Demystifying Cognac Brandy: “Not” Just for the Elite

By: Cinaedus Ebrius

In passing conversations people often ask my drink of choice. Instinctively I reply with cognac which is often met with several generic replies. “Oh, the rich man’s drink” “Isn’t that for the elite?” You get the picture. I am not exactly certain which pop-culture origin to attribute this perceived class barrier to; however, I can assure you that I am not any classier than Mr. Joe Blow when I start throwing up cognac in the chandelier lit stall of my drinking establishment. Except that I am in a tuxedo, there is a bathroom attendant in my club, sometimes I lose my monocle, and my bar tab is more than you make in a month. Have fun throwing up cheap schnapps.


Our first cognac: Deo Optimo Maximo: Benedicine and Brandy (DOM: B&B)

So where do we start in this article series discussing different cognacs? I will start with something that will slightly introduce you to the world of cognac, as it is not a straight cognac. It is described by certain sources as the first marketed mixed drink. Deo Optimo Maximo: Benedicine and Brandy (DOM: B&B). This liqueur is expertly made per the description from, “A fine blend of French Brandy and Benedictine”. Yes, this is a dynamic drink when considering a cognac review, but it is a great introductory drink. The one downside to this mix is that I have found no reference indicating the grade of French Brandy used in this drink. Although, judging from the price it is safe to assume “VSOP” is not the origin. You could probably afford it. In the coming week I will take your minds on a journey purveying the finest of cognacs money can buy.

We will discuss Napoleon’s Courvoisier, Martell, and the well known Hennessey. Of course I do not expect any of you to be able to buy even the cheapest VSOP, but my tasting notes will allow you to dream.

I must digress. You did not come to this article to hear me speak about the history, and formulation of this drink. You want to know what it is like to drink cognac since you have never had to opportunity yourself. Let us look at my tasting notes.

Cognac Review: Deo Optimo Maximo: Benedicine and Brandy (DOM: B&B)

Appearance / Colour

Medium caramel

Smell / Nose / Aroma


Flavour / Taste / Palate

Spiced flavour, tempered sweetness, rich, vanilla, nutty


Peaty, and dry (expect heartburn)

Final Comments

Overall an excellent lower end cognac mix, with excellent mouthfeel.

This particular mix is great for those who do not have the refined palate that is required for enjoying fine straight cognac. It has the added perks of being affordable for commoners. For those who are more experienced you could easily make your own B&B that would be more apt to suit your taste. You are likely to find it at any bar that requires a $5 cover charge. Join me next time as I take you further into the world of cognac, and wean you off of your mixer.

Ta ta,

– Cinaedus Ebrius

Suggested reading: Top 10 Best Cognacs

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Deo Optimo Maximo: Benedicine and Brandy
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