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First steps in brandy

I have made a potentially expensive discovery.

I addition to all my other fancy booze loves, I’ve found out that I am potentially quite partial to brandy. While clearing out my late great aunt (the one who I also got the '79 Chablis for the fine wine or vinegar game), I found a bottle of Remy Martin. I’ve also had a couple of meals out where I’ve ended them with a cognac or armagnac and I’ve liked what I’ve had.

Where do I go next? What do I try? I really have no clue where to even start other than having heard of a few big names (and knowing Tesseron are the Pontet Canet people).


rehab & hiding your credit cards !

There are some very nice "brandies’ out there - i’m more of a fan of Armegnac.

I would get a few bottles of “mid-range” and see what you like - Tariquet do some nice ones

good luck


I thought that might be the answer.


Hennessy cognac is worth a few sips. Very nice

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I go Hine. Just because they are a west country family originally and I used to go to school with some Hines, who were lovely people. No idea if they are related and just goes to show what irrelevant things underlie our spending.


We enjoy this Armagnac which you might find at Lay&Wheeler.

We occasionally treat ourselves to a Martel Cordon Bleu Cognac bit pricey but very smooth and very occasional.


If you’re ever in the south west then look out for Somerset Cider Brandy.


Remy VSOP has been my go to Cognac, since falling in love with it in a Geneva restaurant, where the Sommelier gently warmed the glass (avec Cognac :rofl:) over a candle.
I recently bought the Accord



This one does seem to have a very good reputation.

I have read, that many years ago the Society did an “Early Landed” range, which was so highly thought of, that very good restaurants would pillage stocks.
It would be terrific if the Society could reintroduce this “cuvee” with the appropriate shackles to prevent “the Trade” taking unfair advantage!! :wink: :smiley: :clap: :dragon:


Already a big fan of that, but never quite associated it with being brandy. Capreolus do a chestnut barrel aged apple eaux de vie, which is too young to be called brandy, but also delicious.

They also do a quince eaux de vie, which I really want to try, but it’s £100 a half bottle! :frowning:

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Gosh! I’ve been looking for this sort of thing for ages. Once upon a time M&S sold a really good Somerset cider brandy, but I haven’t seen it for a while now. I don’t care much for (grape) brandy, but I am partial to the occasional sip of Calvados, so finding something similar - but UK produced - was exciting.

Do you know if it’s only possible to buy those on line?

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For something other than French examples, I’ve had good experience with Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez; solera matured by many of the big sherry houses.

Lustau do a credible one,

I think WS favourite Sanchez Romate have some offerings too but haven’t tried them personally.


Talking of Calvados, I use it to enhance an apple sauce for say Roast Pork!! :smiley:
I have reduced cider to create a similar(ish) effect.
You don’t require too much, and I REFUSE to employ a VSOP calibre Calvados for cooking.
And it is not easy to find a basic Calvados in supermarkets. :open_mouth: :dragon:

Same here! I love Delia Smith’s recipe for pork with Calvados and apples - it’s one of our regular pork recipes. Same with Moules à la Normande… a shot of Calvados makes all the difference :slight_smile:


It’s available in every farm shop and garden centre round here. It’s much nicer than calvedos! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Well… perhaps we’ll hole up in Somerset this Christmas then for our annual escape. If Boris allows, of course… :wink:

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I’ve bought it from Master of Malt in the past. It looks like they have an online shop on the website too.

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Try Domaine Tesseron, no relation as far as I am aware. Their cognacs are superb. https://www.domaine-tesseron.com/

We have visited them a couple of times and first came across them at the Lille wine fair. We were searching for better known Tesseron, having samples their cognacs before). A much smaller, family affair with links to Cuba (chocolate features here too) plus a great collection of vintage cars etc. Not sure available in UK but file away for the future when you can visit​:crossed_fingers::slightly_smiling_face:

Their Extra Old Fins Bois is my favourite and maybe exploring the different production areas of Cognac might interest you. That is what you get at Dom. Tesseron tasting - samples of their various bottling samples by area, blends etc.

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That is indeed going on the places to go list! (I’m currently back to toying with going to France anyway since our office has re-closed).

So far what I am gleening is that on the whole the names I’ve heard are actually worth trying, with things like Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin and Hine all appearing. Having recommended Master of Malt for the Somerset Cider Brandy to @inbar, I went to check I wasn’t making it up (thankfully I wasn’t) and was reminded of their drinks by the dram.

I am going to put together a tasting set with the various names mentioned here and as many of the specific examples given and have a bit of an explore!


If you make it to Cognac you will find heaps of independent producers and a restaurant bar line up like this it’s fabulous to explore…