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Brandies (Cognac)

Brandy is one of the very oldest forms of spirits. As a general matter, brandy can be made from any fruit or pomace (i.e., what's left of the fruit after the juice has been pressed out).  Certain brandies can only be made from specific fruits in tightly controlled ways. There are many different brandy distillation traditions and techniques. Depending on the type of brandy, it may be traditionally unaged (e.g., eau de vie) or aged in wood (e.g., cognac). The very best unaged brandies are prized for their vibrant aromatics; they can smell startlingly like the fresh fruit from which they were made. The very best aged brandies, especially cognac, are created using complex aging techniques and become a wholly different spirit as they age.

Brandy - The Burned Wine

Not necessarily but most-commonly made from grapes, brandy wine is the name of the burned wine, or mostly known as brandy. To produce brandy, the wine is heated to the point of evaporation, leaving the impurities of the grape liquid behind. Being Francais’ signature drink, the most famous, quality brandy brands come from Southwest France.

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The brandy drink may also be a liquor obtained from the fermentation of other fruits. Apple brandy, cherry brandy, plum, pear and peach brandy are also quite common brandy liquors. So, what is brandy? Brandy is a spirit made with a simple technique of fermenting any kind of fruit. Practically, brandy is a drink for everyone, from aristocratic connoisseurs to party animals and liquor indulgers.  

The Different Types of Unaged and Aged Brandies

Containing from 35 to 60 percent of alcohol per volume, a brandy drink can be unaged or aged. Aged or older brandies differ from non-aged brandies in many different aspects depending on the aging period. Brandies age in wooden barrels which will add colour and flavour to the spirit. It is also common for some brandy brands to enrich the liquor with caramel in order to get a deeper colour. Some argue, a combination of caramel and several years of aging produces the best brandy drink.

Among the most famous and renewed brandies are the aged Cognac and Armagnac originally from France. Pisco is another famous brandy, the national spirit of Peru and Chile. 

Brandy Ratings

Brandy liquor is generally rated by age and the quality of the aging process. Criteria differ from country to country, however, there are some general ratings for brandies and cognac brandy. They can help you choose the type of brandy alcohol you wish to try.

  • 3 stars of V.S. - Very Special - A brandy liquor aged for at least two years
  • V.S.O.P. - Very Superior Old Pale - A brandy liquor aged for at least four years
      • X.O. - Extra Old - A brandy liquor aged for more than six years
  • Vintage - a bottle of brandy older than 10 years is marked as vintage. A vintage bottle of brandy usually features the year of production on the bottle label.

  • How to Drink Brandy

    The traditional serving is a glass of neat brandy or brandy mixed with soda as an after-dinner drink. 

    Most young brandies, including brandies aged for two or three years at most are especially used in different cocktail recipes. Older brandies like quality cognacs are aged to be enjoyed neat. Aged brandy or cognac is served at room temperature in a tumbler glass. Traditionally, before taking a sip, the glass should be held in the hand to warm up the liquor in order to release its natural flavors or add a small drop of water to help open up the aromas and flavours.

    The Best Premium Brandy Labels

    The most premium brandy Singapore wide, available at our online store, is the Pierre Ferrand 1972 Vintage Champagne Brandy. Aged for decades, this bottle of brandy is pure vintage art from the liquor to the packaging. The best cognac for value is the Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Agnes 30 year as where else can you get a 30 year old Cognac for less than $300? Other labels’ exclusive XO brandy bottles are also available, only at the EC Proof online store.