Brandy is a spirit mostly made by distilling wine. The name comes from a Dutch word, brandewijn, which means “burned wine.” Two of the best-known and indeed best types of brandy, whose production is governed by strict rules, are Cognac and Armagnac, both from France. So, all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac. Many wine-growing regions of the world also produce brandy, and the flavors vary according to both the types of grape used for the wine and the differing production processes. Most U.S. brandy comes from California. Brandy is also used as an ingredient in spirits such as Metaxa, a Greek spirit. A distinct type of brandy is fruit brandy, which is made from fruit juice, wine, or pulp from fruit other than grapes. Grappa, common in Italy, and the South American spirit called pisco are also types of brandy.
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How Is Brandy Made?
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Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy
When it comes to French apple brandy (Calvados), Busnel (which has been producing since 1820) isn’t as big a name in the U.S. as Boulard, but that may be set to change as ultra-premium expressions like this XO bottling, carrying a 12 year old age statement, hit the domestic market. Curious about the label? Pays…Read More
Maryland’s Baltimore Whiskey Company is producing far more than just whiskey. In fact, their portfolio has become so varied that they changed their name recently to Baltimore Spirits Company. We haven’t even reviewed one of their whiskeys. They only offer one. Why were they called Baltimore Whiskey Company to begin with? Anyway. Our first taste…Read More
2018 marks our eleventh annual holiday gift guide, and we’re hoping this year really gets you in the spirit of giving at Christmas. Ha! Seriously, you’ll need it. Prices are creeping ever higher, especially on popular categories like whiskey, and stocks of some of the most prized products seem to be more limited than ever this…Read More
The bottled in bond trend — which specifies that a spirit must be distilled in a single season, aged for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof — has made its way to apple brandy. Laird’s is the latest brand to jump on the train, relaunching a bonded version of its iconic applejack…Read More
In our recent review of Charbay’s Double Aged Rum, reader Taylor Fox inquired as to the point of the first round of that double aging. The rum spends five years in stainless steel tanks, then three years in oak barrels. Well, what’s the point of that? We’ve long been told that stainless steel tanks are…Read More
Online retailer Flaviar is no stranger to bespoke spirits, having released (among others) its own heavily peated Scotch previously. Next up is Cognac, a blended spirit called Frerot. Launching this Spring, Frérot XO Cognac Assemblage de Crus gives rise to a new order in the world of fine spirits –a Cognac created by the people.…Read More
I guess this was inevitable: One of the biggest wine producers in California, Francis Ford Coppola, decided to make spirits, too. Three of them, in fact, all named after famous women of history, a nod to the many great women that have impacted Coppola’s life and career. The spirits include a vodka, gin, and brandy…Read More
While we’ve previously looked at a couple of special bottlings from Cognac’s Hine — the Domaines Hine single-vintage 2005 and 2006 releases — we haven’t done a deep dive into its more readily available expressions. This includes three brandies in the “great classics” line, plus the forward-looking “H by Hine,” a VSOP brandy designed primarily to…Read More
Pineau des Charentes is perhaps the most unique “wine” you’ll ever encounter — in part because there’s actually no wine in it. What’s Pineau? Pineau des Charentes hails from the Cognac region of France (and thereabouts), where winemakers take (typically white) wine grapes, crush them into must, then — before it ferments (and turns into…Read More
Is it possible we’ve never reviewed one of the most essential liqueurs ever produced (GM Titanium notwithstanding)? Grand Marnier, the orange-meets-brandy spirit, deserves a spot in every liquor cabinet, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, what is Grand Marnier, actually? Understand that this is a different animal than triple sec or Cointreau. While…Read More