Brandy is an umbrella term for any distilled spirit made by fermenting fruit juice. Cognac is a type of brandy made in a region of France called Cognac.
Brandy is usually made from grapes, however it is also common to make it using apples, plums or other fruits, making for a wide variety of brandies. Get to know this stunning spirit and its French variation.
What is Brandy?
Brandy can conjure up many iconic images: the award winning Y2k artist, the iconic 70s banger, or maybe just the idea of class, elegance and timelessness. Brandy is often sipped “neat”, meaning that it's dranken without any additional ingredients, not even ice.
However, it's also commonly found in many iconic cocktails, like in a metropolitan or a brandy alexander. Brandy can taste quite sweet, and because of this, it is usually served as an after-dinner drink; it is a digestif.
What is Cognac?
Cognac is named after the Cognac region of France, due its originality in taste and style of distilling. Cognac is admired by many internationally due to its soft and smooth finish.
Some have described it as the A+ standard of brandy, as it is the most recognizable of its variations. A notable producer of cognac is Hennessy, a French company founded in 1765.
Cognac is specifically made using white wine, which can be quite dry and thin, giving it a more distinct flavour. Cognac has specifications on its aging process. If you look at the labels on bottles, you may see the letters VS, VSOP or XS.
This refers to the time of which the cognac you are drinking was aged. VS means Very Special, as the cognac was aged for at least two years and VSOP means Very Superior Old Pale, indicating that it was aged for at least four years.
Lastly, XS means extra special, and is a label for cognac varieties that have been aged for six or more years.
What are the main differences?
- Brandy can come from anywhere in the world, whereas cognac has to originate from the French region of Cognac. All legitimate cognac distilleries are located in Cognac, and if it is made anywhere else in the world, or even in France, it is not allowed to be called its name.
- Cognac must be made of white grapes from one of six French territories, whereas brandy can be made from a variety of different fruits. Brandy can really refer to any distilled fruit juice, made using apples, plums, pears or really any fruit. Cognac, however, must be made using white grapes.
- In terms of taste, brandy is delicious, however, cognac is usually of a higher quality and has a much larger reputation, although some brandies such as Armagnac can also match the level of quality and reverence that cognac is placed in. Cognac can taste bitter, spicy and fruity, whereas brandy can exude flavors similar to vanilla or caramel.
Which ones should I purchase?
At Minuman.com we offer a wide selection of stunning brandies and cognacs to satisfy your dinner party and late-night sipping needs.
If you’re looking for a smooth, delicious Brandy with hints of pear, try the Beehive VSOP Brandy. Made in the French region of Bordeaux, it has hints of prune, vanilla and toasted oak. You can purchase it here.
If you prefer a decadent Cognac, then you know this classic. Try this Hennessy XO cognac, an iconic spirit in movies and pop culture. It is iconic for a reason; this cognac is bold and persistent, with hints of tobacco and spice.
Looking for your favorite Cognac? Minuman.com provides the widest selection of Cognacs. Order now and have your Cognacs delivered to your doorstep with fast and free delivery.
Cognacs are available at minuman.com: