Hine Antique Cognac XO Review

Hine Antique Cognac XO Review

Hine Antique Cognac XO Review

Cognac is a liquor whose production has to be contained inside strict parameters, so long as manufacturers want their spirit to be recognized as a cognac, that is. Primarily, as of 1909, only a drink produced in a specific French region can be rightly called a cognac. On top of this, the grape juice used must come from white grapes that were specifically grown under the cognac label.

Cognac also needs to undergo double distillation on a Charentes Still, after which the resulting distillate is aged in oak barrels, which previously carried Cognac eaux de vie. Aging must cover a minimum of 2 years, and the youngest cognac out of the blend must be used to represent any brand with an age statement.

Hine Antique XO Cognac is a mix of 40 cognacs hailing from the River Charente’s banks. A recent upgrade transformed the spirit into a pure distillate of grapes grown inside the Grande Champagne cru. This is the most well known French cru when it comes to high quality grape yields.

In the Bottle: 9/10

The bottle is shaped like a teardrop, with a hard cork topper crowning it. The decanter is all hard angles, to appeal to more masculine sensibilities. One thing we found objectionable was the blandness of the label – much like the Hine Rare, the Hine Antique fails to convey the artisanal quality of the spirit in locales far removed from when it was produced. A bit more information would have been appreciated by connoisseurs eager to show the drink off.

In the Glass: 8.5/10

A bucolic spirit with the typical copper coloring, this spirit leaves a thick sheen on the inside of the glass after a tilt and a twirl. The crest deposits rather plump droplets that extend into standard-sized legs, which then wander back downwards.

In the Mouth: 8/10

The first sip gives you old leather flavors that submit to lemon grass, herbal mint, and cinnamon. The mix is complex across the palate, with light butterscotch sweetness, which nevertheless still leaves some oak and leather uncovered.

In the Throat: 8/10

The finish is long, with a feel of camphor and menthol, as well as hints of cinnamon among butterscotch and oak spice.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

This spirit is both robust and complex, with oak spice being the most dominant aspect of the flavor profile, which grows more intense the longer you let it breathe.