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Good, Cheap Cognac?

I posted a similar thread about Port in the wine section, but I thought I'd ask what CH-ers enjoy in the Cognac category. I've been impressed with Hardy's Red Corner or Red Label, whatever it's called. Remy VS is ok too. Anyone recommend anything cheap and good? I love a nice snifter of Cognac this time of year!

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  1. I'm not sure what qualifies as "cheap." I tend to really like either Delamain Vesper or Hennessy XO, and I recognize that neither of those qualifies as "cheap" by anyone's standard (including mine), but I don't drink much of either and a bottle lasts a long, long time.

    While not super cheap either, the less-expensive cognac that I like is Hine Rare and Delicate, which at one time was available in the NH state stores for less than $40. I haven't bought any for a while, and it appears that Hine is now listing instead something called Rare VSOP, which I'm guessing is the same thing, or at least similar. Like everything imported from Europe in these days of the soaring Euro I assume it's crept up in price, unfortunately.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlyFish

      Cheap meaning... I'd say under $25 for a 750ml. Good & cheap means good value. I'm here in Atlanta, GA and we tend to have pretty good prices here. I've not done much price comparison in other cities, but I can get a bottle of Hardy Red corner for about $17-18.

    2. Well, as a lower cost cognac I like Remy VSOP, but one of my favorites and definitely not cheap A.E. Dor Reserves... if you have not tried any of the A.E. Dor you may want to try the A.E. Dor D (Cognac Selection) and then if you agree with me that it is a great cognac go to the reserves.


      1. My favorite values are anything from Jean Fillioux or Maison Surrenne. They have many offerings at all price points, all excellent quality and none of them doctored.

        1. Montfort VS isn't bad and can be found from $25-30 a bottle

          1. Does it have to be Cognac? How about some pot-distilled alambric California brandy, like Germain-Robin... great value and really good stuff. Their low end $35 fine brandy is better than most VSOP's.

            Not as cheap any longer, but from Spain you have Gran Duque d'Alba - now about $45.

            I dunno - under $25 for something decent sounds like you're going to have to lower your definition of decent... Unless you're chugging this stuff down by the gallon, I'd look for a little more quality for a little more price.

            1. In all price ranges, my favorite Cognac House is Normandin-Mercier. It is generally available at wine stores that do business with Chadderdon. My favorite widely available Cognac House, in all price categories, is Martell.

              If you are willing to spend a little extra $ and can't find Normandin Mercier, you may try Kelt VSOP. Should be about $55 and is a clear step above the Martell (which is better, imo, than Remy, etc).

              1. As with most well-known spirits, much of the price you pay is for marketing, so guided adventure pays off. Try the very useful 'spirits' search at http://www.tastings.com

                For about $25 (in New York), I picked up some Marquis de Gensac Grande Champagne VSOP Cognac, which is amazing. See http://www.tastings.com/search_spirit...

                But approval for distribution is a state-by-state matter, and even then many stores won't order stray bottles of obscure labels.

                1. For me, king of the hill is Germain-Robins XO: best stuff I ever had, any cost, any date, any origin. Distant second is Jepson.

                  It is california, so technically is not cognac. But at $100, the equal to anything else with three digits in its price tag.

                  He has a website:

                  1. Ahh yes, $100 for a bottle - that was exactly my first thought when I said cheap ;-)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: HaagenDazs

                      sorry. The company also has a regular label that is $30 a bottle at Bevmo; this is my everyday spirit. It may not be the cheapest item on the shelf, but it is a good bargain considering the quality, and certainly better than anything from France at the same price.

                      1. re: jerry i h

                        I'm just teasing - that's what I was looking for; good quality for a good price. Thanks!

                    2. you should try Ansac cognac this cognac price is very reasonable the price run around $14.99-20.00 for a fifth the taste is very good i used to drink Martell , Ansac has a hit of sweetness on the first sip very smooth you can find it a Binny's or any big liquar store, enjoy

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cfulbright1

                        I saw Ansac VSOP at the local ABC store for $28, and it is being discontinued- actually $2 less than the Martell VS.

                        How does the Ansac compare to the Remy VSOP? Remy is the only VSOP I have had so far, and I quite liked it - tastes rather like Scotch to me, I would be hard pressed to tell it from a sherried Speyside like Macallan 12 or Balvenie Doublewood.

                      2. I'm in the same boat, Scotch drinker having recently given Cognac a try. To avoid laying out a lot of $$ I have been buying 100-375 ml's of a few VS - Remy, Salignac, Ansac and Courvoisier. I liked the Courvo and Remy, they seemed a little smoother and fruitier and reminded me of a Speyside Scotch.

                        I haven't come across any small bottles of VSOP but have found a store in the next county that has some, and plan to try a couple. The funny thing is, due to some odd pricing in NC most of the 375s are actually cheaper than the 750s - for example according to the online price list Hennessy VSOP is $16.95 for a 375 but $39.95 for a 750.

                        I also tried E&J XO brandy which I had read some rave reviews of, but unfortunately a couple years back they switched from the "Vintage reserve" to an "extra smooth" which it seems is a lot sweeter and less interesting than the older version. Still not bad for the price, reminds me of a decent inexpensive aged rum like Bacardi Anejo.