By Alex C, Resident Brandy/Cognac Expert
A few years ago, I came across the Meukow brand, (pronounced “Moo-koff”) and found myself intrigued by what I heard about it, so I tracked down a bottle of Meukow VS to try and was immediately sold. Since then, I’ve scooped up every bottle I could find. Most of Meukow’s products have been notoriously difficult to find in the US. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Cognac, France. While I was there, I was able to visit (among several others) the house of Meukow. I learned a great deal about their company and products and had the opportunity to taste their full product line, all the way up to their $3000, 100 year old Nec Plus Ultra Cognac. After having sampled more than 100 different Cognacs of all kinds of brands and qualities, the Meukow brand continues to be one of only three that I wholeheartedly endorse as being the finest brandy one can buy at each respective price/quality level.
Meukow Cognac was founded in 1862 by brothers Auguste-Christophe and Gustav Meukow after several trips in and out of the Cognac region of France to secure a product supply to the Tsar of Russia. With a strong historic backing within the town of Cognac itself and ever increasing world-wide recognition, Meukow has grown steadily since its founding and is currently family-owned and operated under the Compagnie de Guyenne.
The Cognacs produced by Meukow are immediately recognizable by the panther that leaps across the bottle, symbolizing the “power, elegance, and suppleness” that their products embody. In addition to numerous awards, Meukow bears the distinction of being the official Cognac of both the White House and the House of Lords in London.
The brand’s primary lineup consists of a vertical of their three flagship Cognacs; Meukow VS, VSOP, and XO, as well as two liqueurs; Meukow Vanilla and Xpresso. Happy Harry’s is excited to be one of the few stores in the region to welcome this exclusive brand (and one of the first in the nation to bring in their indulgent espresso liqueur)!
These products are currently available for their introductory run exclusively at our 45th and 52nd locations in Fargo and our 32nd Ave S location in Grand Forks.
Meukow’s Vanilla Cognac Liqueur is a beautiful marriage of young Cognacs blended with vanilla liqueur. The combination of the two gives the vanilla depth and backbone. On the nose, Meukow Vanilla is sweet and floral, with notes of white flowers and cinnamon. The palate has toffee, citrus zest (grapefruit), subtle dried fruits, and anise, balancing nicely with the vanilla flavours.
Meukow Vanilla can be used wherever vanilla schnapps or liqueur are called for and is the sole product on the American market that can substitute for the discontinued Grand Marnier vanilla liqueur, Navan.
- 1 ½ oz Meukow Vanilla
- ½ oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
- ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- Small Pinch of Sugar
- Stir ingredients together in a glass with ice until the sugar is dissolved
The brand’s newest offering, Meukow Xpresso is a blend of young Cognacs with a house-made espresso liqueur. Xpresso is decadently complex and is fantastic both sipped on its own and mixed into cocktails. The liqueur has rich, dark coffee on the nose, with notes of toasted oak. The palate is semi-sweet and soft, yet complex. Flavours of chocolate, with touches of orange and hazelnut, play alongside the espresso.
Enjoy with a flavoured cigar such as an Acid Blondie.
- 1 ¼ oz Meukow Xpresso
- 1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
- 2 Scoops Good Vanilla Gelato (or Ice Cream)
- Blend until smooth and garnish with nutmeg
A blend of Cognacs with an average age range of 8-12 years old, Meukow VS is gold in colour, near orange. The nose is very nutty, which is quite unique, especially for a VS grade Cognac, setting this one apart from all others that we carry on our shelves. The nose also carries notes of dessert spices, leather, and dried fruits. The palate is full of additional spices and has notes of chocolate. The finish is short to moderate in length, with cinnamon, nuts, and faint notes of dried fruit.
- Mix together:
- ¼ oz Turbinado Sugar
- ½ oz Lime Juice
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- Until the sugar is mostly dissolved
- 1 ½ oz Meukow VS Cognac and a splash of Orgeat Syrup
- Top with soda water (about 3 oz)
A blend of Cognacs aged between 12-15 years, Meukow VSOP is thicker than most VSOPs and beads slowly down the glass. It is amber in colour. There are mainly white flowers on the nose, with some oak and dried fruit coming though. Pear is the first thing to stand out on the palate, followed by fig, cardamom, milk chocolate, hazelnut, and other dried fruits. The finish is semi-long with notes of cardamom, walnut, and toffee. It ends sweeter, with dried fruits, and finally a bit of cigar and a long lingering milk chocolate taste. Enjoy neat or in a classic cocktail. Meukow VSOP is a great choice for cocktails that can be made with either whiskey or brandy, or both.
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters, over ice
- 1 oz Antica Formula Vermouth
- 2 ½ oz Meukow VSOP Cognac
- Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry
Meukow’s flagship, and made exclusively from the grapes of the two finest growing regions in Cognac, Meukow XO is a blend of Cognacs aged 20-30 years. It is dark amber in appearance. The nose of this Cognac is rich with dried fruits, white flowers, caramel, and passion fruit. The palate is gorgeously complex and has fresh and dried fruits initially, with dessert spices following. The spices fade quickly, leaving behind more fruit again, predominantly apricot. The finish is long with dried fruits which fades to leather. It ends with slightly bitter notes of dark chocolate and additional spices. Meukow XO is consistently voted by connoisseurs as one of the best XO Cognacs produced, balancing quality, value, and availability. Each bottle of Meukow XO is hand finished with a 24K gold leaf panther and stopper for a stunning visual appeal. Enjoy it neat.