Nyak (that’s pronounced nigh-yack) is a new cognac brand whose VS cognac has been double-distilled in copper pot stills by a sixth-generation distilling family. As the wording on its front label suggests—”So Smooth”—Nyak is positioned as a softer cognac that might appeal to more than just the fireside-glass-of-brandy crowd.
On the nose, it has top notes of plum and apricot, layered above an agricultural soiliness, grape must, and tobacco. Just as the bottle promises, it’s indeed mellow from that first sip, and immediately presents fruity notes of apples, plums, pears, and quince beside a subtle hint of vanilla extract.
Similar to the experience of the nose, there’s a spicy undercurrent of tobacco mixed in with the fruit from the start to the middle of the palate; afterward, fruit surges followed by oak and a finisher of hot, dry cinnamon.
As advertised, Nyak is indeed a “smooth” cognac, which can be a positive or negative depending on your own preferences. I found it to be not unenjoyable, but possessed of a certain thinness that I hoped would thicken towards the end but never quite did. It’s not going to be a fireside cognac, but it’s the kind you wouldn’t hesitate to use in a cocktail. Its mixing utility, I should add, is certainly helped along by its very agreeable price.
— 40% ABV