[Updated 08 June 2020]
It seems there’s nothing the dominant supermarket and grocery chains consider off limits when it comes to drawing a profit. Even Cognac isn’t immune to conglomerate domination, with global giants the world over collaborating to bring their own brands to the party. But the big question is… Are they any good, and which is the best supermarket Cognac?
The following is a round-up of eight of these Supermarket Cognacs (OK, seven and one Armagnac) that you can purchase off the shelf during the weekly grocery shop.
1. Kirkland Signature XO Cognac (Costco)
Costco have never been slackers when it comes to value for money products. This XO quality Cognac may well surprise you, standing proud in a handsome decanter-type bottle and, apparently, boasting a rather aromatic drinking sensation. It’s a blend that that leans to the sweeter side of the spectrum and won a silver medal from the Beverage Testing Institute in 2016.
As for who produced the Cognac? Well, Costco are keeping that a closely guarded secret. But we’ve heard rumors suggesting Peyrat is the producer, although we can’t confirm if this is true or false.
Have you tried this own brand grocery store Cognac? If so, let us know in the comments below…
Discover more about Costco’s Kirkland Signature XO Cognac.
2. Bredon XO Cognac (Lidl)
Produced for and sold by German cut-price chain, Lidl, the Bredon XO caused so much controversy when it was launched that even the French government stepped in! Bredon is, in fact, part of the more widely known house of Louis Royer, and when this XO hit the shelves for the headline price of 19.99 Euro, even though it was presented in a smaller sized 50cl bottle directly contravened French sales law. Read more about this in our blog article, Lidl Sells Bredon XO Cognac for 19.99 Euro.
Scandal aside, we never got to try the Bredon XO, although a review on the Cognac Expert website from a lucky lady who did manage to get her hands on a bottle calls it, “The nectar of the gods”, which is certainly praise indeed.
She goes on to say, “Rich, deep, dry and oh, so smooth. It bears its 40% like a lady; with gentleness and poise. Lidl was selling it in a 70cl bottle for the sort of price that makes one think there have been some mistake. My partner immediately bought one and announced after supper that he had found something special. It was so delicious that we quickly realized we would need more. But when we returned to purchase another bottle – or a couple – it was gone, and staff could not say whether they would have any more”.
Discover more about the Bredon XO Cognac and its parent company, Louis Royer.
3. Chevalier VS Cognac (Aldi)
Aldi’s VS offering, sold under the brand name Chevalier, has certainly impressed the world of fine spirits, with more awards to its name than many of the best decorated from the largest Cognac houses. Described as “lively and aromatic”, Chevalier VS appears to command rave reviews online and at £14.99 sterling it’s not surprising.
Recent comments (as of December 2019) range from, “Very nice Cognac and amazing value, equal if not better than Martell VS etc.” to, “Purchased after reading the reviews and not disappointed”.
Read more about the supermarket Cognac that’s got everyone talking, and let us know if you’ve managed to try Chevalier VS Cognac.
4. Waitrose VSOP Cognac
Upmarket UK supermarket chain, Waitrose, is well known for partnering with wine and spirit makers to bring quality products to their shelves under their own brand name. Like many of their competitors, they’ve hidden the Cognac house who produced the eau-de-vie, saying that they’ve been sourced from the “Charente’s leading grower’s cooperative”.
However, the Cognac has certainly impressed industry judges in various competitions, with a handful of silver awards to its name. Sorry for those of you outside of the UK, it appears that at present this is the only country where it’s offered for sale.
Find out more about the Waitrose VSOP Cognac.
5. Tesco VS Cognac
We remain in the UK for this one, with supermarket giant Tesco’s VS offering. It’s another that’s won its fair share of awards, but we have to say that the presentation really does leave something to be desired: the word “boring” doesn’t go anywhere near enough describing this truly dull bottle (sorry, Tesco).
However, it gets decent enough reviews online, although it sounds like most use it as a mixing Cognac, rather than drinking it neat.
Discover more about Tesco VS Cognac.
6. Tesco VSOP Cognac
Continuing the same boring presentation theme, the Tesco VSOP stands muster thanks to its multiple industry awards.
The supermarket chain also has an XO version, although this is sold in a 50cl bottle, rather than one of full size.
Find out more about the UK supermarket Tesco VSOP Cognac.
7. Lasserre Honey Liqueur Cognac (Walmart)
OK, so not actually a Walmart brand (nor a pure Cognac) but the innovative Lasserre Honey Liqueur Cognac is a really interesting concept that hit the shelves in 2018 as grocery store exclusive. It won a gold medal at the MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and is likely be followed by more innovative offerings from this exciting producer.
It’s a blend of Cognac, spices, and eau-de-vie, and the drink itself has a really fascinating back story that you can read in our blog article and interview with its creator, Norvel Lasseerre: The First African American Cognac Producer.
Discover details about Lasserre Honey Liqueur Cognac and let us know your thoughts if you’ve tried it.
8. Waitrose Armagnac VSOP
We head back to the UK supermarket, Waitrose, for number eight, and the final contender, on our list. And this time it’s an Armagnac. It’s a gold medal winner, and if you’re unsure about the difference between Cognac and Armagnac the important and main difference is the location in France in which it’s produced. The second is that Cognac is double distilled and Armagnac goes through a single process. We delve deeper into the intimate nuances between the two in our blog article, Armagnac Brandy From Where, Actually?
This is another example of a supermarket brand that’s got it right. Online reviews range from. “Fruity, beautiful aroma, smooth” to “A very good Armagnac at an excellent price”.
Find out more about the medal winning Waitrose Armagnac VSOP.
I just bought a bottle of the XO Kirkland. On the side of the bottle it does say:
Produced by Peyrat-Associes & CIE 16100 Cognac, France.