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15 Best Brandy Brands Ranked & Reviewed (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on July 19, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Brandy is a world-class distilled spirit and one of the most diverse liquors ranging from classic brown to flavored ones. It’s often described as a man’s drink because of its strength, relaxing quality, and warm nature. 

If you are a wine enthusiast just like us, you may want to check out our curated list of the best brandy brands you have to try. 

Top 15 Brandy Brands You Need To Try 

1. Remy Martin

Remy Martin on desk
Remy Martin is a popular cognac house in France. Its flagship product, Rémy Martin Louis XIII, has a luxurious taste and an expensive price tag of around $2,000 per bottle. 

Remy Martin produces cognacs, a type of brandy that has a strict requirement regulated by the French Law where it should be produced from the Cognac region only [1].

The brandy they produced came from fermented fruit mash made from Ugni Blanc grapes, and it has almost ten bottlings. Let’s compare Remy Martin and Branson cognac here

2. Hennessy

Hennessy on desk

Hennessy is one of the most famous brandy brands worldwide, and it is considered one of the oldest distilleries in France. It is a type of brandy that uses grape varieties from the Cognac region of France and follows strict regulations in making Cognac brandy. 

Hennesy is one of the best brandy brands widely used in classic cocktails. The fermented fruit juice is distilled twice before aging in oak barrels and is aged for a minimum of two years. There are almost ten types of Hennessy on the market, and Hennessy Paradis Imperial is its most expensive brandy bottle

Also Read: Most Expensive Hennessy Bottles

3. Martell

Martell on desk

Martell brandy is considered one of the best brandy brands, and its distillery can be found in France. The brand is also the first producer of cognac that exported the best brandy to the United States. 

Do you know that Martell has a secret cellar for older Eaux-de-vie? The Eaux-de-vie are stored in a secret cellar, including “Paradis” and other aged brandy dated 1830. 

The brand sells budget brandy like the Martel VS Single Distillery and its most expensive L’OR De Jean Martell, roughly $4,000 per bottle in 80 proof. 

4. Giffard

Giffard

Giffard is another drinking brandy that has been produced in France since the 1800s. The grape brandy has a unique flavor profile because of its aging process and additional distillation before bottling. 

Giffard Vins Fins de France Eau de Vie is traditional brandy produced with slow maceration to ensure that it will not compromise the taste of the best brandy. It is also a complex beverage, and unlike a fruity brandy, it does not have a consistent taste. Like other sipping brandy, 

5. Barsol Pisco

Barsol Pisco

Barsol Pisco is the best brandy and is a pride of Peru’s Ica Valley. Its distillery is located at the Bodega San Isidro, which started in the 1800s. Barsol Pisco uses grapes harvested at their peak of maturity and is gently pressed to ensure it has a low tannic acid content. 

Barsol Pisco, a South American brandy, is fermented naturally with wild yeast and is distilled once before aging in an inert vessel. Like a fruit brandy, it has a very aromatic essence of grapes and has exceptional purity. 

6. Darroze 40 Year Les Grand Assemblages

Armagnac

Darroze 40 Year Les Grand Assemblages is an Armagnac, a delicious brandy with a richer, more textural, and rustic than cognacs. This brandy goes through a single distillation in a simple column still.

Moreso, this 40-year-old Les Grand Armagnac comes with a fruity, nutty, citrusy, rich flavor, along with a smooth finish. You can have this amazing brandy at roughly less than $200 a bottle.

7. Asbach

Asbach on desk

Asbach is a German brandy produced by Asbach GmbH, and its history dates back to 1892. The German brandy has an interesting heavy and fruity taste with almost the same profile as bourbon. If you are into Jack Daniels, you may want to try this smooth brandy. 

Asbach is a budget-friendly brandy, and you can score a 750 ml bottle for roughly $30 only. In addition, it has 40% ABV making it a good brandy for after-dinner and leisure purposes. 

8. Bardinet Napoleon

Bardinet Napoleon

Bardinet Napoleon is an internationally acclaimed French brandy and is ranked as one of the world’s internationally sold brandies. Bardinet Napoleon produced their first brandy almost 150 years ago, and it is one of the best brandies you should try. 

Grapes are carefully selected and crushed before fermented and undergo a distillation process in column stills. It is then patiently matured in oak casks and then blended before bottling. 

9. Torres 10

Torres 10

Torres 10 is a well-recognized Spanish brandy globally because of its rich aroma and unique balance. The Spanish brandy has a dark topaz color with hints of gold. In addition, it has intense aromatic notes of oak and warm hints of vanilla, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. 

Torres 10 from Penedes, Spain, is considered the best brandy because of over 80 years of brand expertise in producing distilled spirit drinks. 

10. Bertoux 

Bertoux 

Bertoux is one of the best brandies from California, and it is known because it utilizes a Solera Style method for blending and aging the brandy. 

Bertoux is a brandy that is best sipped neat but is also a great brandy cocktail made by bartenders for bartenders. Not all brandies are ideal for drinking with mixers, but it is a popular ingredient for fruit-based cocktails because of their natural sweetness. 

If you are into brandy cocktails, Bertoux brandy is a great brandy you should try because it compliments well with mixers too. 

11. Delamain

Delamain

Delamain is one of the best brandy brands from the Cognac Region in France and has been known to produce brandy since 1824. The brand produces XO cognac (Extra Old) and above cognacs and is specifically produced in the Grande Champagne region. 

Delamain is the best cognac with wonderful vanilla, toasted oak, and citrus notes with a noticeable long dry finish.

The brandy uses french oak barrels for maturity, and the cognac distiller is known for its centuries of wisdom and commitment to producing quality spirits. But what are the top XO cognacs for the money?

12. Germain Robin 

Germain Robin 

Germain Robin is a classic California brandy with 40% ABV. It is a surprisingly great brandy made from top-notch wine grapes, and unlike France, with strict rules of production, Germain Robin has a libertarian attitude towards the spirit [2].

Hubert Germain Robin, the master distiller, uses Colombard grapes for accessible flagship bottling and Pruhlo Charentais copper pot stills and limousin oak barrels for quality taste. 

13. Paul Masson

Paul Masson

If you are a wine enthusiast, we are sure that you came across a bottle of Paul Masson; after all, brandy is a distilled wine. Paul Masson is a bang for your buck brandy known for its low cost but high-quality distilled spirit made in California. 

The label offers different types of dried fruit flavor brandies and is known for its Pear brandy, Apple Brandy, Apricot Brandy, and Cherry Brandy. However, Paul Masson VS cognac works best if you are looking for a brandy that goes well with candied orange, ginger ale, orange blossom, or lime juice. 

14. Courvoisier

Courvoisier

Courvoisier has a boasting perfect balance of taste and aroma. Courvoisier from Charente, France, will give you a bold-tasting brandy experience if you have a soft spot for drinking brandy. 

The line is the smallest and youngest of the big four cognac houses producing France’s best cognac. The grapes used for the brandy are double distilled to ensure their smoothness and its aging makes it one of the best brandies in France. 

15. Philbert 

Philbert

Last on our list, but never the least, is the Philbert Cognac, a traditional cognac produced in France with limited quantity. The cognac producer uses the oldest cognac producing method to create the best tasting brandy available in the USA and France. 

Philbert brandy has hints of fudge and honey, and it has a rich, deep full-flavor brandy. It has a fine oak texture and smooth flow for the palate and is best to drink neat. 

Read: Davidoff Cognac Price Guide

Jurisdictional Requirements To Be Called Brandy

Brandy came from the Dutch word “brandewijn,” meaning “burnt wine” [3]. Like other liquors, it has jurisdictional requirements to be considered and is called brandy, which can depend on the location where it is made.

In the European Union, brandy, except “grain brandy,” needs to be produced and distilled using grape-based wine and aged for a minimum of six months in oak barrels. In addition, the pomace brandy label should only be used in EU products. 

In the US, it is required to clarify the type of brandy, such as “apple brandy or fruit brandy,” and it must be aged in oak for more than two years; if not, it should be labeled “immature.” 

In Canada, brandy should be distilled from wine, aged for a minimum of six months (sherry casks or any wood casks), and flavorings are allowed. 

Read: Recommended Cognac Brands Under $200

Three Main Types of Brandy

Three Main Types of Brandy

Brandy 

Brandy is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit, and while it is common to use grapes, you can use ripe pear, peaches, apples, and other fruits [4]. It has 40%-50% ABV, and its origin is in either Spain, the US, France, Italy, or South America.

Armagnac

Armagnac

Armagnac is another type of brandy that came from Gascony, a slightly farther south of France, and it uses different grapes like Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard, and more. 

Unlike other brandies, Armagnac is distilled once in column stills making it more aromatic and lively. It has a lower ABV and is a little rougher due to its distillation process but is considered a bold yet balanced expression. 

Cognac 

Cognac is a type of brandy made from Saint Emilion grapes or Ugni Blanc, and by law, it should be distilled twice and matured for at least two years in a barrel. The premium white grapes are pressed and fermented before distillation and blending. 

Different lines produce cognac, and some of the most popular are Hennessy, Remy Martin, and Courvoisier. 

Read:

Grading System 

Grading System 

XO

XO or Extra Old means the brandy is aged for a minimum of ten years in barrels before bottling. Previously, XO was aged six years, and this grading system was scheduled for implementation in 2016. However, due to inadequate stocks, it was increased to 10 years last April 2018. 

VSOP or Five Stars

VSOP or Five Stars

VSOP stands for Very Superior Old Pale, and it is designated to be a blend of brandy that is matured for at least four years in a barrel. 

When it comes to cognac, the youngest blend must be four years, while for Armagnac, it should be five years. The term old pale came to refer to the caramel coloring of the brandy and is considered a five-star brandy.  

VS or Three Stars

VS stands for Very Special, and it is often referred to as a three stars brandy. VS Cognac is the youngest brandy that only requires two years of maturation inside the casks before blending and bottling. It is the youngest of all the brandy types that meet the requirement of being a cognac. 

Hors d’âge

Hors d’âge

Hors d’âge means “beyond age.” This type of aging statement indicates older and premium releases of brandy brands. When it comes to cognac brandy, Hors d’âge has an average of 30 years and above blends, and it can be up to 100 years old. Learn how to make cognac at home here

FAQs 

Which brand of brandy is good for health?

Remy Martin is the brand of brandy that is good for your health, especially the XO series. The eau de vie has ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant good for your health. In addition, it neutralizes free radicals in your body plus prevents poor vision, aging, and cognitive issues. 

Is it alright to drink brandy every day?

Yes, it is alright to drink brandy every day but make sure to limit yourself to one standard drink (women) and two standard drinks (men). While brandy gives health benefits, it may impose potential health risks if you drink too much. Excessive drinking may put you at high risk of liver damage and many more. 

Key Takeaways 

The best brandy brands you may want to add to your collection or get to try for any occasion are listed above. It is often essential to know the origin, ingredients, maturation, and production methods used by brandy brands to deliver brandy’s sweet and smooth character.  

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cognac 
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimwesterman/2020/07/31/germain-robins-artisanal-brandy-is-a-classic-california-spirit/ 
  3. https://www.wikihow.com/Drink-Brandy 
  4. https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-brandy-760698

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