Brandy

What is brandy?

Put simply, it’s the spirit produced by distilling wine or the fermented juice of other fruit – originally done for the sake of preservation. If it’s just called brandy, it’s almost always grape brandy, which is made all over the world, although the most famous regions are Cognac and Armagnac

Cognac

The production of Cognac is much greater than Armagnac and has long been dominated by big companies. It’s also made in a different way: distilled twice in a copper pot to give it refinement and complexity. Alongside spice, vanilla and nut flavours from the oak, it tends to have more floral and fresh fruit notes (pear, apricot, fig, apple, citrus) than Armagnac

Armagnac

More artisanal than Cognac, Armagnac is distinctive, characterful and more rustic in the best sense. It often feels fuller-bodied with more powerful flavours like prunes, vanilla, freshly baked bread and liquorice. It’s made on a much smaller scale than Cognac and is traditionally distilled once in a column still

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Calvados

The distillates of fruit, other than grapes, are called fruit brandy, eau de vie or apple or cider brandy. Only brandy made from apples - or a mix of apples and pears - in the Calvados region of Normandy can be called Calvados

Calvados

The distillates of fruit, other than grapes, are called fruit brandy, eau de vie or apple or cider brandy. Only brandy made from apples - or a mix of apples and pears - in the Calvados region of Normandy can be called Calvados