Don’t be confused by the name. This Cognac isn’t 171 years old; rather, it’s fashioned in the style of “three-star” Cognacs that were consumed around 1840. Those Cognacs were very mixable and often bottled at a higher proof (Pierre Ferrand 1840 rings in at 90 proof) than today’s Cognacs, which are primarily meant for sipping.

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac ($45) is not the product of guesswork. It was developed by Pierre Ferrand’s proprietor and cellar master with help from spirits and cocktail historian, David Wondrich. After extensive tasting and evaluation of surviving examples of three-star Cognac going back to the early nineteenth century, they created a blend that was closely modeled on a very rare, well-preserved bottle of Cognac from the year 1840.

That said, try some. The Cognac is fresh and floral with a well-structured tannic backbone that stands up in cocktails. And while it’s worth sampling neat, it was devised primarily as a base for cocktails, so mix up a drink and enjoy a boozy dose of history.

For now, it’s easiest to find the newly-released Pierre Ferrand 1840 behind your favorite cocktail bars.

Buy Now: $45