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).
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.
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.
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.