Hine collection: h vsop, rare vsop, homage xo, antique xo
To have four drinks of cognac in a row of varying degree:
In the usa it’s called a problem, in france, it’s a way of life.
H fine champagne vsop
Straight edged vial with screw top
First impressions were of leather jacket. After some hand warming and time, the spirit releases aroma of sultanas, peach, plum and an unfortunate hint of baby vomit, which fades into green apples. Flat, bland and straightforward. Touch of sawdust, this is a little hot on the nose.
Great weight on the palate. Coating. Candied stone fruits, but hot throughout, this seems to be a mixing grade cognac, although the flavor is pleasing. Grapes, plums and Christmas spice are present, but this is a very inexpressive and flavorless palate.
The finish clocks in around 6 minutes. It carries its spicy heat and light golden fruit profile along for a short exit.
If I were to compare this to another cognac, it would be remy martin vsop(green bottle). It’s smooth and of quality, but it needs complexity and a flavor boost. This will not be on my shopping list.
Rare fine champagne vsop
Brimming with orange peel and bright tropical fruit and some flower pedals, leading me to believe this is a young cognac dressed with well aged, rather than visa versa. Peaches, light oakiness and raspberries. Licorice.
Peppery, ginger ale and some juicy fruit gum. Concord grapes, and sultana. Very bright palate, but not expressive. The texture is thick and oily, very satisfying.
Peppery ginger and some fading citrus. There is some mint at the drop off. The finish is roughly 8 – 10 minutes or more.
Although hot, more pleasing than ‘h’. seems to be another young cognac. Mix or sip. The texture though, far outweighs the young flavor. This is a very well built and superbly smooth vsop.
Homage grand cru fine champagne xo
Very nice and chunky. Brown sugar, orange peel and cigar lounge. Clean with great weight. Raisins, celery, parsley, chocolate, vanilla, pipe tobacco and a dusty closet. This is divine. Woodshop and ice cream.
A touch watery on the palate, but seems to thicken with forward chocolate, tell tale hine black pepper, roses, golden fruit, vanilla custard and honey. Luscious oakiness that suits the fruit perfectly. Ever changing palate, which is so complex. traces of coffee, salt and even dark rum. Fantastic palate.
Tart apples, sweetness and fades of with a sprig of garden mint. 20 minute plus on the finish.
Incredible sipper. This cognac shows the art of blending. Truly magnificent. I cannot say enough good things about how this palate can reach all taste preferences of cognac drinkers. A must try.
Antique grande champagne xo premier cru
Grapes, plums and peaches to start. With airing, this gains a little dank wood. Dark red grapes, toffee, vanilla and marmalade start to appear after 30 minutes of airing.
After 40 minutes of airing, the smell of cocoa takes hold with rotting flowers, at one hour open this turns down to a mellow honey, cooked peaches and leather. The acidity is diminished and the spirit is smooth on the nose. Top notch aroma of raspberry jam. Incredible nose. Creamy.
First sip involves toffee, wood, chocolate and oranges. This is complex and dank, with obvious oak influence. This is smooth as ice and heavily weighted, like drinking juice. The sips seem to fall down the throat with no trace of alcoholic burn. black licorice and cigarette tobacco hold the bass notes. This is smokier than sweet and the barrel plays a big role in the character of the palate. Outstanding quality. This tastes like heaven. If you ever need to know what rancio is, this is the definition.
The finish sweetens with an effervescent ginger and orange peel. Oranges turn to marmalade. The finish stays for 20 minutes or longer.
Absolutely fantastic. This was a euphoric experience. The antique xo is marvelous and holds a palate that is unimaginable in quality. Simply astounding cognac. Possibly the greatest xo I have tasted this far. Die, die, must try.
Thomas hine was born an Englishman who was sent to france by his father, who was a cognac connoisseur. Thomas hine would marry a French girl, who’s father was an established cognac aficionado and house owner and in 1817, hine cognac became an established cognac house in jarnac france, under his own name.
Hine holds almost 300 acres of land in the grande champagne cru of the cognac region, which is believed to be the finest of all cognac crus. Vines are established on 173 acres of the land which average 25 years of age.
The grande champagne cru is considered the greatest cru for growing because of the chalky soil which reflects sun off the ground back into the grapes, and because the surrounding area gets the most direct sunlight during the day as well as receives sun the longest throughout the day.
The distilled wines at hine are comprised mostly of ugni blanc from the petite and grande champagne crus. They are aged in new oak barrels from 6 to 9 months before being switched to barrels which once contained cognac before to start a slow, subtle maturing process.
Hine is mostly known for releasing vintage cognacs.
The homage cognac is a modern day blend created by the current cellar master, eric forget who blends three vintage cognacs(1984, 1986, 1987) which were aged in cellars established in seaside town of bristol England, along with some 20 other cognacs of at least 10 years of age. The cellars in England are used in the case of hine’s ‘landed’ series and boast an unusually fruity quality due to the humid conditions(90 – 95% humidity) and the consistent temperature(8 – 12 celsius).
Hines antique xo was created in 1920 and has since become the flagship blend for the hine house. Just recently the blend has received an upgrade; it is made of only eau de vie from the grande champagne region as before it was crafted from a blend of both the petite and grande champagne crus. This blend is crafted from 40 different eau de vie aged for at least 10, but shows depth well beyond its age.
Hine holds the royal warrant for cognac, which means that hine is the cognac supplier of the royal family and has been since 1962.
The hine emblem of a stag represents good fortune. It originates from a tale told in Thomas hines home town which involves a white hart. The stags head is turned towards England.