GSN Review: HINE Cigar Reserve XO Cognac

The House of HINE recently announced the U.S. release of HINE Cigar Reserve XO, a cognac crafted to sip alongside premium Cuban cigars. The result of a collaboration between the House of HINE, a family-owned and operated cognac producer founded in 1763, and Hunters & Frankau of London, the UK’s exclusive distributor of Havana cigars established in 1790, HINE Cigar Reserve XO marries the expertise of these two longstanding industry leaders to orchestrate an experience that caters to the desires of cigar aficionados.

The impetus for HINE Cigar Reserve XO began 35 years ago when sixth generation HINE Honorary Chairman, the late Bernard Hine crossed paths with Hunters & Frankau Managing Director and eventual Chairman, the late Nicholas Freeman. The two shared a mutual affinity for cognac and cigars, which prompted the idea of creating a world class cognac specifically designed to pair with the most expressive Havana cigars. Following a decade of tastings, samplings, and trips back and forth between London and Jarnac, the inaugural bottling of HINE Cigar Reserve XO was introduced in Europe in 1996. Twenty-five years later, this exclusive HINE offering has made its U.S. debut in partnership with American importer, Hotaling & Co.

HINE Cigar Reserve XO features a blend of twenty eau-de-vie produced using Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois grapes aged for over 15 years. Crafted in a style to stand up to the intensity of a strong and flavorful cigar, Cigar Reserve is the only expression in the HINE portfolio blended with Fins Bois grapes, known for their concentrated flavors and robust aromatic profile.

GSN’s Remarks: A dark, rich, grape spirit infused with oak, perky spice high notes and warm nutty low notes. The breadth of flavors works excpetionally well with a high quality cigar. Adding a bookended effect between the tannic, dry tobacco leaf, and the sweet, woody cognac. The finish is excpetionally long, ending with a warm vanilla note that has a familial relationship to a new cigar. Even if you don’t smoke, this is an exceptional flavor experience. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: HINE Cognac


GSN Spirited News: December 7th 2021 Edition

House of Hine has announced the U.S. release for its Hine Cigar Reserve XO Cognac. Intended to be paired with a cigar, the expression is a collaboration between House of Hine and Hunters & Frankau, the U.K.’s exclusive distributor of Havana cigars. Cigar Reserve XO is made of a blend of 20 eaux-de-vie produced using Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, and Fins Bois grapes, the latter of which is used only in this expression within Hine’s portfolio. There are 598 6-bottle cases allocated for the U.S., where it’s now available at select retailers nationwide for $150 a 750-ml.

Brooklyn’s Widow Jane has released the Vaults 2021, the latest in the distillery’s extra-aged series of whiskies. This year’s edition is selected from barrels aged between 15 and 17 years, and bottled at 49.5% abv. The whiskies, selected by Widow Jane president and head distiller Lisa Wicker, are sourced from Tennessee and Indiana. Before its final bottling, the whiskies finished in Adirondack oak casks. Roughly 3,000 bottles will be available, allocated throughout Widow Jane’s distribution footprint, for a suggested price of $225 a 750-ml.

Woodford Reserve is releasing the winter installment of its Master’s Collection series. The latest is Woodford Reserve Five-Malt Stouted Mash, which references the “distiller’s beer” stage of whiskey production and in this case mimics classic beer flavors as well. It was made in Woodford’s triple pot stills and was bottled at 45.2% abv, making it the 17th release in the Master’s Collection. Five-Malt Stouted Mash is available in select U.S. markets for $130 a 750-ml.

Dominican rum brand Kirk and Sweeney is releasing a new spicy variation. It’s called Burning Mast and features liquid finished in red pepper barrels around two weeks. Distilled from blackstrap molasses and aged in a variety of American and French oak barrels, Burning Mast is an 81/19 blend of regular Kirk and Sweeney Reserva rum and the same that aged in the red pepper barrels. It’s available now in select regional markets including Louisiana, Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia, and Maryland for $50 a 750-ml.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched two new whiskies. First up is BCS Gold Label Bourbon, a blend of Straight Bourbon whiskies sourced from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky, all aged between 16 and 17 years. The release comes in at 56.77% abv and retails for a suggested price of $500 a 750-ml. In addition, the bottler has released New Year Bourbon 2022, a blend of 5-, 6-, 7-, 9-, and 14-year-old Bourbons sourced from Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wyoming, New York, and Texas. The 57.67% abv Bourbon retails for $90 and is now available throughout Barrell’s distribution footprint.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily