I bought a brand I didn't know called Cognac Dorlan VS, it cost $34.00, the least expensive Cognac I saw on the shelves. Earlier, I had tried in a bar Martell VS based on a tip from David Wondrich in his new book on punch. I thought it was excellent and was going to buy that, but the Dorlan was less money so I bought that one.
It has a soft, balanced taste, is recognizably Cognac brandy but without that intense perfumed top-note so typical of expensive Cognac that I think comes from long storage in French wood, a taste I've never liked. (I say that because I recognize it in some French wines). You can taste some of the grape congeners, which I like - that's the distillery taste of brandy just as bourbon and rye have their own. In fact, this Cognac reminded me of a good bourbon, you could mistake it for an eccentric bourbon quite easily.
It is this kind of brandy that makes me think the theories that bourbon was devised to emulate Cognac in New Orleans may be true.
An excellent quaff without the caramelly, sometimes jammy taste most non-Cognac brandies have (other than Armagnac).
Bravo a la maison Dorlan: they are offering a taste of history, since brandies in the early years were not aged decades, but with a savoury flavour not heavy on the "perfume" often associated with Cognac. From memory, Martell VS was similar and in time I will pick up a bottle.
P.S. I know the conventional learning is that young Cognac should be mixed with water or ice or a soft drink but I found this brand very approachable on its own.