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Nov 12, 2007 06:32 PM

Cognac tasting in Boston?

While my first love is rum, I also enjoy cognac and brandy. I run a rum review blog ( and would like to enhance my skills in tasting. That is, learning more skills of tasting, and learn how to detect and describe some points that I do not yet fully understand - things like mouthfeel, maturity in a young spirit, identifying underlying flavors, etc.

I'm sure that I won't find a rum tasting around here, and I don't like wine or whiskey, so my thought is that a "proper" cognac tasting would do me some good. Ideally, a class on cognac tasting would be even better.

Does anyone have any knowledge about cognac tastings, or cognac tasting classes, in the Boston area? A recommendation for a book on how to taste cognac would also be appreciated.

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  1. I don't know of any classes, per se, in the Boston area. Classes on distillates are often quite difficult to organize formally, as the laws and regulations governing them are much more strict than those governing wine tastings and wine classes.

    That said, you may want to look for one or all of the following books:

    Cognac, by Nicholas Faith (ISBN: 1840009020)
    Cognac: The Seductive Saga of the World's Most Coveted Spirit, by Kyle Jarrard (ISBN: 0471459445)
    Cognac: A Liquid History, by Salvatore Calabrese (ISBN: 1844034755)

    Classic Brandy, by Nicholas Faith (ISBN: 1853753335)
    Armagnac: The Definitive Guide to France's Premier Brandy, by Charles Neal (ISBN: 1891267205)

    1 Reply
    1. re: zin1953

      I have all but the Armagnac book. :-)
      At least you confirm that I have some good books on the subject.

    2. I'm on the email list from BRIX Wine Shop ( and recently got a notice about a cognac tasting (November 3rd). It's advertised as the "first cognac tasting of the season" so you might contact them to find out if they plan more?

      1 Reply
      1. re: skokefoe

        A day late and a dollar short... Thanks though, I'll sign up for their events mailing list.