plantation rum). Toasted flavours of oak and caramelised vanilla on the lingering finish.

Best Served

Try in a Julep; just add Martell Blue Swift, simple syrup, ice and fresh mint leaves for an exceptional summer cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Martell Cordon Bleu

Martell Cordon Bleu
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Copper

Review

Now we crank it up a notch with the elegant Martell Cordon Bleu, a 2017 tribute to commemorate the original Cordon Blue produced in 1912 by Edouard Martell.

This refined cognac is blended with Eaux-de-vie aged between 10 and 25 years, using a high proportion of Borderies to ensure a smooth and velvety cognac experience. Reminds me of a quality Armagnac.

On The Nose

A complexity of aromas immerses the nose with scents of candied plum and toffee apple, toasted almonds, and hints of coffee.

On The Palate

Sweet plum and roasted almonds open to dark coffee, spiced dried fruits, and caramel mid-palate. The finish is impressively long with an undercurrent of tobacco, oak and spice.

Best Served

To fully enjoy the complexity of this exceptional blend, Martell Cordon Bleu is best enjoyed neat. I like to pour over ice and add a dash of water to bring out the intricate flavours.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Martell XO

Martell XO
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Bronze Amber

Review

Martell XO was originally produced in 1819 with a blend of over 150 Eaux-de-vie expertly aged between 15 and 35 years from the Grande and Petite Champagne regions.

This fine cognac nestles in a distinct half-moon arched bottle that reflects the charismatic elegance of this cognac. Certainly one for special occasions or a thoughtful gift. Also, consider Hennessy X.O.

On The Nose

Gentle aromas of black pepper, sweet fig, dark berries, coriander, crisp walnut and smooth wood.

On The Palate

An assortment of juicy red fruits, sweet fig and blackcurrant are sweetened by hints of toffee mid-palate. A full-bodied blend that leads into a slightly spiced and woody finish.

Best Served

Enjoyed neat, poured into a chilled glass to bring out the aromas and taste notes of the cognac and relished as a leisurely sipper.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Martell Chanteloup XXO

Martell Chanteloup XXO
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Rich Amber

Review

Maison Martell Chanteloup XXO is an exquisite cognac that claimed its name from the beating heart of Martell, the Château de Chanteloup in Cognac, France.

An incredible blend of 450 different ‘very old’ Eaux-de-vie blends is carefully crafted by Master Cellar Christophe Valtaud from a legacy of cognac knowledge handed down through generations.

On The Nose

Seductive aromas of apricot, peach, and honey are infused with fig to compliment the nutty aromas of walnut and almond.

On The Palate

Intensely rich fruity notes of honed-dipped figs, peaches and apricots are soothed by walnut and almonds mid-palate. An incredibly long, full-bodied finish.

Best Served

It would be a crime to serve Chanteloup XXO other than neat at room temperature. I recommend you add a dash of water to fully release this exquisite cognac’s complex aromas and flavours.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. L’Or de Jean Martell

L'Or de Jean Martell
Credit: Martell

Overview

  • Distiller: Martell
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Intense Copper

Review

A cognac made to honour and celebrate the founder Jean Martell with a blend that he would be proud of. L’Or de Jean Martell is blended from over 400 very rare Eaux-de-vie, some aged over a century.

To complete the elegance of this exquisite blend, L’Or de Jean Martell is presented in a hand-blown crystal carafe created by the prestigious manufacturer Cristal de Sèvres. Very much along the same lines as a high-end Hennessy cognac.

On The Nose

Zesty notes of orange rind and bergamot collide with blackcurrant and juicy berries. Cloves, cinnamon and vanilla provide a gingerbread aroma.

On The Palate

A complex fusion of rich plums, citrus peel and blackcurrants dusted with cinnamon and other baking spices. A long, lingering finish with a subtle hint of gingerbread and roasted nuts.

Best Served

I would only recommend L’Or de Jean Martell to be served neat so you can savour the luxury and majesty of this almost historic cognac.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

best Martell cognac

Martell Cordon Bleu Cognac

My top pick overall is Martell Cordon Bleu, as this cognac sits at just the right level of being refined enough for sipping neat yet priced so beginners and veterans alike can enjoy its rich plum, dark coffee, and exotic spices.

Martell Cognac Q&A

Martell Cognac Q&A

Difference Between Cognac & Brandy?

Brandy can be made from fermented juices of any fruit. In contrast, strict regulations mean that although cognac is a brandy, it can only be made from fermented Ugni grapes grown around the town of Cognac in southwest France.

Is Martell A Good Cognac?

With over 300 years of cognac blending experience, Martell creates high-quality cognacs with distinct smoothness. The Martell range offers something unique for cognac beginners and the most discerning cognac lover.

Is Martell XO A Good Cognac?

Martell XO is an excellent full-bodied cognac that reveals black pepper, juicy fig, lush berries, and spice. It delivers a well-balanced, smooth woody finish.

What Is The Most Expensive Martell Cognac To Buy?

L’Or de Jean Martell is the most expensive Martell cognac you can currently purchase. It is available at fine cognac retailers for approximately $4000 (£3,400).

Understanding Cognac Age Lettering

A simple lettering system displays the age of the cognac; 

LabelMeaningDetail
V.SVery SpecialThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 2 years
V.S.O.PVery Special Old PaleThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 4 years
X.OExtra OldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 10 years.
X.X.OExtra, Extra OldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 14 years

Conclusion

Andrew holding a bottle of Martel VS
Martel VS is an excellent entry-level cognac

Jean Martell started a cognac legacy three centuries ago, and Martell cognac remains a force to be reckoned with. The best Martell cognacs are full of rich fruits, spices and decadent woody flavours to uphold the luxury and sophistication expected of such a legendary brand.

The coronation of King George V, the signing of World War I armistice, royal weddings, and the opulent gift for royal dignitaries on their first visit to France; Martell has seen it all.

What I like most about the collection is you can enjoy a quality Martell VS cognac relatively cheaply and work your way up the range as your taste changes over time. You may even make it to the heady heights of Martel XXO.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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