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Thread: Brandy

  1. #1
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    Brandy

    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...

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Brandy

    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.

  3. #3
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    Re: Brandy

    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

  4. #4
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    Re: Brandy

    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.

    Tim

  5. #5
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    Re: Brandy

    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!

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Brandy

    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.

  7. #7
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    Re: Brandy

    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

  8. #8
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    Re: Brandy

    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
    Last edited by Mr. Smith; 11-21-2006 at 04:10.

  9. #9
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    cognacs

    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)

  10. #10
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    Re: Brandy

    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.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

 

 

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