Brandy is one of the more refined spirits on the market. The distillation of wine — or champagne in the case of cognac — results in a subtle drink that feels akin to sunshine in a glass. It’s super easy to sip, which is a bit of a punch in the gut since this stuff isn’t cheap. Brandy needs to age in oak for a long, long time to achieve those heavenly levels of smoothness. That aging means a big expense for the distillers and that means we have to pay a premium for the good stuff.
Dropping serious cash on booze is always a nerve-racking experience. There are a lot of options out there and that leads to easy misfires. A fine brandy should have a little oak that’s slightly sweet, spicy, and earthy — without anything overpowering. Then, depending on where it’s made, the brown elixir will have a mix of fruit orchards, nuttiness, and bursts of warmth that’ll transport you to a sunny day on a vineyard. It’s a complex drink and hits that sweet spot of almost-too-easy-to-drink. Seriously, don’t be afraid to swig this stuff straight from the bottle like a boss.
To help you drop your cash on the right bottle, we thought we’d put forth ten bottles of brandy that hit our high standards. Let’s dive right in!