There’s a reason the brandy drink has been called the elixir of the gods. It is an exquisite drink filled with elegance and refinement.
Brandy is essentially distilled wine. As so happens, its invention was somewhat accidental. The Italian winemakers decided to distill the wine they produced to make it easier for transport.
The initial idea was to transport the distilled wine and reverse the process once it has arrived at its destination and sell it as wine again.
Little did they know that the distilled wine would taste just as delicious as the wine before the distilling. The name itself “brandy” means burnt wine.
Because it is made by distilling wine, brandy tastes fruity and sweet. Most brandies are made from fermented grapes, but as the popularity of the drink rose, there were experiments done with other fruits too. So nowadays, we can find apple brandy, cherry brandy, or apricot, peach, pear, and similar variants.
Considering how popular brandy has become today, there are countless brandy brands producing and selling brandy worldwide.
So what are the best brandy brands?
Knowing how to choose the best brandy brand plays a massive role in how much you enjoy your drink. What separates a good brandy from a lousy one is the speed at which it makes you drunk. A good brandy will get you drunk slower and more gradually, while a bad brandy will do it quickly and abruptly.
A good brandy is smooth, sweet, and flavorful and is easy to drink neat. On the other hand, a low-quality brandy is not as easy to drink as it is because you will have to dilute it with something, such as ice or water, or mix it another way. It is also unnecessarily aggressive and not enjoyable as a good-quality brandy.
In the following article, I will discuss and describe some of the best brands of brandy to help you select the best drink to make the most of your brandy experience.
1. Philbert Rare Cask Sherry Finish
This is a cognac that praises itself by being all natural with no artificial flavors or additives. It has a full round flavor dominated by fermented grapes tastes. It ages in sherry casks, where it picks up the irresistible cherry smoky aroma.
It is a smooth brandy with a long finish and a noticeable yet elegant and refined burn.
This is one of the most popular and most expensive brandies. It has a full-bodied, fruity flavor of fermented grapes from the Cognac region in France. It ages for two years in oak barrels, where it picks up its smooth, smoky flavor, making it resemble pure velvet as it slides down your throat.
If there’s a synonym for this exquisite delicacy, it is enjoyment.
3. Darroze 40 Les Grand Assemblages
This is an Armagnac brandy with more rustic rather than elegant notes, so if you enjoy the rougher and less polished yet full and colorful flavors, this is definitely your brandy.
It tastes fruity, nutty, and citrusy, with an overall rich flavor and a smooth finish. It is a little rough around the edges, creating a noticeable and warm burn, but nevertheless, it is a high-quality brandy worthy of its place on this list.
4. Hine Homage- Cognac
Intensely fruity and floral, this brandy is slowly matured in oak barrels used to mature other types of brandy. It incorporates the flavors of the other brandies aged in the same barrels and has an irresistible smoothness and complexity to its flavor and aromas.
Each sip is different as the brandy’s temperature changes, so it starts with colder floral notes and continues to warmer fruity whiffs. Intended for slow sipping; by the time you are done with the glass, you will notice the burn getting gentler and warmer.
A truly extraordinary beverage which is definitely worth your while.
5. Augier L’Oceanique
Tasting like ripe citrus, delicate spices, and grapefruit, this bandy will amaze you with the complex combination of flavors. It is sharp and spicy, with hints of salt that intensifies the flavors with each new sip.
This brandy leaves you with a refined and smooth burn that will stay with you a while after you’ve swallowed your sip of enjoyment. It has a honey-blond color that will capture your attention and curiosity at first glance, only to bring you closer and closer with its playfulness and seductiveness.
Clean and smooth with a strong orange note, this cognac is a pretty young brandy, aging only two years. Nevertheless, it is sweet and gentle, with a sherbet-like sweetness you won’t be able to resist.
This brandy works excellently alone, but it works even better when mixed with ginger ale, sparkling wine, and sparkling water. The noticeable orange note calls for some bubbliness to accentuate the other notes in this absolutely delicious beverage.
7. Bertoux Brandy
Aged for seven years in American oak barrels, this alcoholic delicacy is most popular among bartenders because it is excellent for mixing and makes it smooth and perfectly delicious to sip alone.
It starts with a strong caramel flavor, continuing with burnt sugar notes, ending long and sweet with an intense apricot dimension. This brandy goes exceptionally well with vermouth or whiskey.
8. Camus Borderies
Mellow, smooth, and sweet with expressive grape flavor and fruity aroma, you will definitely be taken aback by this French brandy.
It starts slowly and gently showing you the grape notes, only to completely seduce you with the hidden fig and walnut dimension that makes this brandy unique and extraordinarily delicious.
It is excellent for slow sipping, but mixing this brandy is a shame, as you won’t be able to fully receive what it has to offer, though it mixes excellently with whiskey and sparkly wine.
9. Osocalis Apple Brandy
This apple brandy is an old soul balancing perfectly between cloying and tart. If you blind taste it, you will undoubtedly think it is at least 20 years old, while it ages for up to 15 years.
The first thing you will notice about this brandy is the smoothness and silkiness of each sip. It will start you off with an apple freshness, continue with fruity sweetness, and finishes long, gentle and smooth, with the most beautiful burn you can imagine.
10. Singani 63
This South American brandy, with a centuries-long tradition that can be traced back to the 1500s, is genuinely a depiction of the playful South American culture and the wildness of the South American nature.
It is made of grapes grown in the Andes, with an incredibly seductive aroma and a heavenly sweetness. The floral and fruity features make this brandy not only a delicacy to have on its own but also an excellent mixing pair for cocktails.
11. Cognac Park VSOP
Fresh and citrusy, dominated by the expressive orange flavor, this brandy ages for four years but passes for much older. This brandy is highly recommended for red sangria, even though it is a genuine flavor explosion in itself.
Although brandy is a spirit and is thin in texture, this particular brandy is so rich in texture that it is almost creamy. The citrus notes mix so well with the rest of the included flavors that you will be truly amazed by the smoothness and richness of this beverage.
12. Lepanto Brandy Solera Gran Reserva
Made by using the solera system, i.e., charcoal filtration, this brandy won’t seduce with its color as it is pretty mild, without the recognizable brandy-rich appearance, but the filtration process by means diminishes the taste.
On the contrary, the solera procedure intensifies the flavors incorporated in this brandy, making it taste rich and sweet, to say the least.
In more detail, its flavor is rich with nuts, dried fruit, and cocoa notes, whereby the long smooth finish is the cherry on top of this extraordinarily delicious beverage.
Remy Martin is a type of cognac with a rich, luxurious taste, full-bodied aroma, and a long smooth finish to round everything up nicely. It is expressively fruity and floral, with the sweetness and age merged, creating this master piece that is the flagship of the brand itself.
If you are a fan of extreme refinement, this is your drink. It may hit you a little harder on your pocket, but it will definitely be worth every penny.
Located in France, this is one of the best brands of brandy. With its honey-rich color and sweet but spicy flavor, this brandy will definitely allure you with its full-bodied structure. Smooth but strong, this spirit will leave you with the warmest smoothest burn you will ever feel.
It has expressive sweet, floral, and fruity notes, rounded up by the incredibly velvety finish. The distillery has a century-long tradition, over 500 years, and during this time, they have truly perfected the art of brandy-making.
Additionally distilled before bottling, this grape brandy is one of the purest brandy brands. It is sweet, seductive, floral, and aromatic. It is a bit sharper but definitely worth it, as it leaves you with a burn you just cannot resist.
16. Barsol Pisco
Made by fermenting grapes in their peak maturity, this is an exquisite and a very specific-tasting brandy. It has a tradition over two centuries old during which the brand had perfected its techniques and distilling methods.
This brandy is definitely not for everyone, and if you don’t have a preference for edgy and strong, this is not your brandy. It has a strong fermented flavor and is slightly acidic and zesty.
Nevertheless, it is refined and elegant, smooth and warm. It leaves you with a noticeable and sharp, but at the same time gentle burn and a slight bubbly sensation.
Fruity, heavy, floral, and rich, this German brandy is definitely for the seasoned brandy enthusiasts because the more inexperienced ones are likely to describe it as strong and hot without even noticing the smooth, smoky dimension of the drink.
It tastes similar to Jack Daniels, and it resembles bourbon. It also has a honey-like sweetness that makes it glide smoothly through your throat, leaving you with a warm and soothing burn.
18. Bardinet Napoleon
From its appearance to its smoothness, everything about this cognac says refinement. Made of matured grapes, with a tradition of over 150 years, the Bardinet Napoleon brandy will not leave you indifferent.
Before fermenting, the grapes are crushed, and after distillation, this brandy is left to mature oak casks and are blended before bottling.
Sweet, fruity, and smooth, this brandy has been ranked as one of the world’s best brandy brands. Although it has a very particular flavor, it somehow appeals to many people with different preferences. This brandy is definitely one of the most versatile on the market, with an abundance of flavors, aromas, and dimensions.
19. Torres 10
Torres 10 is a Spanish brandy brand with a deep, dark honey color. It is intense in flavor but not strong. It is so gentle that it is almost creamy, with noticeable hints of vanilla, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.
To make things even better, there is the smoky oak aroma interspersed with vanilla and caramel notes. This Spanish delicacy has been on the top of the brandy market for over 80 years.
This brandy falls under the XO- extra old category. It is one of the best known and best quality cognacs produced exclusively in the Cognac region.
This brandy is definitely smooth and refined, with a dry and long finish that will stay with you for a while. Its vanilla notes, toasted oak, and citrus flavors are known. It ages in oak barrels and is a product of centuries-old tradition and wisdom.
21. Germain Robin
Made with carefully selected, top-notch grapes and aged in copper casks, this brandy tastes very particular and has a hint of metal, but nevertheless, it is incredibly delicious. What is so special about this brandy is the liberal production procedure making this brandy different than most.
It has a floral start, accompanied by a fruity dimension, ending on a citrus note with a dry finish.
One of the finest brandies on the world brandy market, this brandy is definitely worth mentioning on this list. French-made, bold, and smooth, this brandy will definitely seduce you even if your palate is not as experienced in the brandy department.
The grapes used for this brandy are twice distilled and are then left to age in oak barrels. The Courvoisier is known and loved for its smoothness and drinking ease. Its trademark burn starts from the throat and goes down your body, leaving a warm and flavorful trace.
23. Martell Blue Swift
Aged in whiskey barrels, this brandy is an excellent whiskey stand-in. It starts with a fruity note, and it goes on with vanilla and sweet fruity flavors. It finishes with a whiskey whiff and whiskey-like burn.
This brandy is best characterized as strong and full-bodied but smooth and refined at the same time. It is definitely worthy of attention and of its spot on this list.
Aged slowly creating a depth of flavor, making this brandy taste strong and smooth at the same time, the Hine brandy is intensely floral with notes of cedar and coconut.
It is very gentle and immensely refined, as the aging process makes it velvet smooth with the most pleasant burn you can imagine.
Originally intended to sell as cognac, Metaxa is a strong Greek brandy that couldn’t be advertised as cognac because it hasn’t been produced in the Cognac region. Nevertheless, it meets the other requirements for it to be considered a high-quality and smooth product.
Metaxa is a bit stronger than the other European brandy brands, but it is just as smooth and refined. It ages in oak barrels and is, therefore, incredibly flavorful and aromatic.
Combining three types of grapes, this brandy is very flavorful and expressively fruity. It starts with soft vanilla notes, and then it continues with a sweet grapes flavor. It has an indescribable smoothness followed by a warm and highly aromatic burn.
Bolivia’s finest, indeed. Made of white Muscat Alexandria grapes, this brandy is one of the top brandies in the Bolivian brandy market. The demand for this brandy is so high that it is mass-produced in Bolivia with a very wide audience.
Fresh, fruity, and smooth, this brandy has a Mediterranean dimension and an indescribable smoothness. The burn is velvety and not very strong.
This brandy is definitely for you if you like expressive fruity flavors and an elegant mildness. It is definitely worth every chance.
What Brandy Is Best?
The overall best brandy for 2022 is Hennessy, with over a whopping 50 million bottles sold annually. The Hennessy brandy is a type of cognac known for its exquisite smoothness and refinement that are typical for the cognac spirit.
However, what makes Hennessy so special is the hard work and attention the brand invests in this beverage with the surgeon-like precision of growing and harvesting the grapes used to make this drink.
The Hennessy bandy definitely deserves its title, and it bravely defends this among its strong competitors.
What Is the Smoothest- Tasting Brandy?
The smoothest-tasting brandy would definitely be Martell XO (extra old). Because this brandy is nicely aged, it has a velvety, almost creamy consistency that slides down the throat, coating and preparing it for the next sip.
It is absolutely delicious, and it you can feel notes of citrus, blossom, and walnut and an aroma of black pepper, fig, almond, and sandalwood.
Initially, it allures you with its citrus flavor, fooling you that it is a tad more aggressive than you expected. In the middle, it is floral and sweet, toning down the sharpness and enveloping the overall taste with a delightful walnut dimension.
In the end, it finishes with a black pepper aroma, interspaced with fig sweetness, almond, and sandalwood, only to burn you so softly you will never want it to end.
The Martell XO is definitely an extraordinarily refined and smooth brandy, worthy of every praise and compliment.
Who Makes the Best Brandy in the World?
To single out one brandy producing company as the one that makes the best brandy in the world would be insulting to the other quality brandy producers. However, every year, there is a spirit competition in San Francisco where over 3000 brands compete in different categories.
This year the brandy category counted 150 competitors. From those 150 competitors, the Camus cognac was selected as the one that met all the criteria required for the spirit to be declared as the best.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the other brandy-making brands are to be underestimated. The Hennessy, Martell, Old Admiral, Courvoisier, Remy Martin, and alike are also top-quality, high-end brandy producing brands worthy of mentioning under this section.
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Which Is the Most Famous Brandy?
There isn’t one single brandy that can be declared as the most famous brandy, as there are many producers and brands, each of them having its own audience and famous among its regular consumers.
Singling out one brand as the most famous would be inaccurate, as some may have never heard of it and know everything about another one.
Therefore, I will mention a few of the most famous brandy brands. Old Kenisberg and Courvoisier are very well-known among the cognac lovers. Torres is famous among those who love playful and versatile brandies.
Paul Mason and Martell are beloved by those who love aged and smooth brandies, and Old Admiral and Emperador are famous among those who love strong and sharp spirits with a strong and warm burn.
In summation, there are at least 20 world-known high-quality brandy brands, each appealing to a different customer profile but equally exquisite, nevertheless.