Is is possible to get a quality XO brandy for $20? If this bottle is any indication, the answer is no. (For just one comparison, Courvoisier XO costs $170. Most XOs cost at least $100, and go up from there.)
First off, this is Dunill brandy, no doubt named to confuse buyers with the Alfred Dunhill luxury goods company of London. The bottle, with its extravagant design to mimic crystal (it isn’t, of course), and its gold braid around the neck is further intended to convey quality. But, the faux “aged bronze” seal in the center of the bottle even popped off two days after I got it home.
Sadly, the quality just isn’t there. This is what the producer claims, “Produced in the South of France, out of the best grapes, and handcrafted in small batches. Distilled in the pure tradition of the region. The cellar master has extracted the most subtle aromas of the brandy through a very slow distillation and aging for 10 years in French oak barrels, to give the taste of an exceptional brandy. Deep amber color.”