Cognac is a type of brandy produced in the french region of the same name. The Cognac region is relatively small but contains a number of sub regions including Petit and Grande Champagne which give their name to the Champagne Cognacs. Contrary to popular misconception, Champagne Cognac has nothing to do with the Champagne sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France many miles away.
Cognac must be aged for at least two years under wood but, unlike whisky, does not typically carry very specific age statements. The three age classifications are V.S., V.S.O.P. and XO.
V.S. (Very Special) is blended Cognac, aged for at least two years in casks. V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) is blended Cognac the youngest component of which has spent at least four years under wood. XO (Extra Old) contains brandy matured for no less than six years, frequently much older.