When you think of fine Cognac, perhaps you imagine King Louis XV sipping it from his gilded cup, the taste of complex flavors from rich oak and toasted vanilla beans to wintry spices delighting his royal taste buds. However, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy great cognac and add to your home bar.
The art of Cognac selection doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune, neither do you need to be a complex sipper. 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 11 best Cognacs under $100.
11 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:
- Of VSOP quality 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. It does not always have to be an award winning cognac or the well-known Hennessy VSOP. We were delighted how many Vieille Réserve Cognacs made the top 11, as well as appearances from some of our favorite artisan producers. So, without further ado, here are some of the best cognacs under $100, each with its unique charm and palate. From the so called 1er cru to Petite Champagne and eaux-de-vie made from Ugni Blanc grapes, these
1. Ragnaud Sabourin Réserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac
I have a passion and love for all spirits, but particularly French brandy and world whisk(e)y… It is surprisingly full-bodied in the mouth, starting with sweet fruit notes on the palate, and finishing dry with some mild oak, spice, and tannins in a rather lengthy finish! A bargain!
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. It a perfect example of a single estate Cognac that’s average price is below $100.
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
This XO is a real treat. Beautiful caramel color, a soft, sweet floral nose and silky on the palate with a lingering finish. Am excellent value as this is more like an hors d’age than an XO.
The tiny house of André Petit continues to impress us with its small but perfectly formed range of quality Cognacs. It has been aged in oak for an average of 25 years in French oak barrels.
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 but also stone fruit. 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
For the price and the smooth fruit notes that this contains, it is hand’s down one of the better bottles of Cognac I’ve purchased!
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 and stone fruits, such as apricots. 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 XO Vieille Réserve Cognac
Another Cognac bottle that hits all the requirements This Vieille Réserve has a rather different taste profile from the others already mentioned. Think toasted oak, buttery toffee and wintry spice, figs and wood 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 XO 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 might be one of the youngest cognac in the list but is still a winner!
This Cognac VSOP 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 with a touch of cinnamon sugar 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
A pleasure for our receptors!
This delightful blend from Tiffon is highly recommended on our review platform—and for good reason. The nose presents just the right amount of caramel, vanilla, dried figs, and a hint of spice. A well balanced Cognac therefore.
This further evolves on the palate, with the tantalizing addition of cocoa, leather, and warming spices. Perhaps a hue of sticky toffee pudding too? A wonderful example of some of the lesser-found aromas and tastes. Plus, the decanter-esque bottle looks great on display.
Discover and purchase the great sipper that this Cognac is: 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 and spicy side with a tad of baking spices. 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 pair it best with almond cookies Bertrand Napoleon.
8. Vallein Tercinier Vieille Réserve Napoleon Cognac
Sweet and spicy on the nose, with brown sugar, a little caramel and a rougher, woodier touch. Nice palate, with lightly tropical fruits, liquorice, vanilla and a little citrus!
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.
You’ll find some kind of tropical fruit, a hint of black pepper and a hue of oak. What a concoction! Find out more at Vallein Tercinier Vieille Réserve Napoleon Cognac.
9. Audry XO Cognac
The Best Cognac under 100
My all time favorite cognac to the other cognacs I tasted in that price range! One of the best Cognacs I ever tasted!
Also in Sophie’s opinion one of the best cognacs featuring the taste of vanilla, french oak adn wintry spices. The Audry XO also featured highly in our 2022 XO family tasting.
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. If you only try a single bottle from this list, then you won’t go far wrong with this delicious Fine Champagne blend.
A bit of toasted oak, vanilla beans, slightly spicy, vanilla and black pepper make this Cognac an award winning Cognac. Find out more and buy Audry XO today.
10. Chainier XO Grande Champagne Cognac
On my list for a long time,and I tried a lot of such, it is the best experience so far and regarding it’s fair price one of the best XO for money, by far. Will offer it to my very best companions, Congratulations to this small producer. Try this one, my friends!
Another delight that made it onto our 2022 XO family tasting favorites. This premier cru blend aged in French Limousin oak consists of a carefully selected range of eaux-de-vie—many of which spent multiple decades languishing gently in the oak barrels to mature to the pinnacle of perfection. T
he result is a nutty, fruity, spicy profile that delights in its originality. To be more precise: walnuts, almonds, pear and stewed apples with a touch of toffee.Discover all about this fantastic Chainier XO and purchase in our online shop.
11. Lavenat XO
Great exceptional Fins Bois cognac from a small producer who is passionate about his work ! Lots off spices.. wood.. dried fruit.. caramel.. apple pie.. brioche.. Delicious just relax in front of the fireplace and enjoy!
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 other cognacs already mentioned.
Just as the customer review quotes it is a fruity cognac with buttery caramel, toffee, stone fruit, such as pums and rich oak. The average price for this fantastic cognac is also under $100, unbelievable! Discover and buy the wonderful Lavenat XO.
Well, there you have it. Our list of the best Cognacs for under $100.
Of course, other Cognacs such as the Hine Rare from Cognac Hine, Martell Blue Swift or the Remy Martin VSOP Cognac are also great Cognac bottles that have an average price of under $100 and are good to have in any bar cart.
While they feature the taste of oak as much as the above mentioned Cognacs, they are more on the fruity side of things and rather VSOP Cognac qualities.
Nevertheless, 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.
The Overview of the Cognac bottles
- Ragnaud Sabourin Réserve Spéciale Alliance 20 Cognac
- André Petit XO Très Rare Cognac
- Ordonneau Domaine de la Grolette Tres Vieille Reserve Cognac
- Guillon Painturaud XO Vieille Reserve Cognac
- Prunier VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac
- Tiffon XO Cognac
- Bertrand Napoleon Cognac
- Vallein Tercinier Vieille Reserve Napoleon Cognac
- Audry XO Cognac
- Chainier XO Grande Champagne Cognac
- Lavenat XO Cognac