Cognac is a type of liquor that is made from fermented grapes grown in France. It is typically packaged in a glass bottle, although there are many different shapes and sizes. There are also liquor decanters that are often used to store cognac for a short period of time. Usually, cognac is bottled in clear, amber, or green glass, but some of the earliest bottles were ceramic.
Ceramic bottles are a type of pottery. Opaque and usually glazed for color, these bottles have a more rustic appearance than glass bottles. Labels where typically embossed or molded into the bottle itself. There was no standard shape for ceramic bottles, since many were handmade, and they are quite rare. It is much more common to find glass cognac bottles.
Over time, a few standard shapes for cognac bottles developed. A traditional cognac bottle is often compared to the "Burgundy" style of wine bottle. The difference is subtle, but the cognac bottles usually have a shorter neck. Cognac is also packaged in variations of this bottle style, some with a very short body and a long neck.
Another common shape for cognac bottles is the rounded, flattened glass bottle, often called a flask. This shape is not as elegant as the long necked bottle, but even new bottles made in this style have a certain vintage quality. The type of bottle or flask used is based on the preference of the cognac maker and not on any intrinsic quality of the liquor itself.
Most cognacs bottles are made of amber, green, or clear glass. This too is a matter of preference for the maker. No specific color is necessary or required to store cognac. In some cases, the maker chooses a darker glass to disguise the cloudy appearance of the cognac, which is often caused by excess sedimentation in the liquor.
Some liquor companies have commissioned gilded and bejeweled cognac bottles to appeal to collectors. These bottles, which typically hold cognac that has been aged for decades, are encased in gold with diamond accents. These specially made bottles are often designed by a jeweler and made in limited quantities, costing anywhere from several thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Vintage and antique cognac bottles, as well as many other types of liquor bottles, are also collector's items. Some very old or very rare bottles can also be quite expensive.
Liquor decanters, which may be used to store cognac, are usually made from crystal or glass that is specially made for storing cognac and other brandies for short periods of time. These are typically part of a matching set which includes several glasses. Mostly used for their aesthetic appeal, liquor decanters are usually square or rectangular in shape.