Review: Hine Rare, Homage, Antique, and H by Hine
While we’ve previously looked at a couple of special bottlings from Cognac’s Hine — the Domaines Hine single-vintage 2005 and 2006 releases — we haven’t done a deep dive into its more readily available expressions. This includes three brandies in the “great classics” line, plus the forward-looking “H by Hine,” a VSOP brandy designed primarily to be used for cocktail creations.
We take a look at all four below. You’ll find available production information under the respective reviews. All are bottled at 80 proof.
Hine Rare Cognac VSOP – A blend of “around twenty eaux-de-vie from Grande and Petite Champagne grapes.” A young brandy, but fresh and approachable, with slight lemon, honeysuckle, and sandalwood notes. The palate has a distinct chocolate character to it, complemented by notes of fresh fruit, caramel, and a gentle raisin sweetness. The finish is light and deft, again with a hint of lemon and a waft of sweet tea. Quite refreshing. A- / $50
Hine Homage Cognac XO – “A blend of more than twenty eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne grapes. This blend has the particularity of including 4 single vintages named ‘Early Landed’ as they have been aged in damp British cellars until reaching full maturity.” Floral and fruity on the nose, in equal proportion. Distinctly banana-like. The palate finds a richer toffee note, flambeed banana, and more fruit — running toward peach and apricot, with soft honey on the body. The finish is a bit bolder than expected, with a clearer (but not off-putting) wood note. A- / $130
Hine Antique Cognac XO – “A blend of some forty eaux-de-vie produced exclusively from Grande Champagne grapes.” Even richer than the Homage, with notes of nougat and oak on the nose. Bold on the palate, with a rich salted caramel base that hints at coconut, milk chocolate, and red berries. The flavor is really packed in here, but the finish is quite gentle, with a slightly fruity, spicy, and mildly floral character that lingers for ages. A- / $160
Hine H by Hine VSOP – A blend of eaux-de-vie from Grande and Petite Champagne grapes. Quite youthful, with ample alcoholic burn on the nose masking red berries, allspice, and some petrol notes. The palate is clean but young, heavy with heat but still able to promote notes of coconut, banana, and a mix of baking spices. The finish is rustic but sees notes of canned fruit, mango, and golden raisins. B / $40