PDA

View Full Version : Brandy



CrispyCritter
11-19-2005, 21:37
I'm rather surprised that I haven't found any sites dedicated to reviews about brandies. I can find a huge selection of them in Chicagoland, and there are some (e.g. Courvoisier) that are heavily advertised, yet reviews are hard to find.

When I've tried them, I've steered away from the heavily advertised brands. I'm interested in quality, not "bling-bling" (whatever that is).

The two I've tried are Guy Lhéraud Cognac (the VSOP Fine Petite Champagne version), and Domaine Le Basque Bas-Armagnac. I've had their Hors d'Âge (=XO) version and loved it - and now I have a 1982 vintage, bottled 2004, that I'll be opening soon. Both of them are small producers, and their prices are quite reasonable.

Does anyone else here have any recommendations (or ones to avoid)? I would certainly recommend the ones I've tried so far, in any case. Darroze Armagnacs look very interesting, but carry a hefty price premium; are they worth it? And then I've seen Ararat (an Armenian brandy) that's available at a rather low price...

barturtle
11-19-2005, 22:23
I've always liked the Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges, though I tend more towards calvados where brandy is concerned-Busnel Hors d'Age is nice.

kbuzbee
11-20-2005, 07:17
I enjoy most Cognac and Armagnac but I find the vast majority I use in cooking rather than drinking. Usually with a very slowly roasted piece of meat. So I usually go for moderate not the ultra expensive versions of these.

Ken

ratcheer
11-20-2005, 18:37
I guess I am guilty of enjoying the major brands and have never investigated any further. My favorites are Remy-Martin (I have a bottle of XO that I bought in 1990 - open and occasionally sampled) and Courvossier VSOP. But, I can even enjoy Christian Brothers brandy. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Tim

Edward_call_me_Ed
11-21-2005, 02:15
I used to buy the Remy-Martin VSOP, I think I had one bottle of it about a year ago when I started getting back into whiskey/spirits. I have been thinking about getting a bottle. The other day I bought two Japanese brandies. Nikka Apple Brandy VSOP and the other Dompierre by Nikka VSOP, which is a grape brandy. I think I like the Apple Brandy better, anyway, I want to empty the bottle so I can use it as a decanter...
Ed
Ps. I am not saying you should rush out and try these, just that I have bought them. BTW, the Dompierre comes in a VO version. It comes in big four liter PET bottles. I wish I could get, say, Even Williams black label in one of those!

cowdery
11-21-2005, 13:53
I had occasion recently to be at an open bar event which had Martell Cordon Bleu on offer. While I am not a regular Cognac drinker, that was too good to pass up. To me, MCB is near perfect. While it's not cheap, it's also not as costly as some and seems to have everything I want in a Cognac.

BourbonJoe
11-21-2005, 15:24
At the Philadelphia Whiskey Fest, I had the opportunity to try some Hennesey "Paradis". Unbelievable!!!!!!! But I'll never be able to afford it. I was glad to have the chance to taste it, since I've only even seen it on one other occasion and that was in the Hotel Intercontinental in Frankfort Germany. They wanted 50 bucks a shot for it.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

Mr. Smith
11-21-2006, 03:55
The two I've tried are Guy Lhéraud Cognac (the VSOP Fine Petite Champagne version), and Domaine Le Basque Bas-Armagnac. I've had their Hors d'Âge (=XO) version and loved it - and now I have a 1982 vintage, bottled 2004, that I'll be opening soon. Both of them are small producers, and their prices are quite reasonable.

Does anyone else here have any recommendations (or ones to avoid)? I would certainly recommend the ones I've tried so far, in any case. Darroze Armagnacs look very interesting, but carry a hefty price premium; are they worth it? And then I've seen Ararat (an Armenian brandy) that's available at a rather low price...[/quote]

I would strongly recommend Ragnaud-Sabourin no. 35, which is one of the absolute best cognacs I've ever had. Amazing complexity and mouthfeel, and a finish that lasts and lasts.
Other cognacs worth a try are Jean Fillioux Reserve Familie, Leopold Gourmel Age d'Espices. For armagnacs try older versions of Chateau de Castarede, Ch. de Bedat, Ch. de Tariquet or Ch. Laubade. (by older I mean vintage bottlings rather than XO and Hors d'Âge, which isn't very interesting when it comes to armagnac...)

Avoid:
Armagnac: Double distilled Jeanneau. This has nothing to do with good armagnac.
Cognac: Most of the major cognachouses are terribly over-priced, and therefore you can find very good cognacs for half the price of the known ones, at least here in Europe...

A comment to the name Hors d'Âge. this is not the same as an XO. you can put XO on the label of cognacs and armagnacs 6 years and older, while Hors d'Âge, meaning "without age", can only be used for cognac and armagnac 10 years and older

Vange
11-21-2006, 06:16
I am a big fan of cognacs. Then again I am a big fan of a lot of sprits.
Anyway, some I own and have tried that are all excellent

Remy Martin XO (RM VSOP is average at best compared to their XO)
Maison Brillet Tres Vieille Reserve XO
Tessoron Lot 29 (I tried this at a wine tasting and it was amazing!)
Delamain's Réserve de la Famille (a single barrel from a single estate, I have it, but have not sampeld it yet)

jburlowski
11-21-2006, 14:44
I'd second the votes for Remy-Martin although of late I've been more a fan of Hine.

For something a little different, try a Spanish brandy (Carlos I is my favorite). As well as being great on its own, this time of year its the essential ingredient of my favorite holiday drink: brandied port.

cowdery
11-21-2006, 15:54
I have been to a couple of DISCUS events where there is a very generously stocked open bar. Being the ink-stained wretch that I am, I usually look for the best thing there, without prejudice as to type. Frequently it is Martell Cordon Bleu, which I also used to drink for free when Brown-Forman had the U.S. distribution and they were a client of mine (this was many years ago). I can say that I have a lot of experience with the product and have never paid for a drop of it, which makes it taste twice as good.

Gillman
11-21-2006, 17:16
I've never had the Cordon Bleu but would like to try it. Nicholas Faith writes in his Cognac history that Martell seeks a relatively neutral palate, drier and not as fruity as some of the other marques. The cut they take is accordingly narrow (again, relatively).

Gary

Mr. Smith
11-23-2006, 02:39
Brillet VSOP is a great cognac compared to most other VSOP's! Shouldn't be too pricey either

fussychicken
11-03-2007, 11:12
Picked up a rather unique brandy this last week in California made by Bonny Doon Vineyards called Calvadoon. While I am by no means a wine expert, it is my understanding that these guys are are somewhat famous (infamous?) in the wine world for their wild artistic labels and their early adoption of screw caps. (Their wines taste pretty good to me as well.)

In any case, after trying out some of their wine, I was intrigued by a listing on their roster of a premium brandy. It is a mix of 86% apple brandy with 14% pear brandy aged for 13 years. I was further taken aback when I saw that it was 93 proof instead of the standard 80 proof. They couldn't let me taste it because of some crazy CA law, but it had a fantastic nose. Needless to say I picked up a bottle of this instead of a bottle of wine!

Good to see other unique, well aged, and well proofed spirits besides bourbon being produced right here in the USA.

BourbonJoe
11-03-2007, 15:07
At the Philly Whiskeyfest I tried a fairly large variety of cognacs. Most were XO types or about that quality level. The best one I had was COURVOISIER EXCLUSIF COGNAC.

Joe :usflag:

ratcheer
11-04-2007, 03:58
My two favorite cognacs (I have never tried any of the obscure ones) are Remy Martin and Courvossier. I enjoy Remy for its elegance and Courvossier for its brilliant flavors. I currently have a Remy XO that I purchased in Martinique in 1990 and a Courvossier VSOP.

Tim

fussychicken
11-04-2007, 19:07
Looking around this weekend, it appears that Germain-Robin is the most popular premium brand of US produced brandy. (So popular in fact that their prices are almost to cognac levels!) Has anyone here had any?

polyamnesia
11-05-2007, 16:45
Picked up a rather unique brandy this last week in California made by Bonny Doon Vineyards called Calvadoon. While I am by no means a wine expert, it is my understanding that these guys are are somewhat famous (infamous?) in the wine world for their wild artistic labels and their early adoption of screw caps. (Their wines taste pretty good to me as well.)

In any case, after trying out some of their wine, I was intrigued by a listing on their roster of a premium brandy. It is a mix of 86% apple brandy with 14% pear brandy aged for 13 years. I was further taken aback when I saw that it was 93 proof instead of the standard 80 proof. They couldn't let me taste it because of some crazy CA law, but it had a fantastic nose. Needless to say I picked up a bottle of this instead of a bottle of wine!

Good to see other unique, well aged, and well proofed spirits besides bourbon being produced right here in the USA.

wow, sounds interesting! how much was that bottle?

fussychicken
11-05-2007, 19:03
I got it for $50 at their tasting room. They said that you could only get it there, but it appears that if you live in Cali you can have a bottle shipped to you:

https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/wine_catalog/calvadoon---premium-pot-still-brandy---bca-onlyb.htm

Vange
11-06-2007, 14:06
Looking around this weekend, it appears that Germain-Robin is the most popular premium brand of US produced brandy. (So popular in fact that their prices are almost to cognac levels!) Has anyone here had any?

I have the XO, the single barrel Colombard, and the Anno Domini 2000.
The SB colombard is very fragrant and light, but a nice brandy nonetheless. The XO is SUBERB! AD 2000 is unopened!

polyamnesia
11-06-2007, 19:39
I got it for $50 at their tasting room. They said that you could only get it there, but it appears that if you live in Cali you can have a bottle shipped to you:

https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/wine_catalog/calvadoon---premium-pot-still-brandy---bca-onlyb.htm


myabe i can get my friend in california to get it, then ship it to me (ssshhhhh):grin: