With a centuries-long production history, brandy varieties appear worldwide, especially in regions with winemaking traditions.
Some of these liquors receive their name from the area they were produced. This is the case for French varieties like Cognac Armagnac from the southwest of the country.
Regional spirits provide some of the best brandy options, but the location isn’t the only factor that makes an excellent liquor.
The type of grape, or other fruit, affects the quality along with the aging process.
This brand of the best brandy provides many options, from unaged varieties to options aged 40 years. The unaged brandy expresses floral notes, especially in the nose, paired with an intense fruitiness. As the brandy ages, deeper flavors develop, like rich berry tones and a distinct woodiness from barrel aging.
The locale in France where this brandy is produced makes a Cognac, using grapes from the famous growing region, Grande Champagne. The blended variety combines three vintage Cognacs produced in the 1980s and ages them an additional ten years. The resulting brandy has an elegant texture with distinctive fruit flavors and vanilla notes.
Maurice Hennessy first developed this spirit in 1870. Popularity and quality ensured this brandy remained among the best for over 100 years. Candied fruit provides the first tasting note, building peppery tones with hints of chocolate. These flavors linger through the finish, ending with robust dark chocolate flavors that make this a delicious option served to drink neat.
Cognac Park VSOP
This French Cognac provides another blended example of the best brandy. The brandies in the blend come from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, and Fins Bois areas. The combination creates a fruity brandy with floral and slight citrus undertones. The expressive notes of this spirit make it an excellent choice for crafting cocktails.
Darroze 40 Year Les Grand Assemblages
Darroze offers blended brandies of various ages, like other varieties on this list. Each Armagnac comes from a nearby region, each adding its own character to the blend. The 40-year-old option stands out with a balance of the natural fruitiness of the brandy, paired with oaky tones imparted through the aging process.
Martell offers a variety of brandies, all of which are classified as Cognacs due to the region and methods of production. The nine offerings range from rare blends of 400 eau de vies with a balance of fruity and spicy flavors to straight varieties with bold flavors ideal for mixing.
Most of the best brandy appearing on this list come from France. However, Bertoux is an American offering from the grape-growing region of California. The blended variety uses aged spirits, creating a richly flavorful yet well-rounded product. The brand curated these characteristics to develop an excellent spirit for pairing in cocktails.
Camus XO Borderies
Unlike blended options, this Cognac uses single-estate-grown grapes from the Camus family vineyards. The family uses sustainable practices, ensuring they can produce quality brandy for years to come. Strong, rich tastes characterize the spirit with intense sweet notes paired with spice. The brandy also boasts an exquisitely smooth texture, perfect for sipping.
Distillers craft this spirit in the Bolivian Andes, using a muscat variety of grapes first brought to the region nearly 500 years ago. The award winner has a unique fruity flavor and a cleaner finish than other brandies. Manufacturers of Singani believe the spirit's character makes it unique enough to deserve a classification of liquor.
Remy Martin provides a large selection of Cognacs, including a line of limited-edition brandies perfect for gifting. One of their unique offerings is their XO variety, formulated for pairing with Lunar New Year fare. The long-lasting finish showcases the fruitiness and richness that make this an excellent choice for crafting cocktails.
Deau VS Cognac
This French product pairs a balance of flavors with woody notes from barrel aging. The nose of this spirit is quite expressive as well. Taste is just part of what makes this example of the best brandy so special. The spirit showcases a delicate texture with distinctive smoothness that makes this brandy perfect for sipping neat.
This European variety is a German product using grapes grown near the Rhine River. This example of the best brandy is another blend, using 25 types of wine, resulting in a smooth sipping option. Sweet notes of stone fruit and honey paired with notes of almond. These nutty tones shine in the finish and on the nose of the spirit.
This California brand makes three varieties of brandy, including an extra-aged spirit and a single barrel variety. Germain Robin crafts its flagship offering from regional Colombard grapes. The brandy ages in Limousin oak barrels from France, developing fruity notes in conjunction with woody spice. In addition to these bold flavors, subtle floral notes are also present.
Torres offers several types of brandy crafted in Spain. The most awarded of the brand’s offerings is Torres 20. The brandy uses Parellada and Ugni Blanc grapes, which are twice distilled separately before being combined. The resulting spirit has a dark amber color rich with notes of vanilla and spice.
Philbert Rare Cask Sherry Finish
This French brandy gains its unique flavor from completing the aging process in Oloroso Sherry casks. Along with nutty tones, this finishing process leaves the spirit with flavors of rich red berries. Philbert’s unique offering won a gold medal at San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2016.
Consider using these examples of the best brandy to stock your bar for any occasion.
Whether you plan on crafting cocktails, whether it’s complex or sipping the spirit neat. There are plenty of options, no matter your intentions.
Did we miss your favorite brandy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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