The art of Cognac selection doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune. But just how good a Cognac can you buy without breaking the bank? It’s a question that we’re often asked and one that deserves some serious research. But who to entrust with this crucial task? The Cognac Expert team put their heads together and agreed that was definitely a task for Sophie’s fastidious palate.
Unsurprisingly, she didn’t hesitate to take on this oh-so-arduous voyage of discovery—selflessly sipping her way through a selection of eaux-de-vie. And the result? A rather special selection of the 10 best Cognacs under $100.
10 Best Cognacs Under $100: Our Choice
Of course, we had to give Sophie a briefing on the types of Cognacs we were hunting for. While we were keen to include the oldest, the quality also had to be exceptional. To make the grade, the Cognacs had to be:
- A VSOP or older
- Offer a complex nose and palate
- Be best enjoyed neat or over ice
- Cost less than $100
As we champion the smaller houses; it came as no surprise that our eventual list was craft Cognac heavy. We’ve said for many a-year that seeking out lesser-known brands is often one of the best ways of getting true bang for your buck.
We were delighted how many Vieille Réserve made the top 10, as well as appearances from some of our favorite artisan producers. So, without further ado, here’s our definitive list of Cognacs that you can enjoy and get change from $100. Enjoy!
1. Ragnaud Sabourin Réserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac
Single estate, Grande Champagne, and slightly overproof at 43%, this Réserve quality Cognac spent more than two decades in the barrel before being bottled. The result is a rich, well-rounded blend that bursts with floral aromas and ripened fruits on the nose and palate. The bottle is simple and traditional—the perfect showcase for a Cognac that offers a classical depth and an evolving sensory journey.
Find out more about the Ragnaud Sabourin Réserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac.
2. André Petit XO Très Rare Cognac
The tiny house of André Petit continues to impress us with its small but perfectly formed range of quality Cognacs. The XO Très Rare expertly combines delicacy with complexity—this is a great choice for those who want to learn about and appreciate the wonders of rancio. It’s no surprise that this Bons Bois offering has won multiple awards.
Head to our online shop to discover more about the wonder that is the André Petit XO Très Rare Cognac.
3. Ordonneau Domaine de la Grolette Très Vieille Réserve Cognac
Another great value for money Réserve quality Cognac. This Borderies eaux-de-vie is brimming with the classic violet tones so typical of the terroir. If you’ve not yet sampled the delights of an Ordonneau Cognac, then this is a great example to appreciate quite how good this artisan house is.
Discover the wonder that is Ordonneau Domaine de la Grolette Très Vieille Réserve Cognac.
4. Guillon-Painturaud Réserve Vieille Réserve Cognac
Another Grande Champagne Cognac that hits all the requirements, this Vieille Réserve has a rather different taste profile from the others already mentioned. Think toffee and spice, figs and wood, all wrapped up in the gorgeous over-arching luxury of candied fruits and citrus peel. In a word, delicious! The house recommends pairing it with lobster claws. We also think it’s the perfect digestif.
Discover and buy the wonderful Guillon-Painturaud Réserve Vieille Réserve Cognac.
5. Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
Don’t be fooled by the VSOP rating because this is a very good Cognac indeed. It boasts some of the most sought-after aromas of tobacco, chocolate, and leather, followed by a complex palate that evolves from cacao through a plethora of earthy tones that are more usually associated with older expressions. We’re certainly not surprised that it consistently gets awarded at international spirit competitions. One we highly recommend (and the lowly price tag means you can splash out on a bottle for yourself and perhaps one for a friend as well…).
Find out more at Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac.
6. Tiffon XO Cognac
This delightful blend from Tiffon is highly recommended on our review platform—and for good reason. The nose presents caramel, vanilla, dried figs, and a hint of spice. This further evolves on the palate, with the tantalizing addition of cocoa, leather, and warming spices. A wonderful example of some of the lesser-found aromas and tastes. Plus, the decanter-esque bottle looks great on display.
Discover and purchase at Tiffon XO Cognac.
7. Bertrand Napoleon Cognac
Unpretentious, classic, and amazingly aromatic. Bertrand Cognac has excelled itself with this Napoleon quality, single estate blend—one that’s well-deserving of its gold medal status. Try this if you enjoy your eau-de-vie on the woody, spicy side. It’s a fab example of how the taste profile of a pure Petite Champagne Cognac differs from other terroirs.
Head to our shop and buy Bertrand Napoleon today.
8. Vallein Tercinier Vieille Réserve Napoleon Cognac
Another family-run house that produces excellent quality Cognac at eye-wateringly good prices. This Fine Champagne Napoleon is delicate and light, leaning to the sweeter side of the flavor spectrum. It’s tantamount to the skill of the cellar master as to how beautifully the young and older eaux-de-vie marry to create quite the impressive tasting journey.
Find out more at Vallein Tercinier Vieille Réserve Napoleon Cognac.
9. Audry XO Cognac
You didn’t expect our list not to have an example from the extraordinary range from Audry, did you? Small, bespoke, and unique—Audry Cognacs are some of the finest we’ve come across regarding quality and value for money. Those who’ve tried and reviewed agree, with this XO being one of the best. The Audry XO also featured highly in our 2022 XO family tasting. If you only try a single bottle from this list, then you won’t go far wrong with this delicious Fine Champagne blend.
Find out more and buy Audry XO today.
10. Chainier XO Grande Champagne Cognac
Another delight that made it onto our 2022 XO family tasting favorites. This premier cru blend consists of a carefully selected range of eaux-de-vie—many of which spent multiple decades languishing gently in oak barrels to mature to the pinnacle of perfection. The result is a nutty, fruity, spicy profile that delights in its originality.
Discover all about the Chainier XO Grande Champagne and purchase in our online shop.
11. Lavenat XO
And because we love a little extra, we’ve added the 11th cognac to the list. A Fins Bois Cognac that hits all the requirements, this XO has a rather different taste profile from the others already mentioned. Think dried fruit with a touch of sweetness and caramel. Subtle wood notes with brioche and apple. Fantastic!
Discover and buy the wonderful Lavenat XO.
Well, there you have it. Our list of the best Cognacs for under $100. We’re pretty satisfied with the choices and hope you will be too. Of course, if you’re wondering why your favorite didn’t make the list, then please let us know. We’ll happily carry out a further taste test. We know it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.