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Explore the Different Kinds of Brandy

Learn about the rich taste of brandy.

Brandy is growing in popularity in Thailand as more and more people discover the rich and complex flavours of this spirit. Ambrose Wines & Spirits serves as a wholesale supplier of brandy with four locations in Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, and Chiang Mai, each offering nationwide delivery.

Brandy is a distilled beverage made from a wide variety of fruit. Grapes were the first fruits to be distilled into brandy, but as knowledge of the distilling process spread, a variety of other available fruits started to be used and put into casks to age as part of the process. The ageing is what brings out all the subtle flavours and depth of a well-made brandy.

History of Brandy

Brandy takes its name from the Dutch word brandewijn, meaning “burned wine”. Its origin was in France, where it was first distilled around the year 1313. At that time, it was prepared only as a medicine, and the doctors of the era referred to it as “l’eau de vie” (the water of life), a much-loved nickname it retains to this day.

Around the 15th century, brandy became a popular beverage in France and was distilled by many using a variety of fruits, although grapes were the most abundant. It soon gained favour over the port wine that had to be imported from Portugal.

As brandy grew in popularity, its rich flavour caught the world's attention, and many other countries started distilling their own version of the beverage. However, France retained their well-earned reputation for creating the finest brandy. Two French versions were first recognised as their own special varieties. These, together with three others, make up the five types of special brandies enjoyed throughout the world.

The Five Different Types of Brandy

The five recognised kinds of brandy arguably shouldn't be referred to as brandy at all but rather only by their given names. They represent the height of brandy-making and are revered for their depth of flavour.

Cognac has come to be synonymous with fine brandies. The name is protected by an appellation of origin that states only a brandy made in the Cognac region of France by specific production methods can bear the name Cognac.

Armagnac is also a French-origin brandy protected by an appellation of origin. The Armagnac region of France is just south of Cognac. It has a similar climate and soil that have proven to be ideal for producing the finest brandies.

Brandy de Jerez also has an appellation of origin. This Spanish brandy must be produced in the Jerez region in the south of Spain. The brandy is also unique because of its production technique which uses a special ‘solera system’ that produces a complex and sweeter profile than many of the other varieties.

From the other side of the Atlantic comes Pisco, a South American brandy produced mainly in Chile and Peru. There are four varieties that share the Pisco designation. These varieties can be aged or unaged, and many have a higher alcohol content than most brandies.

Finally, there is Grappa, the clear Italian beverage known throughout the world. Grappa owes its existence to the frugality of Italian winemakers who didn’t want to waste any grape skins, stems, or seeds left over from the winemaking process. This was an ideal use for them!

Brandy should be sipped and savoured.

Enjoying Brandy

Most people think that brandy has to be enjoyed straight from a snifter. There are many images of people in smoking jackets enjoying a brandy and a cigar as a digestif after dinner. But brandy is often also enjoyed over ice or in a cocktail. The Pisco sour and Brandy Alexander cocktails are both named after their most important ingredient. The metropolitan, milk punch, sidecar, and Vieux Carré also have brandy as the featured spirit. As you can see, brandy is an extremely versatile addition to any bar!

Buy from Ambrose Wines & Spirits

Ambrose Wines & Spirits offers two types of fine brandy at wholesale prices. If you haven’t discovered the flavour of brandy yet, Black Bottle, an Australian brand, and Barton, a deluxe brandy from California, are the ideal introductions to the world of brandy.

Contact your nearest Ambrose Wines & Spirits outlet to place your order today.

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