Cognac has been around for over 250 years and is often the most indulgent (and expensive) spirit you’ll get at the bar.

So when I got the opportunity to sit down and share a cognac with Bisquit Cognac's legendary Maitre de Chais (cellar master), Denis Lahouratate I made the most of it.

He’s passionate about his product and in fact all cognac’s which he describes as having an “interesting taste, rich, complex, very fine and elegant.”

Lahouratate was in Cape Town for a few days, after spending some time in Johannesburg and he says he’s very pleased that South Africans have a taste for cognac.

He has shared a few tips though on how you can get the most out of your cognac.

Denis Lahouratate - pic supplied

Get the temperature right

Make sure that you are drinking your cognac at room temperature. It might sound a bit absurd, but don’t store your bottle near intense heat like fireplaces and heaters. If it is a bit sunny Lahouratate advises just popping your bottle or decanter of spirits into the fridge for about half an hour, and then pouring your drink.

On the rocks or neat

Here there is no rules. It would be ideal though to enjoy your first sip of a cognac with no ice because then you can appreciate all the tasting notes. If afterwards you do want to add ice to your second drink, you won’t be “harming” the spirit, although obviously if the ice in your glass melts you do dilute your drink.

Never heat your drink

This was the one piece of advice that Lahouratate was very passionate about, don’t heat your cognac. He says: “ Many times I’ve seen something I’m not a fan of and it’s when people are heating up the bottom of their glass of the cognac.”

“In old movies they would have the cognac and lift it to the candle, it’s very nice on the movie but it’s the worse thing you can do. It’s the same with all the spirits, it should be drank at room temperature,” he says.

During his visit to SA Lahouratate unveiled the Bisquit Cognac's 'Interlude, Première Expression', which forms part of Bisquit's Rare Collection. This exclusive Bisquit Cognac variant has been aged for over 20 years and only 1000 bottles will be released worldwide.