Cheap Brandy Taste Test – California vs. France
I have always thought that when it comes to the budget-minded, California brandies give you more bang for the buck than their French counterparts. I now have one bottle of each, and finally got to put this opinion to the test.
I got a $10 bottle of Christian Brothers from Andronico’s and a $20 bottle of Duc de Loussac (VSOP, Bas-Armagnac, Ledsa S.A. Nogaro) from Trader Joe’s. The CB had that fire-water, burning feeling in the front or back of your mouth, depending on when you breath; the DL did not, and was smoother and gentler. However, the DL, when it had flavor at all, was mildly soapy. The CB had a nice, fruity, deconstructed flavor that you would expect.
In the end, both had their strengths and weaknesses. Neither was clearly better than the other. So, if you take into account that the California entry cost half the French one, California was the winner.