Difference Between Cognac and Armagnac (With Table)

Cognac and Armagnac are located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region and grow nearly 300km from each other in the chalky and sandy soils region, respectively. Both of these alcoholic beverages vary from one another in various aspects. Apart from the distillation process, the aging span and other properties of these beverages differentiate them from one another. For better commercialization, Cognac and Armagnac are categorized by attesting to the label mentioning the number of years of aging.

Cognac vs Armagnac

The difference between Cognac and Armagnac is that Cognac is an alcoholic beverage that is prepared by using a grape variety called ugni-blanc (used approximately 97%). It undergoes twice distilled in still pots. On the contrary, Armagnac is made by using four different varieties of grapes, including Folle Blanche, Baco, colombard, and ugni-blanc and grow in riverbed sediment, fine quartz sand, siliceous, and continental clay.

Cognac is consumed as an alcoholic beverage and is also referred to as a type of brandy that is prepared from the fermentation of a selective type of grapes called ugni-blanc, which is used approximately 97% in manufacturing. Not every region has the permission to made cognac. It is only manufactured in the chalky soil region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is usually exported to other regions.

Armagnac is also a type of brandy that is prepared in the Armagnac region, situated in southwest France. It is distilled once on a continuous still procedure. The Aging span of this beverage is comprised of a minimum of one year and stored in Limousin or Troncais oak barrels. It is label into categories that depends on the number of years of aging.

Comparison Table Between Cognac and Armagnac

Parameters of ComparisonCognacArmagnac
What is it?It is an alcoholic beverage that is prepared by using a grape variety called ugni-blanc, which is used approximately 97% in manufacturing.It is made by using four different varieties of grapes including Folle Blanche, Baco, colombard, and ugni-blanc.
ConsumptionCognac is mostly exported to other regions (Netherland, England, etc.).Armagnac is mostly local.
DistilledFor the distillation, it is distilled twice in still pots.It is distilled once.
Aging SpanThe aging span of this alcoholic beverage is comprised of a minimum of two years and stored in local gason oak barrels. The aging span of this alcoholic beverage is comprised of a minimum of one year and stored in Limousin or Troncais oak barrels.
Alcohol PercentageCognac contains at least 40% alcohol.Armagnac contain around 52-60% alcohol.

What is Cognac?

Cognac is an alcoholic beverage and is more likely to be referred to as a variety of brandy that must be stored for at least a minimum time of two years and made by fermentation of selective type of grapes. It is divided or categorized into six basic crus, including borders, Bois ordinaires, fins Bois, grand champagne, bons Bois, and petite champagne.

Cognac is prepared by using a grape variety called ugni-blanc (used approximately 97%). By considering the number of aging years, this beverage is labeled and categorized into four main labels similar to that of Armagnac. This alcoholic beverage is prepared in some specific region and contains at least 40% alcoholic percentage.

What is Armagnac?

Armagnac is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, and it is associated as an integral part of French heritage and is mostly consumed in France region. It is prepared or made with basically four types of grapes varieties, including Folle Blanche, Baco, colombard, and ugni-blanc, and distilled once continuously. This beverage is prepared in Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region and grows in riverbed sediment, fine quartz sand, siliceous, and continental clay.

Armagnac is labeled with indications that represent the aging of the beverage, and it would be done like Very Special (VS), Very Special Old Pale (VSOP), Extra Old (XO), and Millesime. By volume, this alcoholic beverage has nearly 52-60% alcohol and can be diluted to around 45-47%.

Main Differences Between Cognac and Armagnac

  1. Cognac and Armagnac are two famous alcoholic beverages that are consumed by people worldwide. Cognac is an alcoholic drink that is prepared by using a grape variety called ugni-blanc, which is used approximately 97% in manufacturing. On the contrary, Armagnac is made by using four different varieties of grapes, including Folle Blanche, Baco, colombard, and ugni-blanc.
  2. Cognac and Armagnac are located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region but have different soils as they are based nearly 300km from each other. Based on the region, these alcoholic beverages vary from each other in consumption aspect. Cognac is an export product and exported majorly to the Netherland and the England region. On the other side, Armagnac is consumed locally in France region.
  3. These alcoholic beverages vary from each other in the manufacturing aspect, as they are prepared by using different distillation processes. Cognac is prepared with twice distillation process which occurred in still pots. On the contrary, Armagnac is prepared by one continuous distillation process.
  4. The aging span plays a major role in the taste of the alcoholic beverage, and it will vary from one to another. For Cognac, the aging span is comprised of a minimum of two years and ages in local gason oak barrels. On the contrary, Armagnac must be stored for a minimum of one year in Limousin or Troncais oak barrels. By considering the number of years of aging, both of these beverages are labeled and categorized in VS, VSOP, XP, and Millsime.
  5. These alcoholic beverages have different alcoholic percentages by volume, which affect their taste and properties. Cognac must have at least 40% alcohol by volume, and on the other side, Armagnac should have around 52-60% alcohol by volume and can be diluted to nearly 45-47 percent.

Conclusion

Cognac and Armagnac both are popular alcoholic beverages that are prepared in Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region from some specific grapes varieties. Both of these beverages are stored for a fixed time (also called aging span) in barrels which impact their taste and other properties and make them unique from one another. Based on their storage or number of years of aging, Cognac and Armagnac are labeled, and people can select any of them which suits best with their taste and preference. 

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9045667
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814616301911
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