What Does Brandy Taste Like? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Brandy is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juices, most often grape. It is a fruity, sweet liquor that is equally enjoyable on its own or in cocktails. However, Brandy isn’t just all about being sweet and fruity. It has a more distinct flavor that is too exciting to discover.

What does brandy taste like? To help you get a better sense of what brandy tastes like, let’s take a deeper “look” at its flavor.

A Sip Of Brandy 

St. Remy VSOP Brandy

The term brandy comes from the Dutch word brandewijn, which translates as “burned wine.” Brandy is a spirit created from fermented fruit juice, most commonly grape juice. Additionally, apricots, apples, and cherries are the alternative fruits to make brandy

The flavor of brandy is fruity and somewhat sweet. Additionally, it may have an oak flavor, often aged in wooden barrels. With age, brandy’s flavor becomes more mellow and rich—less than two years old. On the other hand, more than two-year-old brandies are considered mature.

6 Different Types & Their Taste

6 Different Types & Their Taste

1. Brandy de Jerez

The flavor of Spanish brandy is complex, with overtones of dark dried fruit and caramel and a hint of salt. This Spanish brandy is from grapes and other fruits in Spain’s Sherry Triangle region. But, what’s the difference between brandy and sherry?

Spanish brandy originates in two distinct regions: Brandy de Jerez is produced in hot and tropical Andalucia, whereas Torres brandy is manufactured in Catalonia’s Mediterranean climate.

2. Pisco


This brandy is produced in Peru and Chile using grapes. Pisco is named after the same-named port in Peru. Pisco has a slight wine-like aroma, yet the fumes are strong enough to open your sinuses. 

There is still a burning sensation, but it’ll not cause you to cough or spit. Otherwise, the flavor was similar to the aroma — grape, with notes of something a little bit crisp and stimulating, like a somewhat tart apple. 

3. Calvados

Calvados is a Normandy cider that has been converted into brandy. It is possible to make it with both apples and pears. Calvados is strictly produced in the Normandy region of northern France. 

Calvados is predominantly apple and pear-flavored but frequently includes notes of apricot, baking spices, sweet pastries, and flowers.

Also Read: Most Expensive Brandies in the World

4. Applejack


This apple brandy from New Jersey was founded in 1968. This liquor tastes essentially like apple brandy since it is made from apples. While Applejack has an apple aroma and flavor, it tastes more like a light apple whiskey.

5. Grappa

Grappa is a type of brandy produced in Italy, Switzerland’s Italian section, or San Marino. It is from pomace—wineskin, pulp, seeds, and stems. Pomace brandy can be produced globally, but only grappa produced in Italy is entitled to the name. 

Grappa of high quality has a wide range of berry sweetness tones and a variety of delicate and subtle overtures, ranging from honey to caramel and treacle. It also has the scent of a high-end perfume.

 6. Kirschwasser


Kirsch, or Kirschwasser as more widely known, is a clear cherry brandy. Unlike other cherry-flavored “brandies,” kirsch is not sweet. Kirsch should have a strong cherry and aroma and a mild, bitter flavor from the distilled pits.

Kirsch is widely used in confectioneries such as jubilee cherries and black forest cake, sauces and glazes, and as a filling for chocolate candies. Kirsch is also a favorite addition to mixed drinks.

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Is brandy sweet or bitter?

Brandy is typically sweet and fruity. It is not syrupy sweet but rather gently sweet. Brandy combines whiskey’s alcohol punch and oak notes with the smoothness of sweet wine. The older a brandy becomes, the more mellow and oaky its flavor becomes [1].

Does brandy have a strong taste?

Brandies have a strong taste. The majority of brandies are between 70 and 120 proof. This rate signifies that between 35% and 60% of the drink is alcohol. Compared to a standard beer or wine, brandy is extremely strong [2]. If you’re not really into alcoholic drinks, you can always opt for virgin drinks or mocktails. 

Does brandy taste better than whiskey?

Brandy tastes better than whiskey if you prefer a sweeter taste for your drink. The flavor of brandy varies according to the fruit from which it is manufactured and its age, but they are often sweeter than whiskey.

Key Takeaways

Brandy is an alcohol that is distilled from fruit-based wine. However, it is most commonly associated with grape wines. Brandy can be made from any fruit wine, including pear, plum, or apple. 

The flavor of brandy varies according to the fruit from which it is made and its age, but they are often sweeter than whiskey and have a floral, fresh and dried fruit, and citrus zest aroma, making them great for cocktail recipes.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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