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10 Cheap Cognac Under $20 (2024 Best Edition)

best cheap cognac under $20

Last Updated on March 31, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The most expensive cognac bottles scream quality, but it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, you don’t need to be rich and famous to enjoy a nice bottle of cognac. 

There is cheap cognac under $20 that you can enjoy without breaking the bank. Here’s a cheat sheet of budget-friendly cognacs you can get right now. 

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Cognacs For You (Under $20)

10. Classic Club Brandy VSOP

Classic Club Brandy VSOP on desk with glass

Average Price: Around $7.99/750 ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Undisclosed but owned by Sazerac Company

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Aside from its price point, what we like about the Classic Club Brandy VSOP is its medium-bodied and soft flavor profile.

The cognac was aged in oak barrels, and by this, the vanilla notes and fruitiness of the brandy go great in brandy-based cocktails like Metropolitan and Sidecar. 

9. St-Rémy VSOP

St-Rémy VSOP

Average Price: Around $15.60/750 ml (Drizly)

Distillery: St-Rémy Distillery

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

St-Rémy VSOP has a great authentic taste of freshly picked berries, vanilla, and oak.

It is round, well-balanced, and easy to drink cognac with a light flavor profile. It is excellent to drink neat or on the rocks, but others drink it with a simple mixer. 

8. Raynal VSOP

Raynal VSOP on table with glass

Average Price: Around $15.49/750 ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Undisclosed but ownership acquired by William Grant & Sons

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Raynal VSOP combines three Eaux-de-vie sourced from famous regions in France. It is carefully handcrafted and aged in oak barrels for a smooth and velvety taste. 

What we like the most about the Raynal VSOP is the long finish and hints of ginger and candied fruit with some notes of walnut and almond. 

7. Paul Masson Brandy Grande Amber VS

Paul Masson Brandy Grande Amber VS on desk with glass

Average Price: Around $6.99/375 ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Undisclosed but bottled and owned by Sazerac Company

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Paul Masson Brandy Grande Amber VS is crafted using the European tradition. The sophisticated brandy [1] has a rich amber glow and a bit of sweetness with notes of caramel and vanilla. 

You can enjoy it neat because of its smoothness, but it is also great as a cocktail base because of its nice flavor profile. 

6. Odessa VSOP Brandy

Odessa VSOP Brandy

Average Price: Around $10.49/750ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Shustov Distillery

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Odessa VSOP Brandy is a world-class spirit crafted using the traditional copper pot stills distillation.

It is made from high-quality, estate-grown grapes and matured for a minimum of four years in French oak barrels. 

The rich flavor profile and hints of honey, raisin, fig, and vanilla of Odessa VSOP brandy are pleasing on the palate and work well as a cocktail base. 

5. Blansac Brandy VSOP

Blansac Brandy VSOP on table with berries

Average Price: Around $17.59/1L (Drizly) 

Distillery: Undisclosed but owned by Sazerac Company

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Blansac Brandy is a premium brandy twice distilled to enhance the delicate aroma of grapes. It is matured in oak barrels for a unique, great, and well-balanced flavor profile. 

We like the strength and finesse of Blansac Brandy VSOP. It has a distinguished amber color, and its woody bouquet and aroma reflect a great reputation that is worth appreciating.  

4. A.E. Dor Cognac Rodell Napoleon

A.E. Dor Cognac Rodell Napoleon on desk with cheese

Average Price: Around $13.91/ 750ml (Drizly)

Distillery: Undisclosed but owned by AE Dor

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The AE Dor Cognac Rodell Napoleon has a deep amber color, medium body, and unique flavor profile. We like the cognac’s old brown sugar, dusty raisins, and mineral aromas. 

We like the golden raisin flavors and medium body of buttery caramel corn. Moreso, we appreciate the hot white pepper finish and mineral fade. 

3. ABK6 VSOP Cognac 

ABK6 VSOP Cognac

Average Price: Around $12.99/200ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Francis Abécassis

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

ABK6 VSOP cognac is an award-winning cognac brand, and it is family owned by Francis Abécassis. We like the attention to quality and bottled offering of the ABK6. 

You don’t need to buy their expensive selection to taste their award-winning cognac, as they produce 200ml bottles for mass consumption.

It is best served neat or on the rocks to truly taste the wonderful flavor of the spirit. 

2. A De Fussigny Selection Cognac

A De Fussigny Selection Cognac

Average Price: Around $11.99/200ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: A De Fussigny Distillery

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The award-winning A De Fussigny Selection Cognac is known for its elegant character and subtle notes of florals, spices, vanilla, and pepper. We appreciate the smooth finish and slight touch of oak in the cognac. 

Moreso, it is offered in 200ml bottles, so if you want to taste it but on a tight budget, A De Fussigny Selection can be a good option. 

1. Hennessy VS Cognac

Hennessy VS Cognac

Average Price: Around $14.99/200 ml (Total Wine)

Distillery: Hennessy

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Hennessy VS Cognac is a classic favorite cognac and is well known for its great reputation in the brandy world.

Hennessy VS Cognac is a combination of over 40 eaux de vie from different locations in Cognac, France. 

We like that Hennessy offers a 200ml bottle to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to taste their award-winning spirit. It has a beautiful golden hue with fruity sweetness and hints of vanilla. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the best inexpensive cognac?

When it comes to finding an affordable yet satisfying cognac, there are several options that offer excellent value without compromising on taste or quality. These budget-friendly cognacs provide an accessible entry point into the world of this esteemed spirit, allowing enthusiasts to explore its flavors and complexities without breaking the bank.

Martell VS: Martell VS (Very Special) stands out as a go-to choice for those seeking an affordable cognac without sacrificing flavor. With its smooth and approachable profile, Martell VS boasts notes of fruit and oak, making it ideal for sipping neat or mixing into cocktails. Its versatility and affordability make it a popular option among cognac aficionados on a budget.

Rémy Martin VSOP: Rémy Martin VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) is another standout option for budget-conscious consumers looking for quality cognac. This esteemed expression delivers a rich and complex flavor profile, characterized by hints of vanilla, spice, and oak. Despite its accessible price point, Rémy Martin VSOP offers a refined drinking experience that rivals more expensive cognacs, making it a favorite among connoisseurs seeking value and quality.

Courvoisier VS: Courvoisier VS (Very Special) is renowned for its balanced and approachable taste, making it a top contender in the realm of affordable cognacs. With its fruity and floral notes complemented by a subtle oakiness, Courvoisier VS offers a delightful drinking experience that belies its modest price tag. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Courvoisier VS is a versatile and satisfying option for cognac enthusiasts seeking quality without compromise.

By exploring these inexpensive cognacs, consumers can discover affordable yet flavorful expressions that deliver on both taste and value.

What is cognac vs XO?

Cognac and XO (Extra Old) represent distinct classifications within the world of brandy, each offering unique characteristics and qualities that appeal to different preferences and tastes.

Cognac is a type of brandy produced exclusively in the Cognac region of France, where strict regulations govern its production, aging, and labeling. To be labeled as cognac, the spirit must be made from specific grape varieties, primarily Ugni Blanc, and undergo a double-distillation process in copper pot stills. After distillation, cognac is aged in oak barrels for a minimum period to develop its characteristic flavors and aromas.

XO, on the other hand, is a designation used to classify cognacs that have been aged for an extended period, typically a minimum of 10 years in oak barrels. However, many XO cognacs are aged for much longer periods, sometimes decades, allowing them to develop greater complexity, depth, and richness of flavor. XO cognacs are known for their luxurious and indulgent qualities, offering a sensory experience that reflects the time and care invested in their production and aging process.

What is the number 1 cognac?

Identifying the definitive “number 1” cognac is subjective and can vary based on individual preferences, as well as factors such as availability and market trends. However, several cognac brands consistently earn acclaim and recognition for their exceptional quality, craftsmanship, and legacy within the industry.

Hennessy is often regarded as one of the leading cognac houses globally, renowned for its rich heritage, innovation, and commitment to excellence. Established in 1765, Hennessy has solidified its reputation as a producer of premium cognacs, offering a diverse range of expressions that cater to a wide spectrum of tastes and preferences.

From the iconic Hennessy VS (Very Special) to the prestigious Hennessy XO (Extra Old), the brand’s portfolio embodies a legacy of expertise and artistry that continues to captivate consumers worldwide.

While Hennessy enjoys widespread recognition and acclaim, other cognac brands such as Rémy Martin, Courvoisier, and Martell also command considerable respect and admiration within the industry. Each brand brings its unique heritage, style, and flavor profile to the table, appealing to different palates and preferences.

Ultimately, the “number 1” cognac is a matter of personal interpretation, influenced by factors such as taste, tradition, and cultural significance. Whether it’s the storied history of Hennessy, the elegance of Rémy Martin, or the sophistication of Courvoisier, cognac enthusiasts have a wealth of options to explore and appreciate, each offering a distinct and memorable drinking experience.

Is cognac a better brandy?

Cognac is a type of brandy that originates from the Cognac region in France. Whether cognac is considered “better” than other brandies depends on personal preferences and the specific qualities one is seeking in a spirit.

Cognac is highly regarded for its strict production standards, which include specific grape varieties, double distillation in copper pot stills, and aging in oak barrels. These meticulous processes contribute to the unique flavor profile and complexity of cognac, often characterized by notes of fruit, oak, and spice.

While cognac is esteemed for its craftsmanship and heritage, other types of brandy from different regions around the world offer their own distinct characteristics and flavors. For example, Armagnac, another French brandy, is known for its robust and rustic qualities, while American brandies may have a fruitier profile due to the use of different grape varieties and production methods.

Ultimately, whether cognac is considered “better” than other brandies is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences and the context in which the spirit is enjoyed.

Why is cognac so expensive?

Several factors contribute to the relatively high price of cognac:

Quality and Craftsmanship: Cognac is produced using meticulous techniques and strict regulations that ensure a high-quality product. From the careful selection of grapes to the aging process in oak barrels, every step of cognac production requires skill, expertise, and time.

Aging Process: Many cognacs are aged for extended periods, sometimes decades, to develop their complex flavors and aromas. The longer a cognac is aged, the more expensive it tends to be due to the costs associated with storage, evaporation (known as the “angel’s share”), and the opportunity cost of tying up inventory.

Limited Production: Cognac production is limited to the Cognac region in France, where specific grape varieties and production methods are mandated by law. This geographical indication and strict regulation contribute to the exclusivity and perceived value of cognac.

Brand Reputation: Some cognac brands have built a reputation for excellence and luxury over centuries, commanding premium prices based on their heritage, craftsmanship, and prestige.

Packaging and Marketing: High-end cognacs often come in elaborate packaging, such as crystal decanters or luxury gift boxes, which adds to their perceived value. Additionally, marketing efforts and brand positioning play a role in shaping consumer perceptions of cognac as a premium product.

Overall, the combination of quality, craftsmanship, aging process, limited production, brand reputation, and packaging contributes to the relatively high cost of cognac.

Is cognac very expensive?

Cognac can range from affordable options to ultra-premium offerings, with prices varying depending on factors such as brand, age, rarity, and packaging. While some cognacs are indeed very expensive, there are also more moderately priced options available for consumers with varying budgets.

For example, entry-level cognacs such as VS (Very Special) or VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) tend to be more affordable and accessible, offering a taste of cognac without the hefty price tag associated with older or more prestigious expressions.

On the other hand, aged cognacs, vintage releases, and limited-edition bottlings can command significantly higher prices, sometimes reaching thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per bottle. These premium cognacs often appeal to collectors, connoisseurs, and those seeking a truly exceptional drinking experience.

Ultimately, whether cognac is considered “very expensive” depends on individual perspectives and priorities. While some may find certain cognacs to be beyond their budget, others may be willing to invest in the quality, craftsmanship, and prestige that come with higher-priced expressions.

Is VSOP or XO better?

Determining whether VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) or XO (Extra Old) cognac is “better” is subjective and depends on individual preferences, as well as the specific qualities one is seeking in a cognac.

VSOP cognac typically denotes a blend of eaux-de-vie (grape brandies) that have been aged for a minimum of four years, with some components potentially aged longer. VSOP cognacs are known for their balance of flavors, smoothness, and complexity, making them a popular choice for both sipping neat and mixing into cocktails.

XO cognac, on the other hand, signifies a blend of eaux-de-vie that have been aged for a minimum of ten years, with some components often aged for much longer periods. XO cognacs tend to exhibit richer, more intense flavors and aromas, with greater depth and complexity compared to VSOP cognacs. Due to their extended aging, XO cognacs are often considered more luxurious and indulgent, appealing to connoisseurs seeking a premium drinking experience.

Ultimately, whether VSOP or XO cognac is “better” depends on individual taste preferences, occasion, and budget. Some may prefer the smoothness and versatility of VSOP cognac for everyday enjoyment, while others may opt for the richness and sophistication of XO cognac for special occasions or moments of indulgence.

What does VSOP mean?

VSOP stands for “Very Superior Old Pale,” a designation used to classify cognacs that have been aged for a minimum of four years in oak barrels. The VSOP label indicates that the youngest eau-de-vie (grape brandy) used in the blend has been aged for at least four years, although some components may have been aged longer.

VSOP cognacs are known for their balance of flavors, smoothness, and complexity, making them a popular choice among cognac enthusiasts and mixologists. They can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a key ingredient in classic cocktails such as the Sidecar or Sazerac.

In summary, VSOP denotes a quality level of cognac that has undergone a minimum aging period of four years, with the resulting blend offering a harmonious balance of flavors and aromas.

Final Verdict: Cheap Cognac Under $20

Cognac has a complex, rich, deep flavor profile with hints of sweetness, and it is no wonder that people find it incredible and delicious. 

Good thing you don’t need to spend too much because distilleries offer cheap cognac under $20 without sacrificing the quality of the spirit.

Brands like Hennessy, A De Fussigny, and ABK6 offer cognac in smaller bottles, so you can enjoy their premium cognac without breaking your bank. 

References:

  1. Brandy alcoholic beverage
  2. 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Cognac
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