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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. 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.

            1. Took a long time to make the purchase...Jean Filloux Tres Vieux and Delemain Vesper XO got the most votes. The first appeared to be available at my usual online liquor shop, so that's the decision. Tasting experience will follow. Thanks all for the input!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Willem

                Delamain is definitely one of my favorites - in fact I just picked up a couple of bottles of the grande champagne XO today for $68/bottle (Oklahoma). Vesper is nice too but comes in at over $100/bottle here. I agree that Germain Robin is over-hyped and overpriced - not a patch on Delamain. I can also get Kelt Tour du Monde for just over $40/bottle - I think the sea voyage ageing is probably irrelevant but I do think the finished product is quite respectable.

              2. I am a huge fan of Bache Gabrielson Cognac, which covers a range from $35 to about $250. They are not widely available in the US, but can be found in MN pretty easily or on-line.

                1. I have a bottle of Cles De Ducs VSOP Armagnac which I got for $33 - it is the only Armagnac I hav had, so I have no frame of reference, but I quite like it.

                  I was wondering if anyone can tell me how this one compares to other reasonably priced Armagnacs.