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Jul 17, 2008 05:32 AM

Cognac, Armagnac or Brandy

I had the pleasant experience of drinking some Courvoisier XO at a wedding a few months back. I ,of course, went to the store to start trying different Cognac, Armagnac's and Brandies after that.

I had never had any of these types of liquors up until that wedding and It's a little frustrating because I happened to be lucky enough to start with some of the best that Cognac can offer. So it was no surprise to me when I realized that the cheaper Cognac's, Armagnac's and Brandies just weren't even close to the XO's.

Anyway, I can't afford to buy XO and I haven't really found anything cheaper that is anywhere near as rich and complex as the Courvoisier XO was. Kind of like Scotch. Once you've had a really good Scotch, all of the others seem pretty bland.

So I was wondering if anyone could suggest any cheaper brands of Cognac, Armagnac or Brandy that might be a good everyday brand.

So far the only one that I've tried that was a good price that I found pleasant was E&J's XO Brandy. It's pretty good, but nothing like the deep, rich and complex Courvoisier XO.

Any idea's? Again, I'm not trying to pay anymore then around $30.00 on the east coast, (which means, It's about double from what people pay in California).

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  1. That's really asking a lot -- it's like trying to find a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan for under $500 a month rent!

    The best suggestion I can come up with is to try the Tesseron Lot 90. It's reasonably priced ($45 in NYC) and the brand is a great value in general because it's not as well known as the big names (Hennessey, Remy Martin and Courvoisier). That's really the only one I can think of.

    If you're splurging on XOs, I would recommend you give the Hennessey a try next time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wu_Kong

      That's true, wu.

      With brandies, Cognacs, Armagnacs, etc. you get what you pay for. More so than other beverages.

      You might look into American boutique producers, though, such as Clear Creek...

    2. So, likely this will not be able to come to what you had, but I think that it makes a very good brandy for the price. Paul Masson Grand Amber VSOP. It cost less than $15 in California, not sure about elsewhere. I think that it is definitely great for the price. Perhaps you can manage to try it somewhere before spending for the bottle. It can obviously not compare to the $50 bottles, but it still isn't half bad.

      1. I have to agree with Wu Kong on the cost factor, with one exception. A little known and under-rated product of Cognac region is Salignac.It sells in PA for around $20 and claims its smoothness is due to differences in their marrying process. Going up the scale, my next choice is Martel V.S. which I put up with the costlier Remy and Courvoisier VSOP. But the Salignac is an excellent value.