My taste in beer leans towards the expensive, but I'm also a big fan of spirits in all their forms. (aside from Gin, eww) My bank account is unable to handle expensive spirits and expensive beer so the beer wins out, and I drink the cheap stuff when I hit the hard stuff.
That doesn't always mean you can't drink something tasty. As with beer, there is a good variety of tasty stuff available at a lower price. In general you sacrifice complexity of flavor in exchange for savings. It's a good idea when hunting for cheap booze to sometimes avoid the more well known cheaper brands, if you go with them you may end up paying for advertising rather than taste.
I had a craving for Brandy, these things happen to me, so at the local state store I looked around for something cheap to try. I've previously had a good experience with Cognac Salignac VS, a young Cognac produced by Courvoisier and a less enjoyable experience with Christian Brothers Brandy (It's a good thing the Brothers sold off the brand, if this is the best booze they can make they should stick to teaching)
The St. Rémy seemed to fall somewhere between the two in quality. The taste was sweet and more winelike than most other Brandy I've tried, it was easy drinking and relaxing. The woody notes seemed to take a backseat to the more fruity flavors, but nothing dominated to the point of seeming out of place.
St. Rémy is produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, France. Why isn't it a Cognac?
"Cognac" appellation defined by french Law in 1909 is exclusively for the "eaux de vies" coming from wines produced in the limited region of Cognac. All the other french or foreign eaux de vies produced out of this region are brandies.
St Rémy Authentic is a french brandy français, of french origin 100 % guaranteed which means that it is elaborated from distilled wines coming from legendary vineyards in France.
Good enough for me, I don't have a developed enough palate for grapes to tell you if a wine is from California or France, much less distinguish between French growing regions in a distilled product.
For the price of $10 per 750ml for French Brandy I don't think it can be beat. This was a sale price at the local state store though so if it jumps back up I would probably buy the Salignac if they are at the same price.
Next time I have a craving for Brandy I will be venturing down to the true bottom shelf and trying some American flavored Brandy, a taste experience I have been promised is truly....something.