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10 Best Cognac Under $50: Listed & Reviewed! (2024 Best Edition)

Best Cognac Under $50

Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The success of cognac has been acknowledged by the world’s luxury goods industry. High-end blends such as Richard Hennessy and Louis XIII can be found in the uber-wealthy scene and are often compared to Lafite and Latour. 

The good news is that you don’t have to spend too much to find great-quality cognac. Check out our impressive selection of the best cognac under $50.   

Top 10 Cognacs Under $50 

10. Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula

Pierre Ferrand 1840 with glass on desk

Average Price: Around $50

ABV: 45%

Tasting Notes: 

On the nose, it features ripe and juicy grapes complemented by acacia tree blossom and meadow flowers. The palate has warm and fruity flavors.

What We Liked

The Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula is an example of the company’s Premier Cognac Crus. It’s made from Eaux-de-vie wine, from grapes grown and harvested from the vineyards of the Grande Champagne region.

This cognac, aged in limousin oak casks, features a variety of floral and fruit flavors and hints of spices.

9. Hennessy Privilege VSOP Cognac

Hennessy Privilege VSOP Cognac

Average Price: Around $48

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes: 

This VSOP has flamboyant mahogany color, fresh fruit aroma, juicy fruits, spices, vanilla, and mild cigar flavors. 

What We Liked

This Hennessy VSOP Privilege has a balanced blend that embodies the company’s 200 years of expertise. The fruit of this VSOP nature’s uncertainties has been carefully cultivated to create a unique VSOP fuse that embodies the spirit of the original spirit.

8. Dudognon Réserve Grande Champagne

Dudognon Réserve Grande Champagne Average Price: Around $48

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes: 

It has a delicate pale straw hue with understated aromas. The palate has vanilla and floral tones, with fresh oakiness. 

What We Liked

This bottle is from the Grande Champagne vineyards in France, showcasing the lighter side of the category. Instead of baking spices, the wine features fresh citrus and white flowers. Its age and low ABV make it an ideal single malt drink.

7. Vaudon Cognac VSOP

Vaudon Cognac VSOP with box on table

Average Price: Around $47

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes: 

Its caramel and honeysuckle aromas come from Eaux de vie of Fins Bois with fig and plum. It has a delicate taste and is supple with hints of apple.  

What We Liked

This bold and vibrant VSOP lands firmly on the spectrum for its age from Fins Bois. This VSOP wine is filled with rich and creamy baking spices and flavors, followed by dried stone fruit and a touch of oakiness.

After its Eaux de vie aging, it crafts a VSOP finish full of spice.

6. Bache-Gabrielsen American Cognac

Bache-Gabrielsen American Cognac

Average Price: Around $45

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Its amber liquid features the scent of vanilla and ripe fruit (pear and apricot). With the use of American oak barrels, it boasts flavors of coconut, chocolate, and caramel. 

What We Liked:

This is a unique and delicate mix of American oaks and Ugni Blanc [1] grapes, resulting in a distinct and delicate flavor. Its cognac house uses the traditional methods of making its products but aging the eau de vie in new American barrels for six months.

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5. Camus Very Special

Camus Very Special

Average Price: Around $40

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

It has flavors of cinnamon smoke, cherry stone liquor, and orange marmalade. On the nose boasts the scent of ripe apple, smoked nuts, and caramel.  

What We Liked

One of the most sought-after blends is the Francois Voyer VS, made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes from the Grande and Petite Champagne region. This spirit has a mouthwatering and creamy taste.

The Camus cognac house aged the spirit for two years in virgin oak barrels and underwent chill filtration, which crafted a sippable and mouthwatering liquor. 

4. François Voyer VS Cognac

François Voyer VS Cognac

Average Price: Around $33

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Its golden yellow liquid contains vanilla, ginger ale, white flowers, and Premier Cognac Crus. The taste is full of ripe orchard fruits with a flowery finish. 

What We Liked

One of the most sought-after blends is the Franois Voyer VS Cognac, made from 100% Ugni Blanc grapes from the Grande Champagne region. We described this spirit as having a mouthwatering and creamy taste. The cognac house aged the spirit for two years in virgin oaky barrels, which crafts a sippable and mouthwatering liquor. 

3. Rémy Martin 1738

Rémy Martin 1738

Average Price: Around $40

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

It has a fruity and floral palate with apricot and dried fig notes. The dark fruit and oaky aroma come with a dry and slightly wood finish. 

What We Liked

Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac [1] is smooth and creamy, which is the brand’s signature style. This cognac’s characteristics are derived from the aging process of distilled Eaux de vie, done in Limousin oak casks. Its cognac house paid homage to this historical moment by creating this exceptionally smooth and oaky blend.

2. Merlet VS Cognac

Merlet VS Cognac

Average Price: Around $40

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes: 

It is full of prunes, buttered brioche, toffee, magnolia, and honey scents with accents of leather, roasted nuts, chocolate, and arugula on the palate. 

What We Liked

This bottle is one of the solid VS cognacs that highlights Sidecar cocktails. Its smooth finish and mild style matched well in a cocktail. This blend of eaux de vie is made from the Fins Bois and Bons Bois crus, with hints of Grande and Petite Champagne.

1. Salignac VS Grande Fine Champagne Cognac

Salignac VS on desk with glass

Average Price: Around $28

ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

The flavors of vanilla and caramel complement subtle spice, ginger ale, and oaky notes. 

What We Liked

This bottle brand is a young cognac aged for a unique and extremely smooth style. We recommend this distilled brandy if you like to enjoy cognacs on the rocks. Every drinker will love its complexity, intensity, warmth, and subtlety. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the best inexpensive cognac?

Choosing the best inexpensive cognac depends on personal taste preferences and budget constraints. However, some cognac brands offer quality options at affordable prices.

Brands like Courvoisier, Rémy Martin, and Martell often offer entry-level cognacs that provide a good balance of flavor and affordability.

These cognacs typically come from the VS (Very Special) or VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) categories, which denote the age and quality of the blend.

While they may not offer the complexity and depth of higher-priced cognacs, these entry-level options can still provide a satisfying drinking experience without breaking the bank.

Which grade of cognac is the best?

The “best” grade of cognac ultimately depends on individual preferences and the desired drinking experience. Cognac is typically classified into several grades based on aging and quality:

VS (Very Special): Cognacs in this category are aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels. They offer youthful, vibrant flavors and are often used in cocktails or mixed drinks.

VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale): VSOP cognacs are aged for a minimum of four years, with some blends containing older eaux-de-vie. They exhibit more complexity and depth compared to VS cognacs, with richer flavors and smoother textures.

XO (Extra Old): XO cognacs are aged for a minimum of six years, although many XO blends contain much older eaux-de-vie. XO cognacs are known for their exceptional quality, complexity, and depth of flavor, with notes of dried fruit, spices, and oak.

While XO cognacs are often considered the pinnacle of quality due to their extended aging and premium blends, the “best” grade of cognac ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget considerations. Some enthusiasts may prefer the vibrant and lively character of VS cognacs, while others may prefer the richness and complexity of XO blends.

What is the number 1 cognac?

The title of “number 1” cognac can be subjective and may vary depending on factors such as brand reputation, quality, and personal preference. Several cognac houses are renowned for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship, including Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Martell, and Courvoisier.

These brands offer a range of cognacs across different grades, from VS to XO, catering to a diverse array of tastes and preferences.

Ultimately, the “number 1” cognac is the one that best suits an individual’s palate and drinking preferences. Enthusiasts may explore different cognac brands and expressions to find the one that resonates most with them.

What is the top shelf cognac?

The term “top shelf” cognac typically refers to premium or luxury cognac brands that offer the highest quality and most exclusive blends. These cognacs are often aged for extended periods, utilizing the finest eaux-de-vie and crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Some of the most renowned top shelf cognac brands include Louis XIII by Rémy Martin, Richard Hennessy by Hennessy, Paradis by Martell, and L’Essence de Courvoisier by Courvoisier.

These cognacs are prized for their exceptional complexity, depth of flavor, and rareness, making them coveted by collectors and connoisseurs worldwide. They often command premium prices due to their prestigious reputation and limited availability.

Which cognac is better VS or VSOP?

The quality of cognac is not solely determined by its age designation (e.g., VS or VSOP) but rather by factors such as blending techniques, aging process, and quality of the eaux-de-vie used. However, in general, VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) cognacs are considered to be of higher quality and offer more complexity than VS (Very Special) cognacs.

VS cognacs are aged for a minimum of two years, while VSOP cognacs are aged for a minimum of four years, allowing for more time for the flavors to develop and meld together.

VSOP cognacs typically exhibit richer and smoother flavors, with more pronounced notes of fruit, oak, and spice compared to their younger counterparts. They are often preferred for sipping neat or in cocktails where the nuances of the cognac can be appreciated.

However, some VS cognacs can still offer enjoyable drinking experiences, particularly in mixed drinks or cocktails where their youthful character can complement other ingredients.

Is cognac better than brandy?

Cognac and brandy are both types of distilled spirits made from grapes, but they differ in terms of origin, production methods, and flavor profiles. Cognac is a specific type of brandy that must be produced in the Cognac region of France and adhere to strict regulations regarding grape varieties, distillation techniques, and aging.

Brandies, on the other hand, can be produced in various regions around the world using different grapes and production methods.

Whether cognac is “better” than brandy is subjective and depends on personal taste preferences. Cognac is often prized for its refined and complex flavor profile, with notes of fruit, spice, and oak derived from the aging process in oak barrels.

It is typically associated with luxury and sophistication and is enjoyed as a sipping spirit or in cocktails.

Brandies, on the other hand, can offer a wide range of flavors and styles, from light and fruity to rich and robust, depending on their origin and production methods. Ultimately, the choice between cognac and brandy comes down to individual preferences and the desired drinking experience.

How can you tell if cognac is good?

Assessing the quality of cognac involves considering various factors:
Aroma: Good cognac should have a complex and inviting aroma, with distinct notes of fruit, floral, spice, and oak. The aroma should be well-balanced and harmonious, without any off-putting or unpleasant odors.

Taste: When tasting cognac, pay attention to its flavor profile. Quality cognac will offer a depth of flavor, with layers of complexity that evolve on the palate. Look for flavors of dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, nuts, and spices, along with a smooth and lingering finish.

Color: While not always indicative of quality, the color of cognac can provide clues about its age and potential richness. Older cognacs tend to have deeper and more intense colors due to prolonged aging in oak barrels. However, artificial coloring may also be used, so color alone should not be relied upon as a sole indicator of quality.

Age Designation: Cognac age designations, such as VS (Very Special), VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale), and XO (Extra Old), indicate the minimum aging period of the youngest eaux-de-vie used in the blend. Generally, older cognacs are associated with higher quality and more complex flavors due to extended aging.

Brand Reputation: Established cognac houses with a long history of craftsmanship and expertise, such as Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Martell, and Courvoisier, are often associated with high-quality cognacs. Reputation and pedigree can provide reassurance of a cognac’s quality.

Is VSOP or XO better?

The choice between VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) and XO (Extra Old) cognac depends on personal preference and the desired drinking experience:

VSOP Cognac: VSOP cognacs are aged for a minimum of four years, offering a smooth and refined drinking experience. They typically exhibit richer flavors and aromas compared to younger cognacs, with greater complexity and depth.

XO Cognac: XO cognacs are aged for a minimum of six years, with many blends containing much older eaux-de-vie. XO cognacs are known for their exceptional quality, complexity, and depth of flavor, offering a luxurious and indulgent drinking experience.

Both VSOP and XO cognacs have their merits, and the choice ultimately comes down to individual taste preferences and budget considerations.

How do you drink cognac?

Cognac can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on personal preference:
Neat: Many connoisseurs prefer to savor cognac neat, allowing its complex flavors and aromas to be fully appreciated. Serve cognac in a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate its aromas and swirl gently before sipping to release its bouquet.

On the Rocks: Some drinkers enjoy cognac over ice, which can slightly dilute the spirit and mellow its intensity. Use large ice cubes or spheres to minimize dilution and preserve the flavor.

With Water: Adding a few drops of water to cognac can help open up its aromas and flavors, particularly for high-proof or older expressions. Experiment with the amount of water to find the balance that suits your taste.

In Cocktails: Cognac can also be used as a base spirit in cocktails, adding depth and complexity to classic drinks like the Sidecar, Sazerac, and French Connection. Choose a VS or VSOP cognac for cocktails to balance its flavors with other ingredients.

Ultimately, the best way to drink cognac is the way you enjoy it most. Experiment with different serving methods to find your preferred style and savor the rich and complex flavors of this esteemed spirit.

Is Martell a good cognac?

Martell is widely regarded as one of the leading cognac houses, with a reputation for producing high-quality and well-crafted cognacs. Founded in 1715, Martell has a long history of expertise and innovation in the cognac industry.

The House of Martell offers a range of cognacs across different age categories, from VS (Very Special) to XO (Extra Old), each showcasing the brand’s commitment to quality and tradition.

Martell cognacs are known for their smoothness, complexity, and balance of flavors, making them a favorite among cognac enthusiasts worldwide.

Is Rémy Martin a good cognac?

Rémy Martin is another esteemed cognac house known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Established in 1724, Rémy Martin has a rich heritage of producing fine cognacs that embody the essence of luxury and elegance.

The House of Rémy Martin is renowned for its XO blends, including Rémy Martin XO and Rémy Martin XO Excellence, which offer rich and complex flavor profiles with notes of fruit, spice, and oak.

Rémy Martin cognacs consistently receive high praise from critics and connoisseurs alike, solidifying the brand’s reputation as one of the finest producers of cognac in the world.

So, What is the Best Cognac Under $50

Whether you prefer the new wave or the traditional, on the rocks or neat, or something on-the-beat-track, our list of best cognacs under $50 will surely satisfy your sophisticated palate. 

You don’t need to spend too many bucks to taste luxury and quality with the cognacs mentioned above. So, what are you waiting for? Grab yourself one of these VS or VSOP cognac bottles and start your cognac journey. Cheers!


  1. What’s the Difference Between Cognac and Brandy?
  2. On the Rocks
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