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New2Whiskey
05-10-2009, 17:28
Any new recommendations for brandy? I have tried many and I think they are all inferior except for one. I purchased on eBay. It was Claude Chatelier XO. But no stores carry it any longer. I believe I paid $30 for it. I keep one once in the decanter just to remind myself how great it was.

I have purchased about 5 brandies since then and can't find ANYTHING that is close to the satisfaction of that one. The closest is Delord Armagnac that was $27.

Any recommendations?

Vange
05-11-2009, 06:47
You trying to stay under $30 or willing to go higher?

Tesseron Lot 90 - Used to be $30, now around $40-$50

Josh
05-11-2009, 07:03
My brandy reccomendation? Bourbon.

Let me explain. In an effort to become a well-rounded person, I tried to force myself to develop a taste for brandy for years. Then, after almost pouring out a bottle of Napolean brandy a couple years ago, I realized that I just don't like the stuff and I never will.

The only thing bearing the name "brandy" that I still drink is Laird's apple brandy, preferably the BiB. But I drink that mostly because to me it tastes like an American whiskey more than it tastes like a fruit brandy.

All that said, I think the one I disliked the least from those days was El Presidente.

sku
05-11-2009, 08:37
I've done a number of brandy reviews (link below).

I really like Jean Fillioux Cognac. I've had a number of their brandies, including the VSOP, Balzac and La Pouyade and they were all very good.

I also loved the Germain-Robin XO Alambic Brandy. This is a California brandy in the Cognac style. Great stuff.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/search/label/Brandy

Vange
05-11-2009, 09:07
As sku mentions often in his blog, I would stick to smaller cognac houses for higher quality brandy or the Germain-Robin as well although they taste lighter and are more floral than brandy from France.

boss302
05-14-2009, 11:16
I also loved the Germain-Robin XO Alambic Brandy. This is a California brandy in the Cognac style. Great stuff.


Easily one of the best non-French XO brandies. I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows about it.

Come to think of it, I can't think of very many Napoleon or XO Cognacs that can match it, either. MAYBE Martell... definitely not Remy Martin or Hennesey...

There are also some very excellent brandies from South Africa made in the Cognac tradition.

There are also some good Spanish brandies out there, but I would recommend those to compliment a good cigar-- I find them just a little too sweet and fruity to drink by their lonesome, IMHO.

Vange
05-14-2009, 12:41
Armagnac is the answer for less expensive quality brandy. Although the better ones need age and can get pricey.

ddubb
07-15-2009, 01:26
I used to like Asbach Uralt. But that was more than 15 years ago, I was young/dumb.

Has anyone else had Asbach recently, and can you give it a good recommendation?

mier
07-22-2009, 04:07
Try the French cognac-house of Pierre Ferrand a small family owned cognac house.Also try to find if there are importers of German Weinbrand in the US they too have some companies worth trying.Is it only distillation of grapes you`re looking for?

Eric.

Vange
07-23-2009, 08:26
My list...

Cognac: (tried many many many cognacs)
Delamain
Tesseron
Leopold Gourmel
Ferrand
Daniel Bouju
Mason Surrene
Camus (probably biggest in this list)

Alambic Brandy: (lighter than cognac IMO, but nice all the same)
Germain Robin (lots to choose from, the XO is one of my favorites)

Armagnac: (limited experience here)
Laubade

Greek Brandy: (some bias here as I am of Greek heritage, but these tend to be sweeter than all other brandies due to them adding some muscat wine and other stuff to make it Metaxa)

Metaxa Grand Olympian Reserve 12 stars
Metaxa GRand Fine (white ceramic bottle)
Metaxa Private Reserve - pricey

Vange
07-23-2009, 08:32
Cognac: (tried many many many cognacs)
Delamain
Tesseron
Leopold Gourmel
Ferrand
Daniel Bouju
Mason Surrene
Camus (probably biggest in this list)

Alambic Brandy: (lighter than cognac IMO, but nice all the same)
Germain Robin (lots to choose from, the XO is one of my favorites)

Armagnac: (limited experience here)
Laubade

Greek Brandy: (some bias here as I am of Greek heritage, but these tend to be sweeter than all other brandies due to them adding some muscat wine and other stuff to make it Metaxa. Stay away from the 5 star as it isnt very good, the 7 star is ok in a pinch, the ones below MUCH better)

Metaxa Grand Olympian Reserve 12 stars
Metaxa GRand Fine (white ceramic bottle)
Metaxa Private Reserve - pricey

New2Whiskey
11-05-2009, 16:01
Just a note. I've been searching high and low for a brandy of excellent quality and superb price. I think I finally found it.

I had E&J, and a host of others. Looking for around $40 or under. I bought Claude Chatlier XO on Ebay a while ago and NOTHING ever came close to that. The closest was Delord Bas Armagnac.

Yesterday I purchae DEAU Artisan VS Cognac.

Excellent stuff!! And $20 at my local grocery store. I highly recommend it!!

cowdery
11-05-2009, 19:36
I don't drink a lot of brandy, but Martell Cordon Bleu never disappoints.

ratcheer
11-06-2009, 05:33
I usually just stick to the big-name French cognacs. My favorite VSOP is Courvoisier and my favorite XO is Remy Martin. As with bourbon, we don't have a wide selection at the Alabama ABC.

Last year, for Winter drinks, I bought a bottle of Christian Brothers "VSOP" brandy. It was ok for the Winter drinks, but pretty much undrinkable, neat. I do enjoy it occasionally with a big splash of water, though.

Tim

cowdery
11-06-2009, 10:44
There are four major domestic brandy brands, E&J, Korbel, Christian Brothers and Paul Masson. All except E&J have major bourbon connections. Christian Brothers, owned by Heaven Hill, is distilled in California but aged in Louisville, in the warehouses at Bernheim, in first refill bourbon barrels. Korbel is aged in California in used Jack Daniel's barrels. Brown-Forman doesn't distribute Korbel brandy but it does sell Korbel sparkling wine. Paul Masson is owned by Constellation but I believe it is still aged at Tom Moore in first refill bourbon barrels. Both Christian Brothers and Paul Masson are also bottled in Kentucky. (It's possible the situation with Paul Masson has changed since the sale of Tom Moore to Sazerac, but I suspect not as Sazerac is probably happy to have the business and Constellation doesn't have any better alternatives.)

sku
11-06-2009, 11:09
There are four major domestic brandy brands, E&J, Korbel, Christian Brothers and Paul Masson. All except E&J have major bourbon connections. Christian Brothers, owned by Heaven Hill, is distilled in California but aged in Louisville, in the warehouses at Bernheim, in first refill bourbon barrels. Korbel is aged in California in used Jack Daniel's barrels. Brown-Forman doesn't distribute Korbel brandy but it does sell Korbel sparkling wine. Paul Masson is owned by Constellation but I believe it is still aged at Tom Moore in first refill bourbon barrels. Both Christian Brothers and Paul Masson are also bottled in Kentucky. (It's possible the situation with Paul Masson has changed since the sale of Tom Moore to Sazerac, but I suspect not as Sazerac is probably happy to have the business and Constellation doesn't have any better alternatives.)

Interesting. And of course, Courvoisier is owned by Beam Global.

loose proton
11-16-2009, 18:20
Paul Masson is an interesting product that suffers from consistency issues. In years past it was a decent low cost alternative to the standard Henessey/Couvoisier fare, but then it got rougher. I don't know what it's like now since I haven't tried it in 4 or 5 years

smokinjoe
11-16-2009, 18:35
Paul Masson is an interesting product that suffers from consistency issues. In years past it was a decent low cost alternative to the standard Henessey/Couvoisier fare, but then it got rougher. I don't know what it's like now since I haven't tried it in 4 or 5 years

I don't do much in the Brandy field. But, I've done more than a couple of bottles of the Paul Masson Grande Amber VS, and I've found them to be extremely drinkable...and cheap. I prefer it to the standard Couvoisier fare.

Vange
11-19-2009, 13:17
I don't drink a lot of brandy, but Martell Cordon Bleu never disappoints.

I had this after an interesting moment. Long story short after being down about 6 bottles of pappy van winkle 20 playing blackjack on a cruise, I went over to a $5 craps table with my last $50 left for gambling. 45 minutes later $50 turned to into a case and a half of Pappy 20! To celebrate I ordered a Martel Cordon Bleu. Beautiful brandy and definitely dryer than most others I have tired, but the taste of it that night was perfect!

AVB
11-22-2009, 16:26
I have to agree the Martel Cordon Bleu is the good stuff! My norm however is Marie Duffau Napoleon Armagnac

Vange
11-23-2009, 07:13
I have to agree the Martel Cordon Bleu is the good stuff! My norm however is Marie Duffau Napoleon Armagnac

And for half the price!

AVB
11-23-2009, 12:52
A third! The Martel is $100 plus tax while the Marie Duffau is $31!


And for half the price!

AVB
11-23-2009, 12:59
$30 is a price I couldn't find. The lowest is $45 at www.totalwine.com they deliver too if you want more.


Any new recommendations for brandy? I have tried many and I think they are all inferior except for one. I purchased on eBay. It was Claude Chatelier XO. But no stores carry it any longer. I believe I paid $30 for it. I keep one once in the decanter just to remind myself how great it was.

I have purchased about 5 brandies since then and can't find ANYTHING that is close to the satisfaction of that one. The closest is Delord Armagnac that was $27.

Any recommendations?

Lost Pollito
11-23-2009, 13:50
I have to agree the Martel Cordon Bleu is the good stuff! My norm however is Marie Duffau Napoleon Armagnac
Nice. I love that Marie Duffau. I say it's a great Armagnac for Cognac drinkers. Light and delicate compared to their other Armagnac...Delord...Heavier and more meaty.

mitchshrader
12-06-2009, 15:38
The one I'm drinking is daniel bouju tres vieux and I've got 10 bottles of his stock where i can keep an eye on it. And may buy more this year. Be a cold day in Hades before I'll spend ANY money on a lesser taste again, and the few I'd buy are discontinued bottles.

8 Royal, 60% ABV 15yr old, 2 Tres Vieux 50% ABV 40 year old.

You know what fat succulent fried chicken tastes like when you're nearly starving and the mashed taters and gravy are home made?

Daniel Bouju Cask Strength Cognac is that satisfying, the fattest booze I ever sipped at, young or old, bar none. So handmade it makes Pappy cry. Anybody drinks it that's already had a couple is just WASTEFUL. 'Best' isn't about price. It's about the GLOW!

The only american booze I can even vaguely compare it to in flavor per drop is Saz 18, and it'll make Macallan 18 shrivel up and leave the room. JW Blue can stay in the suitcase, I ain't innerested.. darn good thing i ain't female or left-handed, his wife would be in deep water... at roughly 75$ and 200$ a bottle, 15 & 40, they're both half price compared to any similar taste, bleeve whatcha want. I hope ya think i'm lyin' and don't check.

emr454
01-08-2010, 09:59
Has anyone here ever heard of or tried Raynal brandy? Saw it at the store today but didn't get it. It was inexpensive, so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. I also saw E&J VSOP Superior Reserve but passed on that as well due to how unimpressed I was with their baseline offering.

Eric

AVB
01-08-2010, 10:51
They sell Raynal at my local and I bought some last year for eggnog mix. Not the best and I prefer the E&J XO at the same price point.

emr454
01-08-2010, 13:12
You know, I shouldn't even be looking at brandy right now. I've got too many bourbon choices that I haven't tried yet!

New2Whiskey
08-18-2010, 17:21
I purchased and tasted Ferrand Ambre. Very excellent cognac. Has anyone had any recents finds for some great brandy?

Martian
09-06-2010, 12:09
Eric, Raynal is pretty good inexpensive French brandy. You might want to try St. Remy. The XO is very good. St. Remy is the most popular French brandy.
It's good for the price.

B.B. Babington
05-08-2011, 14:19
I used to like Asbach Uralt. But that was more than 15 years ago, I was young/dumb. Has anyone else had Asbach recently, and can you give it a good recommendation?
I just tried it for the first time and very impressed. Label says aged in limousine oak but doesn't give age statement. It definitely has some years to it or else aged with planks or small barrel. I feel like it's virgin barrel and not recycled because I get tannins. The sip is slightly bitter but in a good way. Wood is much more noticeable than the standard cognacs one finds. Finish is smooth but not long lasting. As a bourbon drinker, for my tastes this week, I'd choose it over standard Hennesy or Courvoisier.

Gillman
05-08-2011, 16:06
That's very interesting about the Daniel Bouju. You've named some pretty well-regarded marques that it trumps. I'd like to try this and (of course) decide for "moi-meme".

Gary

MarkEdwards
05-08-2011, 20:34
I have to agree the Martel Cordon Bleu is the good stuff! My norm however is Marie Duffau Napoleon Armagnac

I'll second the Marie Duffau, although the wax is a major pain to remove when opening the bottle.

biskuit
07-09-2011, 07:26
I'm not very familiar with brandy, but came across some Germain-Robin Old Havana on closeout and couldn't pass it up. There's not much info out there on this product, though I've read that is it aged 14 years and a blend of many grapes - the website says "20 component brandies, from nine premium varietals distilled over four harvest years. Lush intensity appeals to admirers of armagnac. Particular relevance to the flavors of Cuban leaf." I also read that "Germain-Robin stopped bottling Old Havana in 2001. Recently they discovered a barrel, now 6 years older. It's wonderful: rich, fruity, mellow." I'm guessing this is the original bottling, not the more aged one, but I have no idea.

In any case, this stuff is pretty spectacular, and reminds me a lot of Pappy. I haven't tasted enough brandy to compare much, but would love to hear if anyone else has tasted this and how they compare it to other brandies or well aged bourbons.

chperry
09-05-2011, 16:20
While I am willing to spend for quality when required, I have found an inexpensive brandy that I like very much. I spent a couple of months in the Philippines (spread over a year) in 2001 and become accustomed to drinking Fundador Spanish brandy. The Filipinos make an amazing rum (Tanduay) but the prejudice is that you drink Spanish brandy if you can afford it. I can get Fundador for less than $20 a bottle and love it. Yes, I can enjoy more expensive pours, but Fundador is the brandy I keep on hand. I also keep a bottle of WL Weller Special Reserve on hand for the same reason: great value for the money. A great marketing organization does NOT necessarily mean a better product.

Bourbon Boiler
09-05-2011, 16:54
My brandy reccomendation? Bourbon.

Let me explain. In an effort to become a well-rounded person, I tried to force myself to develop a taste for brandy for years. Then, after almost pouring out a bottle of Napolean brandy a couple years ago, I realized that I just don't like the stuff and I never will.

The only thing bearing the name "brandy" that I still drink is Laird's apple brandy, preferably the BiB. But I drink that mostly because to me it tastes like an American whiskey more than it tastes like a fruit brandy.

All that said, I think the one I disliked the least from those days was El Presidente.

Last night I poured about 5 ounces of Laird's Apple Brandy through about 4 tablespoons of Buffalo Trace used barrel char and a coffee filter. I would say that only the nose would keep a whiskey drinker from thinking it was a bourbon.

MarkEdwards
09-05-2011, 16:59
I've grown rather fond of the Marie Duffau Napoleans and Armagnacs.