Paul Masson Brandy Review

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Brandy enthusiasts often search for that perfect balance between taste, quality, and affordability. One name stands out in this quest: Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy.

Known for its distinct flavors and wallet-friendly price point, many are curious to know how it measures against pricier competitors.

So how does this American brandy fare in comparison? Let’s dive into the world of Paul Masson and explore its rich history, unique production methods, and compelling flavor profile to uncover what sets it apart.

Key Takeaways:

  • Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy offers excellent value for money and competes with bottles three to four times its cost.
  • The brandy’s production process involves using premium grapes from central California, distilling them in copper stills, and aging them in oak barrels for at least three years.
  • Its flavor profile boasts notes of caramelized sugar, pralines, vanilla, and dried fruit with a velvety smooth finish that lingers on your taste buds.
  • Cocktail enthusiasts can enjoy classic recipes like the Sidecar or experiment with modern twists like an Old Fashioned made with Paul Masson Brandy as a substitute for whiskey.

An Overview Of Paul Masson Brandy

Paul Masson Brandy

If you’re a cocktail lover, chances are you’ve heard of Paul Masson Brandy. But how does this American brandy stack up against others in its price range?

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the history and production methods of Paul Masson and dive into its tasting notes and flavor profile. We’ll also explore how it compares to other higher-end brandies regarding value for money and suggest some delicious cocktail recipes and pairing ideas.

Read on to discover why Paul Masson Brandy might become your new go-to for happy hour.

History Of The Brand

Paul Masson’s storied history began in the late 19th century when a Frenchman named Paul Masson, who was trained in winemaking in Burgundy, founded his winery in California.

Over the years, the brand earned a solid reputation for its high-quality wines and later ventured into producing brandy.

As times have changed, so has Paul Masson Brandy’s approach to production and bottling. Today, while still honoring the legacy of its founder, this iconic American brand collaborates with other producers to achieve new heights of quality and taste.

Production And Bottling Methods

Paul Masson Brandy embraces a meticulous production process that begins with selecting premium grapes from central California. These high-quality grapes are carefully distilled in copper stills, ensuring the rich and robust flavors the brand promises.

Once aged to perfection, the brandy is bottled and prepared for distribution at Bardstown facilities. This attention to detail in production and bottling guarantees that each bottle of Paul Masson Grande Amber lives up to its reputation as a fine American brandy fit for any cocktail drinker’s palate.

Tasting Notes And Flavor Profile

Holding Glass of Paul Masson Brandy

Discover the appearance, aroma, flavor, and finish of Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy in this section. Compare it to other brandies in a similar price range and find out why this bottle stacks up against those 3-4 times its price.

Appearance, Aroma, Flavor, And Finish Of The Brandy

Paul Masson Brandy Grande Amber presents itself with a visually appealing deep amber color that speaks to the richness of its flavor. An enticing aroma of warm vanilla, sweet oak, and hints of delicate floral notes further emphasizes its inviting essence.

The first sip offers cocktail drinkers the delight of complex flavors such as caramelized sugar and pralines, accompanied by subtle fruity undertones reminiscent of ripe golden mangoes.

This exceptional brandy delivers a velvety smooth finish that lingers on your taste buds long after you’ve set down your glass.

Comparison With Other Brandies In Similar Price Ranges

To give you a better understanding of Paul Masson Brandy’s value, we’ve compared it with other brandies in a similar price range in the table below:


Brandy Average Price Age Statement Tasting Notes
Paul Masson Grande Amber VS $10 – $15 Not specified Ripe fruit, wood, and a hint of vanilla
Paul Masson VSOP $12 4 years Rich, oaky flavor with notes of apple and vanilla
E&J VS $10 – $12 Not specified Light and fruity with a touch of sweetness
E&J VSOP $12 – $15 Not specified Smooth and well-balanced with hints of caramel and vanilla
Christian Brothers VS $10 – $12 Not specified Sweet and fruity, with undertones of oak and vanilla


As you can see, Paul Masson Brandy offers excellent value for money, especially the Grande Amber VS, considered an incredible bargain in the world of high-priced brandies and cognacs.

Age Statement And Value Comparison

The age statement of Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy indicates that it has been aged for at least three years, offering a great value compared to higher-end brandies with similar aging processes and prices.

Understanding The Age Statement

Regarding Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy, the age statement can be confusing. The label states that the brandy is “aged three years in oak,” which may lead some to assume that the brandy is a VSOP or older.

However, in American brandy, the term VS (Very Special) has no legal requirement for aging.

It’s important to note that while some premium brandies can be aged 10 years or older, most American brands are aged between three and five years. With a price point of just $14 per bottle, Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy provides excellent value for cocktail enthusiasts on a budget who still want to enjoy a smooth and flavorful spirit.

Comparison With Higher-end Brandies

When comparing Paul Masson Brandy to higher-end brandies, it is important to consider factors like aging, flavor complexity, and overall quality. Although it may not be as prestigious as some premium brandies, Paul Masson offers an affordable and enjoyable option for cocktail drinkers. The table below highlights some key differences between Paul Masson Brandy and a few higher-end brandies available on the market.


Brandy Aging Price Flavor Complexity Quality
Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy 3 years $14 Smooth with hints of caramel and oak Good for price range
Hennessy VSOP Privilege Cognac 4-15 years $60 Rich with notes of spices, vanilla, and wood High quality
Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac 8-12 years $70 Smooth and robust with flavors of plum, fig, and oak Superior quality
Germain-Robin XO Brandy 17 years $120 Complex with notes of dried fruit, chocolate, and spice Exceptional quality


While Paul Masson Brandy may not have the extended aging or complex flavors found in more premium brandies, it still provides an enjoyable experience for those seeking an affordable option. Keep in mind, however, that higher-end brandies often have more depth and character due to their longer aging process and more intricate production methods.

Affordability And Value For Money

One of the key selling points of Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy is its affordability. Priced at just $14 a bottle, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking value for money.

But that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality the brandy’s three-year aging process in oak barrels adds depth and complexity to its flavor profile, making it a standout choice in its price range.

Cocktail Ideas And Pairing Suggestions

Discover new ways to enjoy Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy by trying classic cocktails like the Sidecar, French 75, and Manhattan or experimenting with modern twists like a Brandy Sour or Autumn Harvest Punch.

Classic Cocktail Recipes Using Paul Masson Brandy

Looking for new cocktail ideas? Try using Paul Masson Brandy in these classic recipes:


  1. Sidecar: Combine 2 oz. Paul Masson VSOP with 3/4 oz. Lemon juice and 3/4 oz. Cointreau in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a sugar-rimmed glass.
  2. Vieux Carré: Mix together 1 oz. Paul Masson VS, 1 oz. Rye whiskey, 1 oz. Sweet vermouth and a dash each of Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir well and strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  3. Brandy Alexander: Blend 2 oz. Paul Masson VS with 1 oz. crème de cacao and 1 oz. Heavy cream in a blender with ice until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and grate fresh nutmeg on top.
  4. French Connection: Combine equal parts Paul Masson VSOP and amaretto liqueur in an ice-filled rocks glass and stir gently.
  5. B&B: Mix equal parts Paul Masson VSOP and Bénédictine liqueur in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until chilled before straining into a chilled cordial glass.


Whether you prefer your brandy neat or mixed into cocktails, Paul Masson Brandy is an excellent choice for its smooth flavor, affordable price point, and versatile uses in classic recipes like these!

Modern Twists On Classic Cocktails With The Brandy

If you’re a fan of classic cocktails and are looking to try something new, here are some modern twists on old favorites using Paul Masson Brandy:


  1. Old Fashioned: Swap out whiskey for brandy in this timeless cocktail. Add a dash of orange bitters and garnish with an orange peel for a citrus kick.
  2. Sidecar: A simple yet elegant cocktail, the sidecar is made with brandy, triple sec, and lemon juice. Add a sugared rim for extra sweetness.
  3. Sangria: Use Paul Masson Brandy as the base spirit in your favorite sangria recipe for a delicious, refreshing drink perfect for summer.
  4. Manhattan: For a twist on this classic cocktail, substitute brandy for the traditional rye whiskey. Add sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters to complete the drink.
  5. French 75: Mix gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Paul Masson Brandy together for a sophisticated version of this famous champagne cocktail.


Paul Masson Brandy adds depth and complexity to any mixed drink with its sweet and spicy notes. Try these modern twists on classic cocktails at your next happy hour or gathering!

Pairings With Cheese, Charcuterie, And Chocolates

Looking for delicious pairing options to complement your Paul Masson Brandy? Try these combinations:


  1. Soft Cheeses:


Pair Paul Masson Grande Amber with soft cheeses like brie or camembert for a creamy, buttery flavor that balances well with the smooth, caramel notes of the brandy.


  1. Hard Cheeses:


For hard and aged cheeses like cheddar or parmesan, opt for the slightly fruitier Paul Masson Peach Brandy. The sweetness in the peach flavor complements the saltiness of these types of cheese.


  1. Charcuterie:


Regarding charcuterie boards, Paul Masson Brandy is a versatile drink that pairs well with many cured types of meat like prosciutto and salami. The fruity aroma and full body complement bold flavors like smoked sausage or spicy chorizo.


  1. Chocolate:


Indulge in some decadent chocolate desserts paired with Paul Masson Brandy. Try dark chocolate truffles or chocolate-covered cherries for a rich, satisfying treat that balances well with the oaky flavor profile of the brandy.


  1. Fruit:


Finally, consider pairing your brandy with fresh fruit to highlight its natural sweetness and acidity. Opt for citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits to cut through the richness of the brandy and create a refreshing contrast on your palate.

So whether you’re snacking on cheese and fruit or indulging in sweet treats, plenty of delicious pairing options are available when it comes to Paul Masson Brandy!


Q: What is Paul Masson Grande Amber?

A: Paul Masson Grande Amber is a type of brandy that has been aged up to three years in small oak barrels. It features a rich, smooth flavor and is known for its distinct amber color.

Q: How does Paul Masson Grande Amber compare to other brandies?

A: While everyone’s taste preferences differ, many brandy drinkers enjoy the smoothness and taste of Paul Masson Grande Amber. Some believe it is comparable to French cognac, despite being a fraction of the price.

Q: What is the alcohol content of Paul Masson Grande Amber?

A: Paul Masson Grande Amber contains 40% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Q: Who is the ideal audience for Paul Masson Grande Amber?

A: This type of brandy is ideal for anyone who enjoys full-flavored, smooth, and aromatic alcoholic beverages. It’s great for those who appreciate rich, complex flavors without breaking the bank.

Q: Is Paul Masson Grande Amber considered a high-quality brandy?

A: While some may argue that it doesn’t compare to more expensive brands, Paul Masson Grande Amber has built a strong following of loyal customers who genuinely appreciate its rich, complex flavor profile.

Q: Does Paul Masson Grande Amber have a rating?

A: Ratings can vary depending on the reviewer. However, Paul Masson Grande Amber has consistently received positive reviews and can be found ranked as one of the best brandies under $20.

Q: Can I contact Paul Masson for more information?

A: Yes, you can find contact information for Paul Masson Brandy on their website, which includes an email address and other information you may require about their products.

Q: What other types of brandy that Paul Masson Grande Amber is compared to?

A: One of the most common brandies that Paul Masson Grande Amber is compared to is E&J VSOP. However, other brandies, such as Martell VS, are also mentioned when talking about Paul Masson Grande Amber’s flavor profile.

Q: Can Paul Masson Grande Amber be enjoyed on the rocks?

A: Absolutely! Many brandy enthusiasts prefer it that way. Mix it with soda or juice to create a refreshing summer beverage.

Q: Is Paul Masson Grande Amber aged for three years?

A: The three-year aging claim is verified on their website, which also shows in reviews, as consumers commonly rave about the smoothness of the brandy.

Q: Can you tell me some general information about Paul Masson and the brandy market in general?

A: Paul Masson was a highly regarded winemaker and entrepreneur who capitalized on the booming brandy market in the United States in the 1930s. He is credited with introducing Americans to high-quality wine and spirits at a time when many had never tasted anything beyond cheap, bootlegged alcohol.

Conclusion And Overall Impressions Of Paul Masson Brandy

In conclusion, Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy is an excellent choice for cocktail drinkers who want a smooth and well-aged flavor without breaking the bank.

Despite its affordable price point, this American brandy competes with bottles three to four times its cost. With caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit flavors, it’s no wonder why people enjoy it in tonic or ginger ale (and even in Coke!).

While a medicinal finish may be an issue for some consumers, Paul Masson tries to cover that taste with sugary fruit notes.