Bruce bkawak at
Sun Jun 28 02:53:45 UTC 2009

The official quality grades of cognac are, according to the BNIC (Bureau 
National Interprofessionnel du Cognac):

  a.. VS Very Special, or ??? (three stars) where the youngest brandy is 
stored at least two years in cask.
  b.. VSOP Very Special (less commonly 'Superior') Old Pale, where the 
youngest brandy is stored at least four years in cask, but the average wood 
age is much older.
  c.. XO Extra Old, where the youngest brandy is stored at least six, but 
average upwards of 20 years.
In addition can be mentioned:

  a.. Napoleon Although the BNIC states this grade is equal to XO in terms 
of minimum age, it is generally marketed in-between VSOP and XO in the 
product range offered by the producers.
  b.. Extra A minimum of 6 years of age, this grade is usually older than a 
Napoleon or an XO.
  c.. Vieux Is another grade between the official grades of VSOP and XO.
  d.. Vieille Réserve Is like the Hors d´Age a grade beyond XO.
  e.. Hors d'âge The BNIC states that also this grade is equal to XO, but in 
practice the term is used by producers to market a high quality product 
beyond the official age scale. Hence the name "Hors d'age" (beyond age).
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JOELTLE515 at>
To: <thewho at>
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:03 PM
Subject: Re: RIP John

> still wondering what VSOP is..

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