For some people, brandy is like that misunderstood kid that no one wanted around but at the same time nobody actually tried to understand it. But once you do, it will change the way you think about it.
Brandy is among the most prestigious spirits mankind created, one that calls for some of the most memorable of occasions.
While in the beginning it was seen as a very old school and traditional drink, nowadays it’s making a comeback, with numerous brandy brands having appeared on the market in the recent years.
Elegant, fragrant, rich, and diverse, brandy has plenty to offer. It’s one of those spirits that won’t reveal itself until you’ve taken a few sips.
No matter if you sip it after a dinner, with friends old and young, or in a cocktail, brandy definitely has to have a place into your home bar.
But again, how do you choose a brand that’s good and suits your tastes? In our flooded market of today, choosing one over the other has become increasingly hard.
That’s where we strive to come in and help you make the best possible choice, by presenting the very best brandy brands to try out right now.
Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
20. Copper and Kings
The American Craft Brandy from Copper and Kings is right what it says, a uniquely American spirit that shows its real value when it’s served neat, exactly like a fine whiskey.
This Copper and Kings brandy is aged in Kentucky whiskey barrels, which gives it those familiar smoky flavors, similar to a bourbon. It’s sweet and smooth, and comes with a very complex flavor profile overall, one that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you’re a whiskey lover at heart.
19. Berneroy Calvados
Berneroy Calvados brought to the world a refined drink that takes its name and main ingredient from its home region in Normandy but brings nutty and spicy notes in a sea of baked apple flavors, making it a unique and cherished spirit.
The cider apples grown in the fields of Normandy and harvested during autumn, and that can be tasted in a glass of Berneroy Calvados.
The apples are pressed and then fermented naturally and carefully distilled once to preserve the wonderful aromas that this brand is well known for.
18. 23rd Street Distillery
From the fields of Normandy, we go all the way across the world to Australia, where 23rd Street Distillery makes one of the best spirits in the world, the Not Your Nanna’s brandy.
They pour their heart and soul along with Australian ingredients to create crafted spirits of utmost quality. Besides the Not Your Nanna’s, there’s also the Prime 5 brandy, but they offer a selection of vodkas, whiskeys, and gins as well.
17. Louis XIII
Louis XIII is unlike anything you’ve tasted so far, but that’s most likely due to the $4,000+ price for one single bottle. The same is true when it comes to its flavor profile.
Each bottle of Louis XIII is a blend of up to 1,200 individual cognacs from Grand Champagned vineyards, aged between 50 and 100 years. That information alone should be enough to understand that if you haven’t tasted it, you won’t grasp its unique complexity.
This is considered the most unique brandy in the world, and saying something about it is like saying nothing. It’s just one of those things you have to try at least once in your lifetime.
16. Jollité Armagnac
Jollité Armagnac is that classic French brandy. Pricey, but more affordable than cognac, delicious but demanding respect, wonderful neat but also amazing in a cocktail.
Their VSOP is one of the best, bringing tasty notes of vanilla, caramel, and orange peel. It’s smooth and warm and leaves a scent of vanilla when you pour it in the glass.
Overall, it’s a go-to brandy for many people, and with a price of around $38 a bottle, it delivers huge value.
15. Paul Masson
Made in California and well known for offering high quality brandies at a low cost, Paul Masson doesn’t need much introduction, especially for the wine enthusiasts out there, as brandy is, after all, a distilled wine.
One of the brand’s better offerings is the Paul Masson VS cognac, which pairs nicely with lime juice, ginger ale, or candied orange, but there’s a nice range of brandies with a variety of dried fruit flavors.
Cherry, apple, pear, and apricot brandies are all on Paul Masson’s list of offerings.
14. Cognac Park
Cognac Park’s VSOP is an astonishing and delicious spirit, made with grapes sourced from Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, and Fins Bois crus.
The label uses Ugni blanc in the process to give their VSOP an even more impressive taste. Their brandy is then aged for eight months in lightly toasted French Limousin barrels, which adds a lovely flavor of oak to it.
What’s more, the flavor profile is layered and includes apple, orange, and jasmine, which enriches the aftertaste.
Delamain’s story stretches back almost two centuries. It’s actually one year short of two centuries at the time of writing.
The brandy brand began producing the delicious spirit in 1824 in the Cognac Region of France, and has become of the most cherished and prized in the region.
Their XO, or extra-old, cognac is particularly impressive, but their other offerings are nothing short of special as well.
Philbert comes from France as well, and specializes in traditional cognacs produced in limited batches. That traditional taste is achieved by utilizing the oldest cognac producing method in the world.
Their cognacs and brandies are sold in both France and the United States, impressing their fans with smooth tastes, fine oaky textures, and a rich and deep flavor profile.
Darroze offers some of the best armagnacs you could find in the world today. Towards the end of the sixties, Francis Darroze discovers the lands of Bas Armagnac and the treasures they hide. This is how Maison Armagnac Darroze is born.
The brand’s collection now comes from around thirty domains, perfected, aged, and sold in small batches. Everything they do today started with that vision of utmost devotion to offering some of the rarest and finest armagnacs on the market.
Giffard is yet another brandy producer from France that benefits from more than one century of experience in producing their beloved spirit.
Their best tasting brandy comes bottled as Giffard Vins Fins de France Eau de Vie, which is their traditional offering, produced with great care and attention to the slightest detail.
The Extra Fine XO Cognac from Martell is the closest thing to perfection when it comes to brandies from France. Martell is a renowned brandy brand that focuses on offering a unique flavor profile and a rich character to their spirits.
Martell was also the first ever brandy producer to export its delightful drink to the United States.
Though they do have budget friendly offerings, the label’s most cherished brandy, L’OR De Jean Martell, sells for over $4,000 per bottle, so it’s reserved for truly special occasions.
Shifting our focus from France to California, we’ve got Bertoux, which is one of the best you can get in that part of the world. They’re particularly well known due to their Solera Style method for blending and aging their brandy.
Though they keep their spirit relatively young, aging them between three and seven years in American and French oak barrels, Bertoux brandy is well received by brandy lovers, and especially by those who love to mix them in cocktails.
They make popular ingredients for fruit based cocktails.
Hine is a cognac producer that started its journey in 1763, founded by Thomas Hine in Jarnac, France. More than two centuries later, the brand crafts their beloved spirit from the Grande and Petite Champagne regions only.
Among their collection, you’ll find the Antique XO Premier Cru Cognac, which is a masterful blend of around 40 eaux-de-vie, perfect for sipping. It was first released in 1920 and has been one of their most prized cognacs ever sine.
The Hine Homage is another delicious and premium cognac produced to honor the brand’s original founder.
Torres was founded by Miguel and Jamie Torres as a Spanish winery back in 1870, and during a century and a half of producing drinks, their methods haven’t changed much, making their brandies some of the best in the world.
They continue to use the same distillation method and aging process they began with in order to offer the world their best brandies.
And speaking of that, some of their brandies have received various awards during the last few decades, which should only encourage you to try them.
5. Rémy Martin
The popular French cognac house Rémy Martin has been established almost three centuries ago, in 1738, and today is one of the largest cognac producers in the entire world. With that history behind, it’s clearly a brand to try at least once in your lifetime.
There’s no denying it’s an expensive label, with their flagship cognac, Rémy Martin Louis XIII, costing more than $2,000 a bottle. But that shouldn’t hold back a real brandy enthusiast.
Based in Charente, Courvoisier is another award winning brandy producer from France, and it’s part of the big four cognac houses in the country.
It may not have the heritage and long tradition of other producers, but the label’s brandy strikes an excellent balance between taste and aroma.
Courvoisier cognacs are smooth and elegant, but you’ll have to shell quite a hefty sum for a bottle, as they’re not the most affordable.
When it comes to making their spirits, the brand uses a double distillation process and then ages their liquids in barrels that are more than 200 years old.
3. Germain Robin
Germain Robin is a Californian based brandy producer, and a surprising one as well. They make their brandy from premium grapes only, but the production process is more tolerant and libertarian than, say, in France.
The brandy produced by Germain Robin goes through Pruhlo Charentais copper pot stills and Limousin oak barrels for aging.
The result is a rich and silky taste, with strong notes of dark cherry for their XO, with the right amount of oak and fruit flavors.
While most brandies are made either in France or the United States, Asbach is a German brandy brand, and a top one too. Founded in 1892 by Hugo Asbach, it produces delicious and affordable brandies that are enjoyed by people in more than 50 countries around the world.
Aged in small French Limousin oak casks, their liqueur has won several awards in the past for its amazing taste. And speaking of taste, it’s a bit on the heavy side, with fruity notes and an overall flavor profile that resembles bourbon.
On top of that, with bottles of unquestionable quality priced around $30, there’s nothing to complain about the brand.
As one of the oldest distilleries in France, Hennessy is a staple in the industry, and it’s widely considered one of the most premium brandy brands all over the world.
As a cognac leader on the market, it’s easy to see why everyone is so in love with this label.
Hennessy makes a damn fine brandy, and if you don’t believe us, you’ll believe the Hennessy XO, the brand’s best brandy, an excellent blend of almost 100 different eaux-de-vie made from some of the best grapes France has to offer.
But you don’t have to stop there, as Hennessy has about ten types of brandies on the market, so for sure you’ll find one to appreciate.
There is no best here, as there is no best in anything, but despite everything being subjective, there’s no denying that these 20 entries are some of the most cherished brandy brands in the world.
Some of these brands have more than 200 years of experience, so it makes sense that their offerings get very very close to what we usually see as best of.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a dedicated connoisseur of whiskey, cognac and other liquors, I have spent years tasting and analyzing various spirits, including brandy. That’s why our picks for the best brandy brands are based on extensive research and especially firsthand experience.
We’ve personally tasted and evaluated each of these brands and also took into consideration factors such as their distilling techniques, aging processes, and dedication to quality for this article.
- 20. Copper and Kings
- 19. Berneroy Calvados
- 18. 23rd Street Distillery
- 17. Louis XIII
- 16. Jollité Armagnac
- 15. Paul Masson
- 14. Cognac Park
- 13. Delamain
- 12. Philbert
- 11. Darroze
- 10. Giffard
- 9. Martell
- 8. Bertoux
- 7. Hine
- 6. Torres
- 5. Rémy Martin
- 4. Courvoisier
- 3. Germain Robin
- 2. Asbach
- 1. Hennessy