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.
Top Brandy Posts:
How Is Brandy Made?
Hine Rare, Homage, Antique, and H by Hine
Paul Masson Grande Amber VS Brandy
Give Hennessy some credit: It isn’t resting on the old school laurels of brandydom. It’s innovating and experimenting and constantly releasing interesting stuff (for better or worse). Its latest gamble is the Master Blender’s Selection series, a line of two Cognacs — so far — that really mess with the way Cognac is supposed to…Read More
Belle de Brillet has been around for decades, and thanks to its generally good availability, it’s become one of the most iconic Poire Williams — pear brandy made from Williams pears — on the market. In taking a fresh look at Belle de Brillet — our first since 2013 — it’s curious that Poire Williams…Read More
It’s that time of year again: holiday joy, holiday cheer, and of course, holiday cocktails. One drink that can make your nights a little more merry and bright is eggnog, that love-it-or-hate-it egg-and-alcohol combination that goes great with turkey and figgy pudding and whatever other holiday treats you want to indulge in before swearing them…Read More
It’s our tenth anniversary, and our tenth holiday gift guide! After more than 5500 posts — the bulk of them product reviews — we’ve written millions of words on all things quaffable, and as always, we select the cream of the crop to highlight in our annual holiday buying guide. Consider it a “best of…Read More
Louisville’s Copper & Kings continues to push the craft distilling envelope, this time venturing into the world of triple sec. Today we look at the new product, Destillare, while taking a fresh spin through the company’s flagship brandy. Copper & Kings American Brandy – This is the same spirit as the old C&K Craft Distilled…Read More
San Francisco’s WhiskyFest seemed as popular as ever this year, kicked off with the stampede to the Pappy Van Winkle booth that always marks the start of the show. As always, there was plenty to enjoy at this year’s event — both new expressions and classic old friends ready for tasting. Here’s a full rundown…Read More
The former Soviet block does such wonders with vodka that I had perhaps overly inflated hopes for Odessa brandy, which is made in the Ukraine and carries a VSOP designation. The producer offers some details: Odessa is produced from spirits distilled from white grape varietals including Rkatsiteli, Aligoté and Pinot varieties. The Rkatsiteli is an…Read More
Two new releases from Merlet, which makes both cognac and a selection of liqueurs. Today we look at the new XO cognac release, and a brandy-based liqueur infused with cherries. Let’s dive in! Merlet Cognac XO – This XO is a multi-cru blend with components at least six years old (and likely much more). A…Read More
Copper & Kings, purveyors of some of the most interesting grape brandies made in America, has spread out to that other classic brandy-making fruit, the apple. The company recently launched two apple-based bottlings, an unaged expression (unusual ’round these parts) and a more traditional barrel-aged bottling called Floodwall. Thoughts follow. Copper & Kings Un-Aged Apple…Read More
“Claret is liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” – Samuel Johnson So you understand what different kinds of whiskey are called and why, and you can name the aromatics used in gin without a second thought, but brandy is still a spirit that eludes…Read More