When hanging out with friends over drinks, you can rely on a nice bottle of brandy. But with numerous brands on the market, it can be tough to choose which one is best for your needs.
In this blog post, we will view some of the best brandy brands available and explain how they came to be and what makes them stand out. Each brand exhibits interesting backgrounds that make them the greatest in the brandy industry.
Read on as we are about to explore the best brandy brands out there!
Our Top Picks
Best Overall - Henessy
• Most popular cognac brand
Best Versatile - Remy Martin
• Rich and complex tastes
Most Luxurious - Courvoisier
• Go-to option of historical figures and celebrities
The House of Hine has been producing great Cognac for six generations. There are two specific years you need to remember that are significant to Hine: 1763 and 1817. The former is when the distillery was established along the riverbank of Charente. The latter is when Thomas Hine honored the distillery its name.
The quaint village of Bonneuil is home to Ugni Blanc grapevines, which are used in the blending process for Hine's eau-de-vie. The vines grow on 70 hectares and provide an ingredient with delicate flavors. Hine has always been about enhancing the notable woody tones in their cognac, as they don't tone it down.
They are able to achieve their signature wood notes with the barrels they use. These are made with wood that features a fine grain. The distillery's tradition is also to toast the barrels to produce cognacs of excellent quality. No wonder Queen Elizabeth II granted Hine a royal warrant since 1962.
One of the most prominent drinks in Greece is Metaxa, created by silk merchant Spyros Metaxas in 1888. It was initially sold as cognac, but in 1937, French producers initiated the guidelines restricting the appellation of cognac to brandies exclusively made in the Cognac region in France.
Metaxa is made using local grapes called Black Corinth, Sultana, and Savatiano, which are distilled twice and sweetened with muscat wines. Then, it's blended with a special mix of botanicals. Their aging containers are made from hand-crafted oak barrels that provide a flavorful character.
Furthermore, Metaxa is available in many types, but perhaps the most recognizable ones are the bottles embellished with stars. These are available in 5, 7, and 12 stars, indicating the number of years the brandy was aged.
If you need a brandy that will add flair to your cocktail, then Bertoux is the brand you want. It produces its delicious brandy elixir in California with high-quality ingredients and prides itself on creating blends with balance as well as vibrancy.
Jeff Bell and Thomas Pastuszak, both experts in their specific fields, have crafted a perfect cocktail partner in Bertoux brandy. To make the brandy, they follow the pot distillation process. In addition, they use either French or American oak for the aging, which lasts for about 3 to 7 years.
Bertoux Brandy features a beautiful dark amber color and has intriguing aromas that will immediately attract your senses, such as candied apricot, orange blossom, and honeysuckle. The scent combines the flavors of raisins and dark chocolate too.
The family-owned company, Camus, is one of the biggest brands of Cognac. It was founded by Jean Baptiste Camus and passed down for five generations! Their signature blend consists primarily of Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard grape varieties.
Jean-Baptiste was a Frenchman with an eye for business savvy and enough determination to succeed in any endeavor. He organized fellow cognac producers into what is now known as Camus La Grande Marque—the cooperative that would later become famous among luxury cognac brands.
Currently, Cyril Camus has carried on all of the family traditions and makes sure that their Cognac continues to be top-notch.
He maintains his ancestors' legacy and brings them into modern times with every step he takes. He also keeps an eye out for innovation that will help pave Cognac's future export prospects.
5. Singani 63
Singani is Bolivia's national distilled spirit produced specifically from white Muscat of Alexandria in the high valleys of Bolivia.
It has been a part of Bolivian culture for centuries and is considered an essential component of their heritage identity since it can only be produced there. Three big manufacturers, a lot of medium producers, and countless small operations make up the whole Singani 63.
Singani relies on the three manufacturers to supply the country's demands. The medium suppliers are responsible for providing a region, while small operations supply various local markets.
Back at the International Craft Spirit Awards, Singani won a gold medal as the judges were amazed by its characteristics. Furthermore, Singani 63 also stood out during the 2017 Trans-Galactic Spirit Encounter, where it won a Double Plutonium Award.
6. Cognac Park
Cognac Park's history dates back to 1880 when Gaston Tessendier settled in the prestigious Borderies growing area. He worked alone, tending his family vineyards with a single ambition: making outstanding Eaux-de vie that would soon become the world's best.
Distillerie Tessendier is a prestigious wine and spirits maker in Cognac, with Cognac Park being their premier brand. The fourth-generation family owners have continued traditions established by predecessors who managed this land.
Today, their distillery and vineyards cover 60 acres of land in the Borderies. The brothers of the Tessendier family have a knack for translating the complexities of Cognac into flavors that speak directly to all people.
With affordability being one goal while still using only premium materials in their production process, they've managed to capture love and loyalty from around the world.
Germain Robin came to life in the most unexpected but exciting way. A professor named Ansley Coale and a Cognac distiller named Hubert Germain-Robin were the two geniuses behind this brand.
The former happened to be driving on a Northern California road where the latter was hitchhiking; the rest was history. Germain Robin set a new standard of excellence in the brandy industry by allowing the marriage between traditional alembic cognac stills and complex wine grapes from California.
They've always had a deep respect for tradition, which is why their cognacs are still hand-distilled to today's generation. Ironically, they're not very traditional with the grapes they use.
They produce brandy from unconventional grapes, like Riesling, Pinot Noir, Sémillon, and Viognier. They believe that these will give their brandies unique expressions and character that ultimately distinguishes them from other brands.
When Jean Martell arrived in Cognac, France, around 1715 with his business sense and intelligence, he founded the cognac brand that is still well-loved today.
Later on, he married Jeanne Brunet, a daughter of a known cognac merchant, so their marriage made sense for both parties involved! In 2019, it seemed like Martell had finally found its niche in America.
With sales reaching more than 1 million cases per year, it's just one among four other cognac houses that are notables among the top sellers in the U.S. In fact, Martell comes second to Hennessy—the largest cognac producer in the world.
The genuine, authentic flavor of Martell Cognac is still achieved with traditional copper pot stills. The company only uses clear wines, which sets them apart from the other cognac houses. This produces excellent Eaux-de vie that showcases all the aromas for a superior tasting experience.
Attention to detail, knowledge about their craft, and unyielding dedication—these were all traits that Hugo Asbach displayed when he founded his company in Rüdesheim am Rhein way back in 1892.
The delicate process of distilling Asbach's wines is a feat that has taken decades to perfect. Their traditional production process has two phases which both take time and labor.
The first produces the raw spirit with an alcohol content of around 40%. This gets distilled further until it reaches its final form as a fine wine spirit.
The high quality of Asbach brandies results from their lengthy maturing process. They use small oak casks made of Limousin oak wood to allow for breathing of the brandies as they have large pores through which air can pass through.
The distilling history of this fine brand started in 1928. Juan Torres Casals took up where Arnau de Vilanova, a significant person in the world of distillation, left off and began producing exceptional brandies using high-quality grapes in Penedès.
Their finest quality spirits are made with care and attention to detail, which is what Torres goes for. Torres is world-renowned for its extraordinary aroma and flavor, which comes from a strict selection of grapes, a sophisticated distillation process, and lengthy aging in oak casks.
The process ensures each brandy maintains unique character traits while maximizing aroma generation. The delicious taste of Torres brandy is a rich and complex experience.
Furthermore, the spirits have been aged following the historic Spanish Solera system, which requires pyramids or whole rows of barrels stacked at stories high within warehouses where they can rest on multiple tiers.
E&J Brandy has been in production since 1975. The Gallo brothers, who are both passionate about brandy, have 30 years' worth of winemaking knowledge. They discovered the signature process used for their brandies today, which involves aging for two years in oak barrels.
E&J goes all out when it comes to creating a fresh and tasty brandy, E&J goes all out. They use only the best grapes from California produced in the Mediterranean climate because they are guaranteed to have a more diverse mix that provides incredible flavors.
E&J's success in the VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) category expanded its range of other products. These included iconic bottles like the Ultra-Premium XO, VSOP, Limited Edition Cask & Cream, and White Brandy.
12. Henessy - Best Overall
Hennessy is one of the most well-known and sought-after cognacs. This brand has supplied cognacs since the 18th century, when an Irish aristocrat named Richard Hennessy founded this cognac house.
With about 50 million bottles sold annually, Hennessy is recorded as the biggest cognac producer in the world. Today, LVMH and Diageo own Hennessy. Their dedication to precision in their harvests' quality and quantity allows them to create a flavorful Eaux-de vie.
They use the Ugni Blanc variety, harvested mechanically, to make their wines as these grapes give out a harmonious amount of acidity and alcohol content. Included in Hennessy's intricate production process of their cognacs is aging their Eaux-de-vies in wood which takes a couple of years.
This ensures the flavors and colors from the wood are shared with the Eaux-de-vie. Also, the Eaux-de-vies are interchanged with different barrels, providing them with unmatched complexity. If you're craving for a Cognac cocktail, try a Brandy Alexander with Hennessy.
Relying on a rich legacy of traditions, St-Rémy brandy is crafted with care and precision. Paul-Emile Rémy Martin II founded the original 1886 premises around the Nantes vicinity.
Paul-Emile's ancestor is the famous Rémy Martin. Currently, St-Rémy is under the ownership of the French spirits group Rémy Cointreau. One thing that makes St-Rémy popular and well-favored is their expertise in making fine-tasting brandies at affordable prices.
St-Rémy's historic winemaking foundation is built on a richly varied selection of grape varieties, with Folle Blanche being their flagship grape.
Today, there are many sources for their grapes from wine regions in France like Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Giffard is a well-known producer of liqueurs, syrups, and fruit brandy with over 130 years of experience. They only utilize fresh fruits exclusively sourced from the Loire Valley in France since Emile Giffarden created his Menthe Pastille recipe many decades ago!
With a philosophy that emphasizes producing the best liqueurs and syrups, Giffard's family manages to provide customers with an excellent experience by featuring natural flavors. They also exhibit this practice with the other spirits they feature, like their eau-de-vie.
This particular brandy is distilled and filtered more than the usual process for brandy, giving the final product a unique taste. Other products that Giffard is known for are cherry brandy and apricot brandy.
The essence of Giffard products is to capture the pure taste and aroma of the fermented fruit mash. They mix traditional methods with modern techniques for a thorough process, ensuring they never lose their authentic flavors in any way!
Argonaut Brandy made its way into the world when Prohibition was repealed. They started to plant and cultivate grapes not long after and were already producing brandies. Argonaut is a unique brandy producer that takes pride in managing every step of production from vine to bottle.
They grow their grapes, make the wine, distill the eau-de-vie, and blend their own blends with the ability to keep up-to-date on all techniques needed for blending so they can maintain high standards at each stage!
Rita Hansen, also known as "Brandy Queen," is the second-generation winemaker and master distiller at the helm of Argonaut. She is the person behind Argonaut's consistent success today, thanks to her extensive knowledge about winemaking, distilling, aging, and blending.
16. Remy Martin - Best Versatile
Rémy Martin has a long history of Cognac making before becoming one of the world's leading cognac brands. It goes way back to 1724 when Rémy Martin founded it. This brand has always made its cognacs from grapes sourced in Grande and Petite Champagne.
With a commitment to excellence, The House of Rémy Martin founded Alliance Fine Champagne, which is still operating today. This strategic partnership between two organizations ensures they have access and availability for the highest quality grapes every year.
When it comes to Rémy Martin, several different aging processes take place. For example, the Grand Cru VS Supérieur goes through 10 years in cellars as opposed to the 6-year sector standard. This results in a complex liquor that exudes finesse not found in other brands.
The Philippines has a long history of producing fine liquors, but it wasn't until 1990 that they created their first brandy—Emperador. Following the distillery's traditional and signature blending and aging process, they are able to make products boasting unique characteristics.
Emperador is not primarily characterized as a grape brandy since it is made from a mixture of a sugar cane neutral spirit and Spanish brandy. It's generally a sweet brandy and has tropical fruit and spices flavors. It can be relished neat or as a delightful brandy cocktail.
Emperador Inc. is a massive company that manufactures and imports brandies and other liquors worldwide, operating in 55 countries on six continents! No wonder they've achieved so much and gained the title of being the world's biggest brandy manufacturer.
In terms of achievements, the 2016 International Review of Spirits brought by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago had this Filipino brand an 89 point rating and a silver award for their Emperador Solera Reservada. 83 points were also awarded to Emperador Light, earning them a bronze award.
Wilthener is one of Germany's most prestigious and oldest brandy distilleries. Christian Traugott Hünlich founded this brand in 1842 and created an everlasting success story with his delicious distilled spirits.
When Christian Traugott Hünlich passed, his son Carl Albert Hünlich stepped in and managed their family business. He dedicated most of his time learning about cognac and brandies and applied it to their production.
The first time he introduced their products at the World Exposition in Paris, he impressed many people, resulting in gold and silver awards.
Wilthener's product line has continued to grow since it was established and now includes a variety of different types of liqueurs in addition to their iconic brandies and other spirits. They are made with natural ingredients in an old-fashioned style that can be used to make classic cocktails.
Lucas Bols distillery treasures over 400 years' worth of liqueur experience with a heritage that stretches back to 1575. Today, 20 brands scattered in 110 countries comprise the portfolio from this centuries-old company!
The distinctive taste of Bols liqueurs and genevers is the product of centuries worth of tradition. The Lucas Bols distillery has preserved this rich history, with modern techniques being used to produce its spirits and liqueurs authentically.
Like Giffard, Bols is known for its apricot brandy. It is a sweeter brandy that features notes of orange and amaretto. Any brand lover who likes drinking brandy cocktails will appreciate the versatility of this brand.
There is no better way to extract the flavor of Bols' genevers and liqueurs than through distillation. The key components are achieved, which involves soaking herbs or peels in a still filled with a water/alcohol combination at high pressure over time.
20. Courvoisier - Most Luxurious
Courvoisier's house style is a lively mix of flowers and fruit, with just enough balance to make it all work. Their exuberant cognacs draw from life-giving history in the Cognac region that has been passed down for generations so that you can drink brandy from your brandy snifters with delight.
This success is attributed to their signature styles that mirror their house. One of the secrets of how Courvoisier consistently achieved the complexity of their signature style is their French oak barrels for the aging process.
They craft the barrels from French oak trees that they carefully handpick from sustainable forests. They are then combined with tight grain in a 50:50 ratio. It is undoubtedly a brandy you'd always want in your bar cart.
Courvoisier has been delivering one of the finest cognacs for over two centuries. Its commitment to excellence has earned them the honor of being known as the Most Awarded Cognac House according to 20 significant spirits competitions from 2019 until today.
Brandy is one of those liquors that don't get talked about as much, but when you drink it, you'll be glad to have tried them. The brands above definitely have their own take on their brandies, making them worthy of recognition.
So, the next time you plan your next party, we recommend serving a good brandy, either neat or in a mixed drink. Whether you want a traditional brandy or those with specific flavors like apple brandy, you're guaranteed to have a wonderful time.
Which of the brandies above is the most versatile for all types of gatherings? We’d love to hear from you!