Best value in a "special occasion" cognac
For me, every day is a day to finish a meal with a decent (VSOP level) cognac, but for special occasions I like something better. I've never tasted an XO that I thought was worth the money, but Martell Cordon Bleu, at around $100 a bottle, is an ethereal delight!
I made a great discovery not long ago at my local liquor store - they had a box of 50 ml nips of Cordon Bleu at the counter, where they would usually have a box of nips of the latest trendy peppermint schnapps or some such. I have no idea where they got it (fell off the back of an airplane - first class section?), but at $5 per, it added up to $75 for the equivalent of a standard 750 ml bottle - a super deal! I bought all they had and just smiled when the clerk gave me this look...
I've also heard good things about Delamain Vespers, which is in the same price range.
Any other cognac connoisseurs have a special favorite?
I agree with the A.E. Dor; disagree with the Remy Martin.
Delamain is very good, but also very different than the Martell, which is sweeter and darker due to the addition of boise and caramel. That said, among the "Big Four" (Couvoisier, Hennessey, Martell and Remy Martin), Martell has always been my favorite. Among the smaller "names" ("smaller majors"?), it's Delamain and Hine. But I have always found I could do better with the "tiny" (or at least "unknown") producers.
You may want to check out the Cognacs by Maison Surrenne (see http://www.caddellwilliams.com/maison... ). These are the most stunning Cognacs I've found since Leopold Gourmel first appeared in the States, and start at $32 -- going all the way up to $2,000. Their Ancienne Distillerie 100% petite champagne is my new "house" Cognac, replacing Hine V.S.O.P.
Speaking of Leopold Gourmel, these Cognacs are still absolutely stunning . . . just a lot more expensive that they used to be. Just do a Google search on Leopold Gourmel, and you should have no trouble finding them near where you live. (For some reason, I cannot get into Gourmel's website, or I'd link it here.)
Logis de la Mothe is another producer that is worth seeking out.
A value cognac that you can find at 45-50 is Kelt VSOP and their XO at the $120
in my 35 years of drinking fine cognac is paramount to all others...................
re: Carrie 218
Absolutely! Germain-Robin makes superb alambic brandies, and are indeed very close to the character and complexity one traditionally finds in Cognacs. It is the only domestic brandy I buy, and definitely deserves a place among my bottles of Cognac, Armagnac, Brandy de Jerez and Calvados . . . .