Brandy is a liquor that distilled from wine. It’s also sometimes called “burned wine.” It doesn’t have to be distilled from grape wines only. Wines of other fruits like apples and pears are also quite popular when making brandy. Brandy is a world famous spirit.
Brandy is classified in a pretty straight forward manner. If the label reads VS (Very Special) brandy or has three stars, it means that the spirit has been aged for at least two years. VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) brandy is aged for a minimum of four years. XO (Extra Old) brandy used to be a brandy that’s been aged for a minimum of six years, but it’s recently changed to ten. These are general categories, with a few smaller ones in between such as hors d’age and vintage.
Brandy is stronger than your average spirit of 40%-45%, like Vodka. Its proof ranges from 70 to as high as 120, which translates to 35% to 60% in alcohol.
Brandy is well known for its aesthetic. First of all, it’s impossible to miss the golden brown colour of the spirit. Second, its flavour is incredibly rich. That’s likely the reason it’s recommended to be sipped, not shot or mixed. Trying the liquor at different temperatures is also an interesting experiment.
An un-aged brandy should obviously taste and smell of the fruit it’s made with. Aged brandies, on the other hand, have fairly muted fruit flavours and aromas mellow into something closer to jam, with fresh sweetness turning into something richer and darker. The main source of their flavour is not the fruit they’ve been made of, but the wood where they’ve been held which can infuse notes of vanilla, spice and nuts.
While cognac steals most of the brandy’s attention, it’s actually a diverse category. The brandy from France may be the most famous across the globe, but brandy is also produced in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, the US, and other countries. By only picking French spirits, you are missing out on the liquors from other countries that may have a more intriguing flavour profile or character and many of them are a lot more affordable.
If you want to get into the world of the “burnt wine,” buy brandy in our liquor stores in Calgary, Alberta, Canada or online at ZYN.ca!