Meukow is a very interesting distillery indeed, first founded in the 1850s after the Russian Emperor Alexander II sent two brothers, Auguste-Christophe and Gustave Meukowin, to found a Cognac house in the famous spirits region. This explains why it has a Russian name, whilst remains a French spirits operation. Their Cognac is made entirely out of top-quality Ugni Blanc grapes, for extraordinary strength of flavour. The company is also known for their distinctive bottle design, which features a leaping panther on the glass. This is a top quality VSOP, aged for longer than what the law stipulates, and full of wonderful, lip-smacking flavour. On the nose, a wave of sweet grape aroma greets the drinker, subsiding to reveal notes of oak, candied citrus peel, tinned peaches and fresh orange juice. The palate is peppery and hot, with warm nutty notes, vanilla oak flavours and slight black tea. The finish is mellow and lasting, with wood spice and sweetness. A bold, powerful Cognac!