While browsing the Cognac aisle, I came across this Courvoisier 12 year old which was only US$52.00+tax. The idea was to put this head to head against the VSOP which comes in at US$44.00+tax and decide whether or not it would be worth the extra $8.00 for the 12 year old. I posted my tasting notes on the VSOP in another thread.
When put into a glass side by side with the VSOP, the 12 year old comes off much nicer in the nose. According to the label, this is mostly a Borderies blend which probably explains why the nose is much brighter than that of the VSOP. Raisins, maple syrup, pecans, figs, oranges, this has a pretty nice aroma to it. There is also some vanilla, flowers, and cigar in the nose.
Taste: First impression is that it's quite sweet. Buttery toffee, caramel, turbinado sugar, and molasses are the first things I can pick up, but once the sweetness subsides, it has a nice lemony citrus taste which then goes into a clove spiciness.
First off, I'd have to say that this is a much better product than the VSOP. You don't have to bury your nose in the glass looking for the aromas, they are right there. The taste is much more like cognac is supposed to taste over the VSOP. Personally, it's just way to sweet for my liking but will admit that I am quite impressed at the quality considering the price. VSOP drinkers looking to up the ante and move to finer products, this one is definitely worth a try.
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I believe the VSOP is definitely younger than the 12 YO. More accurate would be to state that they are two completely different bottlings as they smell and taste nothing alike. The barrel has had much more of a profound effect on the 12 YO than the VSOP and this is not a bad thing especially in the aroma department.