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Nov 20, 2010 08:38 AM

Top Cognac or Armagnac under $ 100,-?

Dear Chowhounds,

I am looking for a very good cognac or armagnac under $ 100,- (or slightly above).
It should be delicate, aromatic, smooth, soft but flavorsome.

It has been too long that I drank cognac, but I remember liking some, but dont remember which...
I've also liked calvados, any tips on that are welcome too :-)

Thank you!

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  1. For Cognac, try Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges. Usually goes for around $115 but sometimes I can find it in the $95 range. In my opinion it's fantastic, and better than some $300 bottles I've tried.

    I don't know much about Armagnac, but I have a bottle of Cerbois XO at the moment -- around $70 IIRC -- and I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

    4 Replies
    1. re: davis_sq_pro

      A few suggestions:

      Jean Fillioux makes some of the best, affordable Cognacs, including some well under the $100 level,
      Le Reviseur XO is usually around $70,
      Marie Duffau Napoleon Bas Armagnac, $50ish

      You also may want to look at the excellent Cognac style brandies from Germain-Robin in California. The XO is fantastic and goes for $100-$120, but there are cheaper expressions as well. They also make an excellent apple brandy in the Calvados style for around $70.

      1. re: sku

        I was seriously underwhelmed by the bottle of Germain-Robin XO I purchased earlier this year. It was decent, but I think the marketing ("better than $1000 Cognacs", etc) set the expectations quite a bit too high.

        Will look for the Jean Fillioux; I don't think I've seen that brand before.

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          dsp- You may have gotten one of their rare distillations that isn't up to the normal standard. I try the Germain-Robin on a regular basis since the distiller sends me bottles to sample, and they do vary slightly due to the fact that everything is small batch, from different vintages, etc.

      2. re: davis_sq_pro

        I agree with the recommendation of Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges. It is usually slightly over $100, but it is fantastic. I like it better than the Jean Fillioux Grande Champagne (1983) at a similar price.

        1. re: Chinon00

          for me and my visitors :-)

          THX for the tips so far!

          1. re: Willem

            Sarcasm? Anyway the reason that I was asking was it's hard for anyone to tell another person what they will enjoy. I can tell you what I enjoy or consider delicate, flavorsome, etc. But I'd really suggest that you or you and your friends have an evening at a great bar and share a dozen or so between yourselves after dinner. Could be fun and it's the only way to be sure. Btw:I like Jean Fillioux Balzac V.S.O.P. Round and feminine.

            1. re: Chinon00

              Thank you for the tip, didn't think you have cognac bars... - just googled, and found a good place for sampling, so tasting it will be :-)

        2. A few suggestions for Armagnac: At around $70 the Delord 25 Year is a rich and spicy Armagnac with a lot of charm and appeal. You can also try the Castarede 20 Year Reserve de la famille, it is lovely and complex and usually sells for around $90. You could also look for the Chateau de Laubade, XO, a very elegant expression of Armagnac that usually retails for around $70. If your budget allows I would also suggest a Vintage-dated Armagnac from either Castarede or Laubade, they will usually run over $100 but are unique and worth every penny.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Old thread, but I just stumbled across it . . .

              My favorite Calvados, by far, comes from Le Domaine Familial Louis Dupont.

              Favorite Bas-Armagnacs come from Francis Darroze, Laberdolive, and Chateau de Laubade.

              Cognacs: Maison Surrenne, Pierre Ferrand, Jean Filloux, and I have a soft spot for LĂ©opold Goumel and Logis de la Mothe (used to import them).

              And though you didn't ask, I'm also a huge fan of Sanchez Romate's "Cardenal Mendoza" Brandy de Jerez.