The look of a man sitting quietly in the corner of a bar sipping a glass of whiskey or cognac is strangely titillating, possibly because it gives an air of sophistication and mystery. Whether you like your dark liquor neat, on the rocks or “cough” with some type of carbonated beverage, it’s important to know the difference between top shelf whiskeys and cognacs and the ‘rail’ stuff bartenders might be using to mop up with.
Camus Cognac Cuvee 3.128
The Camus family has been in the distilling business for some 140 years, and their Camus Cognac Cuvee 3.128 is considered their masterpiece. Aged for over 40 years, this Camus cognac will set you back $2,500 for 750ml.
Arguably the best of the blended whiskeys, this versatile 80 proof dark liquor is produced by John Jameson & Son in Midleton Single Distillery, County Cork, Ireland, and has been around since the 1770s. It’s about $20 for 750ml.
With origins in Grande Champagne, France and part of Hardy’s “Essential Element” series, this cognac brand dates back to the 1870s and prides itself as the “world’s oldest unblended cognac.” You’ll have to part with $6,700 for 750ml.
Handcrafted in Japan’s oldest distillery, which has been around since 1923, Yamazaki 1984 is a top unblended whiskey with fruit, toffee, and bitter chocolate flavors. Yamazaki exports to over 25 countries, including the United States. A 750ml bottle will cost you anywhere from $41 to $110 depending on its age.
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Written by Kent Page McGroarty
Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work frequently appears in online magazine EDGE Publications among other websites.