Brandy is a distilled spirit from fermented fruit juice – typically grapes. People have enjoyed brandy for centuries, and it comes in wide varieties, such as cognac, calvados, and pisco.
If you’re new to drinking brandy, you may feel intimidated by the options and various aromatic and tasting notes.
But there are specific brandy options that are perfect for beginners because their notes are intriguing but not overly intense or overwhelming.
Here’s a list of the best brandy for beginners.
Hennessy VS Cognac
Hennessy has some of the best, most complex, and well-aged cognacs, but their VS Cognac is an excellent start because it's not overly dynamic.
It's toasty at first, fruity next, creamy towards the end, and has a delicate floral finish. The journey when sipping this Hennessy is agreeable to many tastes, so it's worth starting with this one.
Courvoisier has a premium selection of cognacs, and they're all worth trying. However, I recommend starting with the VS because the notes are more subtle in this award-winning cognac, and the price of this cognac is beginner-friendly.
It's not as big an investment as the other options if you decide it's not for you.
On the other hand, if you're willing to take a risk and make a big investment, the D'USSÉ VSOP and XO cognacs are excellent brandies to bet on.
The VSOP Cognac is woody with a touch of cinnamon, while the XO is a well-crafted blend of fruity, chocolatey, and nutty notes. You can take your pick or try both, as they have distinct differences.
If smoothness is key for you when sipping alcoholic beverages, you'll enjoy E&J brandy. Having a smooth taste and feel is what it's known for.
Their classic VS brandy is a great start, offering hints of apple, vanilla, and oak in a balanced, approachable way.
Remy Martin Cognac
The XO is Remy Martin's signature offering, as it has enough fruitiness, opulence, smoothness, and longevity without tasting overwhelming or unsettling.
The honey, jasmine, cinnamon, and saffron notes also appeal to a range of sippers.
Paul Masson Brandy
What's unique about Paul Masson is that they also offer a wide variety of flavors, appealing to beginner drinkers who are comfortable with particular tastes over others.
You can choose from peach, apple, pineapple, mango, and redberry; all the flavors are great for mixed drinks.
Martell Cognac XO
Martell XO cognac is a fantastic brandy for beginners because it's more fruity than spicy or punchy and more smooth than bold.
It's perfect for those who want to try a brandy type on the lighter side or have something to pour into mixed drinks instead of drinking it straight.
Christian Brothers Brandy VS
Christian Brothers is another brand that offers an excellent collection of premium brandies that'll be hard to resist after your first sip.
Their VS is the best introductory choice because of its subtle taste and texture. Plus, you can get it at an excellent price. Exploring brandies doesn't have to be pricey.
Camus VSOP Elegance Cognac
Camus VSOP Elegance Cognac is an oak-barrel-aged treat with woody notes. It's delicate and agreeable, making it a fine choice for beginner brandy drinkers.
If you want some fruity or spicier notes to come out, I recommend pouring this cognac over one or two large ice cubes.
Last up is Bertoux Brandy, a famous bottle known for its multi-dimensional flavors. If you want to try brandy for the "tasting journey," this brandy is a fantastic one to start with.
You'll be able to indicate various notes on the nose and tongue, from orange blossom to honeysuckle to nutmeg.
It's also great for making brandy cocktails, like the delicious tasting drink of Sidecar.
With so many brandy options available, from oaky and sweet to spicy yet balanced, there’s something for everyone.
I hope this list of the best brandy for beginners helps you get started with exploring the world of brandy.
If you’re a beginner and have some questions – or are reading this as a brandy aficionado and have some suggestions – please leave a comment below!
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