11 Best Cognacs for Discriminating Tastes on Any Budget

Relax with one of these smooth, flavorful Cognacs that will warm you all the way from nose to toes.

Published December 2, 2022
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Two glasses of cognac on the wooden table

If you love spirits but have stopped short of buying a bottle of Cognac because you're unsure of where to begin, it can all feel a little confusing. Fortunately, we did the work for you. We found the best Cognacs that will suit any budget and won't leave you wondering if you made the right choice. No buyer's remorse here.

Included in this list is a range of not only prices but flavors, all to help you find one that best suits your palate. Don't be afraid to try more than one. As with other spirits, Cognac has a range of flavor profiles (all delicious), so sample several so you can find THE one.

The Best Cognacs for Discriminating Tastes on Any Budget

If you're rushing off to someone's house and need a quick gift, this list will be your speedy guide. If time is on your side, take a moment or two to scroll down and explore each of these Cognac picks a little further.

Cognac Park Borderies

One of few Cognacs that's distilled from grapes grown exclusively in Borderies, Cognac Park Borderies is notable for its single-vineyard approach. Bottles don't hit the market until the Cognac has been aged for 15 years. Fifteen! The first 10 months, the Cognac ages in new oak casks before being aged in mature casks. You would expect this to cost an arm and a leg, but you can snag it for under $70.

It has a smooth body with layers of vanilla, butterscotch, and stone fruit. It finishes with a hint of baking spice, giving it a floral yet dry taste. The sweet palate is lucrative sip after sip.

Camus Elegance XO

The Camus X.O. Cognac is a curated selection of their eau-de-vie that ages for a minimum of 10 years in oak casks. This blend creates a forward bouquet of pastry with notes of orange and hints of cinnamon and stone fruit. Imagine walking into a bakery offering fresh pastries.

The palate tastes of rich, candied fruit and butter, with a smooth, lingering finish of spices. It's a notable pick at around $250 with its creamy palate and heavy fruit finish.

Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac

The Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac is an innovative Cognac aged in French oak barrels for several years before being aged in American Tennessee Oak barrels for at least six months. The recipe follows traditional Cognac distilling and is an incredible blend of traditional and new.

The American oak casks give it a subtle tropical flavor, with notes of coconut and pineapple, while its traditional counterpart of French oak casks lend flavors of the more classic variety: vanilla, chocolate, and nuts. It's enjoyable on its own but also creates a bold cocktail. It's an affordable pick, too, as it runs around $50, meaning you no longer have a reason not to take the Cognac road less traveled.

Pierre Ferrand Reserve Double Cask Cognac

The Pierre Ferrand Reserve Double Cask Cognac is a comforting, familiar brandy. The caramel and vanilla bouquet is a cozy welcome before the notes of coffee and spice slide onto your palate. It finishes with a smooth, lengthy taste of apples and dried figs. It may seem steep at $82, but it's a Cognac drinker's Cognac.

The apple and dried fig notes among the familiar, reliable Cognac flavors is more than safe; it's like a hug for the heart. For long-time Cognac drinkers, it's a reminder of what Cognac can be. For those who are new, it's a great welcome to the Cognac world.

Martell X.O. Extra Fine Cognac

The Martell X.O. Extra Fine Cognac is a perfect combination of grande and petite Champagne grapes. It has complex flavors that err on the side of bold and spicy. These flavors aren't overdone; the bouquet of spicy black and pink peppercorns is well balanced by walnut, fig, and sandalwood to soften the aroma.

The fig notes are found in the taste as well, along with flavors of blackcurrant to fully develop the palate and finesse the flavor for a hearty, biting, lingering finish. It is a singular Cognac, and you can make your dreams come true for $289.

Courvoisier V.S. Cognac

The Courvoisier V.S. Cognac is a blend of crus that's then aged from three to seven years. The mix of aged Cognacs creates a fruity, subtle taste with notes of vanilla, and a sweet spice finish with a smooth aroma of honey. Overall, it has a balanced but delicate taste. Pick up a bottle for $35.

For those who want subtlety in their Cognac, it's a five-star pick at a great price. Its flavor makes it great for sipping alone, but the honey and vanilla notes mean it's great in a cocktail too.

Honorable Mentions

Taste is subjective, and in the world of Cognac, there's something for everyone. These honorable mentions are all fantastic Cognacs in their own right.

Rémy Martin 1738

The Rémy Martin 1738 is an incredibly smooth Cognac. Its oaky notes create a mellow body with tones of butterscotch, baking spices, and toffee. The Cognac is aged in new French oak casks, creating this signature flavor, and all for just $63. It has a fruity, oaky nose with hints of fig jam and toasted bread. The Cognac finishes with a creamy taste due to the French oak casks. Those alluring notes make it great on its own. Who doesn't want to sip a smooth Cognac with notes of butterscotch and toffee?

Hine Rare V.S.O.P.

The Hine Rare V.S.O.P. is a blend of approximately 20 eaux-de-vie from both grande and petite grapes, so you know it packs flavor. The Cognac has a soft brioche flavor with aromas of roasted stone fruit and melon, making it a smooth brandy that's light on the palate. Its flavors are reminiscent of white wines produced from the same varietal of grapes. It'll cost about $64, but when you can get a blend like this, it's worth the money. The stone fruit flavor in this one is both unique and appealing to an array of Cognac drinkers.

Hardy V.S.O.P.

The Hardy V.S.O.P. is a warm, golden brown, reflected by its equally warm nut and cinnamon aromas. And it'll warm you, too, for just about $42. These flavors are well balanced with the initial nose of fresh pear. The palate is smooth and balanced, accessible, and well-liked by both amateur and seasoned Cognac drinkers

It drinks a little sweet, with heavy vanilla flavors complemented by sweet spices and mocha with an oaky and clove finish that is exceptionally smooth. This makes a great choice to go with dessert or a sweeter cocktail. You're going to be smitten with those bold vanilla and oaky flavors that make this a well-balanced Cognac.

Cognacs That'll Look Great in Your Cup

The world of Cognacs can seem inaccessible at times. Afterall, it's never truly had a renaissance moment the way whiskey and other spirits have. This leaves many to wonder if this spirit is for them, how to pick out a bottle, and whether that bottle is worth the price. Luckily, much of that is subjective to personal taste and preference. With that in mind, the best Cognac from this list is the one that appeals most to you, but none of these will miss the mark.

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11 Best Cognacs for Discriminating Tastes on Any Budget