Brandy

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

Drinkhacker’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2012 |

You’re full of meat and pie and perhaps meat pie. Now it’s time to think of your loved ones. Were they naughty? Nice? Do they deserve a fancy tipple when the giving season arrives? For your most favored loved ones, Drinkhacker offers this collection of our favorite spirits from 2012, just a small sampling of…

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Review: Germain-Robin Pear de Pear Liqueur

By Christopher Null | November 18, 2012 |

The pear gets minimal respect in the booze biz. Heck, even apples have high-end brandies dedicated to them — in multiple countries, no less. In comparison, pear brandies are normally unaged quickie spirits. Finding a pear spirit that’s spent time in oak is almost unheard of. Craft Distillers’ Joe Corley cares not for any of…

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Notes from Domaine Select Wine Estates Pop-Up Tour, October 2012

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2012 |

Our friends at Domaine Select Wine Estates (which handles a lot more than wine) are on the road, “popping up” in a half-dozen cities to let their producers show off their wares. I recently dropped in on the San Francisco installment to experience a few wines that were new to me (1982 Borgogno Barolo, yes…

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The Pisco of Chile: Control C and Espiritu de Elqui Reviewed

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2012 |

Chile celebrates its Independence Day on September 18, and this year the country took the opportunity to revive the battle its been locked in with Peru over who originated — or makes better — the South American spirit of Pisco. Distilled from grapes, Pisco is essentially unaged (usually) brandy, though in Chile they are more…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2012

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2012 |

Another sold-out show this year for WhiskyFest San Francisco, and yet it didn’t feel overly crowded. I missed out on some of the whispered highlights by arriving late, when the rarities were all gone. (John Hansell has some coverage, which I hope to catch up with in coming months.) Otherwise, good times all around. While…

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Review: Courvoisier Gold Cognac Liqueur

By Christopher Null | October 7, 2012 |

Courvoisier is at the forefront of the taking Cognac into new markets, with brandy-and-wine blends like Courvoisier Rose. Now the company is back at it with Courvoisier Gold, a blend of Cognac and Moscato wine. This actually sounds like a great idea — the brisk orange of the Moscato enhancing the citrus notes in the…

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Review: Camus Ile de Re Cognacs

By Christopher Null | September 23, 2012 |

Most (myself included) think of Cognac hailing from a small region in France just north of Bordeaux. But did you know that you can make Cognac (legally) on an island off the coast of France? To be fair, Ile de Re isn’t far offshore — it’s connected to the mainland via a bridge — but…

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Hennessy Releases Limited Edition Artists’ Bottling

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2012 |

Why is there primary color squiggling all over your Hennessy? Because the company hired street artist “Futura” to graffiti up their label for a limited edition run of the Henny. You can check out both the bottle and the artist below. Just 200,000 bottles are being produced. Ahem. Inside it’s still the same Hennessy, VS-class…

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d'usse cognac

Review: D’usse Cognac VSOP

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2012 |

This new Cognac is being launched by Bacardi and endorsed by Jay-Z. The package is one of the snazziest I’ve seen in a long time, and the name, pronounced “dew-say,” is exotic enough to pique anyone’s interest. Produced by a 220-year-old Cognac house, Otard, D’usse is a premium-priced VSOP but is intended mainly as a…

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Review: Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz Pisco Especial

By Christopher Null | August 26, 2012 |

Here’s an oddball review: A bottle of pisco brought back from Chile (which disputes with Peru who originated this Latin spin on unaged brandy) called Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz. Los Artesanos del Cochiguaz’s Pisco is available in a variety of proof levels (not to mention a variety of other spirits). This one is bottled at…

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