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Good Value Brandy/Cognac?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to realize I like brandy over whisk(e)y, but I'm down to 1/4 of a bottle. I could use some recommendations. My goals: smooth, somewhat complex, under $50. Right now I have a bottle of Germain-Robin brandy ($40), which I like better than any other colored spirit I've tried (including Remy and Hennessey VSOP Cognacs). I think it's a real value. Any other suggestions?

-Greg
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wldthistle
I'm starting to realize I like brandy over whisk(e)y, but I'm down to 1/4 of a bottle. I could use some recommendations. My goals: smooth, somewhat complex, under $50. Right now I have a bottle of Germain-Robin brandy ($40), which I like better than any other colored spirit I've tried (including Remy and Hennessey VSOP Cognacs). I think it's a real value. Any other suggestions?

-Greg

You are correct, sir. Stick with the winner...
post #3 of 15
I don't know how much it runs right now, but Leopold Gourmel is very good from the top of the line to the bottom.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wldthistle
Right now I have a bottle of Germain-Robin brandy ($40), which I like better than any other colored spirit I've tried (including Remy and Hennessey VSOP Cognacs). I think it's a real value.

As a fellow fan of even the workhorse offerings from Germain-Robin, I'd also recommend you give Pierre Ferrand a try. The Reserve offers value well beyond its price point (~$50 U.S.).
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
As a fellow fan of even the workhorse offerings from Germain-Robin, I'd also recommend you give Pierre Ferrand a try. The Reserve offers value well beyond its price point (~$50 U.S.).
The 1962 is absolutly sublime. I try to hide it from my wife as she seems to forget how much it cost us and sees it is the perfect cognac to sip while doing the bills each month. All the Ferrand stuff is great. I can also highly recommend www.dandm.com as their selection is always the best for the price.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
As a fellow fan of even the workhorse offerings from Germain-Robin, I'd also recommend you give Pierre Ferrand a try. The Reserve offers value well beyond its price point (~$50 U.S.).
+2 (+1 on both recs)
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
As a fellow fan of even the workhorse offerings from Germain-Robin, I'd also recommend you give Pierre Ferrand a try. The Reserve offers value well beyond its price point (~$50 U.S.).

Thanks for the suggestion. :-) It turns out my liquor store has this, but it's $68. There's a Ferrand Ambre for $32. Ever try that? My liquor store's list is at:
http://www.cellar.com/wines/liquors....ognac/Armagnac

-Greg
post #8 of 15
The Ambre is not bad at all. I would say that it is as good as most Cognacs in the xo range and better than the big houses at that level.
post #9 of 15
It seems to me that that armagnac is a mighty tasty, cheaper way to go. Does anyone here have recs or thoughts on that observation? I've not tried many cognacs.
post #10 of 15
if Cognac = worsted,

Armagnac = woollen
post #11 of 15
If anybody is a big Armagnac fan, I can definitely suggest this example. It is not a bargain producer by any means, but the St. Auban vineyard is now not used for grapes and was one of the great spots for Armagnac. Precious little remains. http://www.dandm.com/product_info.ph...337&cat=brandy if you are really a true amateur of Armagnac, this is the very best that I have tasted: http://www.sussexwine.com/vsku1178009.html
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt
if you are really a true amateur of Armagnac, this is the very best that I have tasted:

http://www.sussexwine.com/vsku1178009.html

How about for us amateurs with limited liquor funds?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wldthistle
How about for us amateurs with limited liquor funds?
http://www.dandm.com/product_info.ph...d=3&cat=brandy
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I went to the liquor store. I was going to buy the Ferrand Ambre. I picked it up, and the guy there said that it was good, but he had a better one for the price, and handed me a bottle of Jules Beaupré Cognac X.O. He said it was a 25 year old Cognac, and it was $30. They've steered me right at this store before (Schneider's of Capitol Hill), so I took the suggestion. Here's my comparison of The Jules Beaupré and my Germain-Robin ($40). I'm not too experienced with this stuff, so don't laugh too hard at my descriptions.

Color: G-R honey, JB amber.
Nose: I can't pick out individual scents like some can, but the JB smells a bit sweeter. Maybe a honey-like scent. The G-R smells a bit more of alcohol.
Viscosity: JB is a bit thicker than the G-R.
Taste: G-R has notes of... I don't know, Dr. Pepper? Smooth. Good. JB, maybe a bit smoother, but perhaps not quite as interesting. Perhaps because I don't know this brandy as well yet.

FWIW, I like both. To me there's not a clear winner. I might go for the Germain-Robin a bit more because it seems a bit drier, but the Jules Beaupré is very nice (and $10 cheaper).

-Greg
post #15 of 15
I'm not an expert, but Raynal XO is great value at $20. Very smooth for the price.
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