Liquor Laboratory

10 Best XO Cognac Brands For The Money (2024 Updated)

best xo cognac for the money

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Lydia Martin

XO Cognacs are extremely expensive, and we’re taking it upon ourselves to ensure you don’t buy a lackluster bottle. 

Here’s a comprehensive list of the best XO cognac for the money. 

Top 10 XO Cognacs That Won’t Break Your Bank

10. Hine Cognac Antique XO 

Hine Cognac Antique XO with box and glass on desk

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $200 

Hine Cognac Antique XO is an extraordinary cognac made from a blend of 40 different Eaux de vies.

It is made with 100 percent grande champagne grapes and aged for an average of two decades. 

The brand’s Antique label is consistent with their other bottles: fruity, floral, and elegant. The spirit is rich with dark chocolate, licorice, and cedar flavors and is best enjoyed neat. 

9. Hennessy XO Cognac

Hennessy XO with cocktail on table

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $200 

If you like XO cognac, you have Maurice Hennessy himself to thank for it — it is said that he coined the term and the production process some 150 years ago. 

Of course, it’s only fitting that the Hennessy XO Cognac makes it to our list of the best XOs in the market.

This is a more robust XO cognac with lots of rich and spicy flavors. Dark chocolate, clove, wood-driven smoke, and dried fruit all coated the palate as soon as we took a sip. 

8. Louis Royer XO Cognac

Louis Royer XO with box on desk

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $150 

Most Americans aren’t familiar with Louis Royer, but the brand has been around since the mid-1800s.

This cognac is made using a blend of the distillery’s oldest stocks of Crus (fine Champagne, Borderies, and Fins Bois) to achieve a profile with the perfect balance of being rich yet subtle. [1

Dried fruits, citrus, cocoa, and leather are some flavor notes you’ll detect in a sip. We suggest adding a bit of water to the cognac to make the flavors and aromas open up even more. 

7. Martell XO

Martell XO with box and glass on table

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $300 

The Martell XO is made from a blend of grande and petite Champagne, giving it intense notes of red fruit, blackcurrant, and fig and an exceptionally long, robust finish.

It has a great mouthfeel and structure that many cognac lovers will surely enjoy.

We highly suggest you try this cognac neat, but if you find it too overwhelming, you can add a few drops of water. 

6. Rémy Martin XO

Rémy Martin XO on desk with glass and raspberries

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $200 

Remy Martin XO is the brainchild of the brand’s Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau — the youngest of all time.

He expertly blends up to 400 Eaux-de-vies from the best vineyards of cognac — petite and Grande Champagne.

This XO Cognac is velvety and rich, with lingering fruit flavors of juicy plums and candied oranges. 

5. Park Cognac XO Cigar Blend 

Park Cognac XO Cigar Blend on table with box

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $180 

Cognac enthusiasts are well-aware that this spirit pairs extremely well with cigars.

The Park Cognac XO Cigar Blend was created with this in mind: it is a cigar-friendly Cognac with a big, fruity character, made from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne and aged in barrels with a medium toast for at least 30 years.

We have to say that this is a bit sweeter and richer than their original XO label. 

4. Cognac Frapin – Chateau Fontpinot XO

Cognac Frapin – Chateau Fontpinot XO with box on desk

ABV: 41% 

Average Price: Around $130

The Cognac Frapin – Chateau Fontpinot is so well-balanced that a judge likened it to being “almost architectural.”

It is a beautiful composition of cinnamon, vanilla, candied fruit, and prominent oak that develops further the more you sip it.

We have no other recommendations for this other than you should make it a point to sip slowly to savor all of its flavor notes. 

3. Bache-Gabrielsen Natur & Eleganse XO Cognac

Bache-Gabrielsen on table with cocktail glass 

ABV: 41% 

Average Price: Around $130 

The Natur and Eleganse line from the Bache-Gabrielsen brand has a more “masculine” and modern take than some of their older bottles.

This XO is surprisingly woodsy — maybe more so than other traditional cognacs. It has a rich and warming palate, rife with notes of chocolate candy, roasted figs, walnut, and cinnamon. 

The spirit is aged anywhere from 10 to 30 years and made exclusively from ugni blanc grapes grown in the Petite Champagne and Fins Bois regions. 

2. Courvoisier XO

Courvoisier XO with box on desk

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: Around $270 

You didn’t think we’d leave cognac giant Courvoisier out of the list, did you?

Coming in at number two, the Courvoisier XO is everything you would expect from the brand: vibrancy, freshness, and depth, with layers of fig, raisin, plum, and candied orange flavors. 

We especially enjoyed this one neat as we had a lot of fun dissecting the flavor notes, but we imagine its fruit-forward notes would also work extremely well in a Sidecar. 

1. Cognac Paul Giraud XO 

Cognac Paul Giraud XO on desk with glass

ABV: 40% 

Average Price: $150 

Our favorite cognac for the money is definitely the Cognac Paul Giraud XO.

This spirit has a full, creamy mouthfeel, with plenty of hearty chocolate and caramel, and is balanced out with fresh honey notes. It has a smooth, round finish. 

The Giraud family is one of the last estates to grow their own grapes and harvest them by hand. Their XO is produced from the Grande Champagne region: ugni blanc, Folle Blanche, and colombard grapes. [2

The family distillery is passed down from generation to generation to ensure that we have access to rare, quality cognacs today — this one is aged for a minimum of 25 years in barrels with a medium toast.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is XO a good cognac for the money?

XO is definitely a good cognac for the money, considering it is aged for no less than ten years.

Unlike other spirits, the quality of cognac gets better the more it stays inside the barrel, which is why many cognac enthusiasts are willing to pay a premium price just to get a bottle of XO (extra old). 

What is the smoothest XO cognac for the money? 

We’re probably biased, but the smoothest XO cognac for the money has to be Courvoisier XO.

We imagine cognacs to cost anywhere over $150, but for just $100, you can have a smooth sipper that you’ll proudly share with your friends.

We imagine this has to do with the brand’s carefully-selected Eaux de vie from the Cognac region. 

Are affordable XO cognacs good for your health?

Yes, affordable XO cognacs are good for your health. XO cognacs especially are full of health benefits, such as containing a high amount of ellagic acid from the aging process inside the barrels. It keeps free radicals from damaging your healthy cells. 

A glass of cognac a day also keeps your heart healthy as it lowers the risk of blood clots that can cause heart diseases.

If you have the sniffles, reach for a glass of cognac to unclog that stuffy nose. 

Which cognac XO is best?

Determining the best XO (Extra Old) cognac is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Cognac enthusiasts often consider various factors such as taste profile, aroma, brand reputation, and aging process when choosing the best XO cognac for their preferences.

Which is better Hennessy XO or Martell XO?

The comparison between Hennessy XO and Martell XO ultimately comes down to individual taste preferences. Both Hennessy and Martell are reputable cognac houses with distinct styles. Hennessy XO is known for its rich and robust flavor profile, while Martell XO is praised for its balance and smoothness. Tasting both and exploring their unique characteristics can help you decide which one aligns better with your palate.

What is the best cognac to buy?

Determining the best cognac to buy depends on your taste preferences, budget, and the occasion. Popular and well-regarded cognac brands include Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin, Courvoisier, and others. Consider factors such as the age of the cognac (VS, VSOP, XO), flavor profile, and personal preferences when making a selection. Exploring different brands and expressions through tastings can help you find the best cognac that suits your individual liking.

Is XO brandy the best?

While XO brandy is known for its high quality and extended aging process, whether it is the “best” depends on personal taste. XO, denoting Extra Old, signifies a minimum aging period, usually at least six years. However, individual preferences vary, and some may prefer younger brandies or those with different aging profiles. Exploring different brandy categories, such as VS or VSOP, along with XO, can help you find the brandy that suits your taste preferences and occasions. It’s advisable to try various options to discover the nuances that appeal most to your palate.

What are the top 4 Cognacs?

Determining the top 4 Cognacs can be challenging due to diverse preferences, but renowned brands often include Hennessy, Remy Martin, Martell, and Courvoisier. These brands are esteemed for their rich history, exceptional craftsmanship, and diverse expressions, offering a wide range of flavors catering to various tastes.

Which is better Hennessy or Remy Martin?

The comparison between Hennessy and Remy Martin is subjective, as both are iconic Cognac houses with distinct characteristics. Hennessy is known for its robust and full-bodied style, while Remy Martin is praised for its smoothness and emphasis on the grape eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne. Preferences vary, so choosing between the two depends on individual taste, whether one prefers the boldness of Hennessy or the elegance of Remy Martin.

What is the best XO in the world?

Determining the absolute best XO Cognac in the world is subjective, as it depends on personal taste preferences. However, some XO Cognacs that receive widespread acclaim include Louis XIII by Remy Martin, Hennessy XO, and Martell XO. These are often celebrated for their complexity, depth, and exquisite aging processes, making them sought-after choices for those seeking a luxurious and exceptional Cognac experience.

Is Hennessy XO worth the money?

Whether Hennessy XO is worth the money depends on individual preferences, budget, and the value placed on the experience. Hennessy XO is a premium Cognac known for its intense flavors and long aging process, contributing to its higher price point. For Cognac enthusiasts who appreciate its distinctive taste profile and craftsmanship, Hennessy XO can be considered worth the investment. However, it’s essential for consumers to consider their own preferences and budget constraints when evaluating the value of this particular XO Cognac. Exploring different Cognac options through tastings may help in making an informed decision based on personal taste and expectations.

Which is more expensive, Hennessy or Martell?

The relative cost between Hennessy and Martell Cognacs can vary based on the specific expressions and vintages, as both brands offer a diverse range of products. Generally, Hennessy and Martell have comparable price ranges, and the cost difference often hinges on factors such as the age, rarity, and production methods of the specific Cognac bottle within each brand.

What is the best cognac in the world 2023?

Determining the best cognac in the world for 2023 is subjective and depends on personal preferences, as well as new releases and industry accolades that may influence opinions. Renowned Cognac brands such as Hennessy, Remy Martin, and Martell consistently produce exceptional offerings, and the best cognac is often a matter of individual taste, considering factors like flavor profile, aging process, and craftsmanship.

Which is the most expensive cognac?

Identifying the most expensive cognac can change over time due to new releases and market fluctuations, but historically, certain limited editions and rare bottles have held the title. For instance, the Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac, known for its opulent decanter and exceptional craftsmanship, has been recognized as one of the most expensive cognacs. However, prices can vary based on availability, demand, and the exclusivity of the cognac in question.

What is the smoothest tasting cognac?

Determining the smoothest tasting cognac is subjective, as individual palates vary. However, Cognacs with a reputation for smoothness often include Remy Martin XO and Hennessy Paradis. These offerings are celebrated for their velvety textures, well-balanced flavors, and meticulous blending, providing a luxurious and enjoyable sipping experience. It’s recommended to explore different Cognac expressions and conduct tastings to discover the one that aligns best with your personal preference for smoothness and overall enjoyment.

Final Verdict: Best XO Cognac For The Money

Cognac is one of the most expensive spirits, but if you choose wisely, they’ll give you the best return for your money. 

The best XO cognac for the money is, hands down, Cognac Paul Giraud XO.

For just $200, you’ll get a spirit with a nice, creamy mouthfeel and balanced flavor notes of chocolate, caramel, and fresh honey. 

The spirit is aged 25 years and is made with only the finest grapes from the Grande Champagne region: ugni blanc, Folle Blanche, and colombard. 

Other XO cognacs at the 0-ish price point include Cognac Frapin – Chateau Fontpinot XO, Bache-Gabrielsen Natur and Eleganse XO, and Cognac Courvoisier XO. These are all excellent cognacs that’ll give you your money’s worth. 

We know cognacs are quite pricey, and we hope this list has helped narrow down the choices. Thanks for reading, as always! 


  1. All the Grapes Used in Champagne, Explained
  2. Ugni
Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar