What do you need to know about brandy?
- Different types of brandy
- Ways to drink brandy
- Best brandy brands
Different Types Of Brandy
There are a variety of brandy types. Each one has a distinct distillation and aging process that lends the final drink a varying blend.
Cognac is a French brandy often associated with luxury due to its meticulous two-stage distillation method. In order for a brandy to be considered a Cognac, it has to be produced 90% from ugni blanc, folle blanche, and colombard grapes grown in the AOC-protected, southwestern region of France, while the remaining 10% can be from other grape varieties such as meslier st-françois, folignan, montils, and jurancon blanc. There, the alcoholic drink is distilled in copper pot stills and aged for at least two years inside Limousin and Troncais oak wood barrels. Once the aging process drops the alcohol’s concentration to 40% ABV, it is bottled and sold. On the palate, it leaves subtle flavors of dried fruit and warm spices like chocolate, toffee, and cigars.
Armagnac is another French brandy that is protected by an AOC and produced in the Gascony region. It is also created from a variety of grapes such as folle blanche, ugni blanc, and colombard. However, the most distinct characteristic of Armagnac brandy is that it only goes through a single distillation process inside column stills. It is also aged for about 10 years, which results in a richer and complex taste with hints of caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Armagnac brandy typically has about 46 to 48% ABV.
Spanish Brandy is produced all the way from the Andalusian region of Spain. It is a brandy-aged oak cask previously used for sherry wine, which creates a distinct sweet yet fuller flavor. Think hints of dried fruit and spices.
Ways To Drink Brandy
Traditionally, brandy is drunk neat or on the rocks. High-end Cognacs and Armagnac are particularly sipped neat without ice to avoid overarching the delicate flavors. Nonetheless, brandy is a versatile liquor that can also be enjoyed as an excellent cocktail base. You can grab a few mixers and syrups to whip up some metropolitan brandy, brandy sidecar, or sangria.
Best Brandy Brands
The best brandy brands are enjoyed in the Philippines and all over the world. Some of the most famous brands of brandy include Hennessy, Remy Martin, and Fundador.
Hennessy is one of the globally recognized brands of Cognac brandy. The spirit was created in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy. Depending on the type of bottle you drink, Hennessy can offer flavors of oak, vanilla, and spices. The Hennessy VS is the world's most popular cognac of recognized superior quality. With a full body, it has flavors of toasted nuts and fruits, floral notes, vanilla spice, and plenty of oak.
Remy Martin is another reputable Cognac brandy. It blends 1,200 individual eaux-de-vie from grande vineyards. As a benchmark in blending VSOP, a must-try is the Remy Martin VSOP Authentic French Brandy. It brings out a well-rounded and sweet oak flavor, perfect for drinking neat.
Fundador is a brandy from Jerez, Spain. At 28% ABV, the Fundador Light is aged in American oak barrels that are previously used to distill Sherry wine. This brandy has a subtle and smooth flavor marked by a touch of caramel and a slight wooden scent.
Whether you’ve been a brandy drinker for the longest time or just looking for a new drink to shake up your party’s liquor menu, brandy is an excellent spirit with a variety of types to choose from. In this guide to brandy, we’ve rounded up the different types of brandy, ways to drink brandy, and the best brandy brands you need to try.
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