What is Brandy?

Brandy is a strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice (grapes, apples, peaches, plums).

It’s usually aged in wooden barrels to develop an amber colour and a distinctive flavour. The aging can take 3-50 years depending on the quality and the brandy. Once brandy is bottled, it does not improve in taste or flavour.

Famous brandies produced in France are Cognac (40% alcohol by volume) and Armagnac (40-43% alcohol by volume). Armagnac de Montal costs about $3,000 CAD.

Other less expensive brandies, made from fermented fruit juice include Pear Brandy, Cherry Brandy, Orange Brandy, Plum Brandy and Apricot Brandy just to mention a few. The alcohol content varies from 38-46% by volume.

Classification of Brandy

Brandy is classified as:

  •  V.S. (Very Special) or ✯✯✯ (three stars);
  • V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) or Reserve;
  • XO (Extra Old) or Napoléon;
  • Hors d’âge (Beyond Age)

Manufacturers include: Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin, Jacquiot just to mention a few.

Jacquiot’s XO (Extra Old) Cognac

By Armanshow [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Jacquiot’s XO Cognac is the successful result of a long ageing period enabling it to produce aromas of autumn woodlands and rich spices, obtained by the slow alchemy that takes place over the years, over the years of ageing between the cognac and the oak casks.

Jacquiot’s XO Cognac is best appreciated after a meal, the ideal time to let oneself be charmed by the complexity of this cognac’s superb aromas. It may also be served with a chocolate dessert or with a coffee. (Jacquiot)

St-Remy Authentic VSOP Brandy

St-Remy is a versatile brandy, carefully aged in small French oak barrels, revealing an intense bouquet of exquisite fruity and floral aromas, accented with subtle tones of vanilla.

This aromatic fruity and spicy brandy is perfect for mixing or sipping solo.


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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