Best brandy brands 1

20 Best Brandy Brands to Sip Right Now

To many, the best brandy feels like a spirit of a bygone era. Something your grandparents drank or at most something that was prescribed by a doctor to fight a cold decades ago. It feels like there’s no place for brandy in the contemporary spirits world, but the spirits experts at Man of Many are here to show you why that’s not the case.

Whether you’re talking brandy, fruit brandy, grappa, calvados, pisco, Armagnac, or Cognac, this drink definitely belongs in the modern alcohol spectrum. Maybe even as much as any other popular spirits, yes, even whisky. In fact, if you look at the various countries in which brandy is produced and you’ll see that it’s one of the most global spirits produced today. And remember all Cognac is Brandy, but not all Brandy is Cognac.

Best Brandy Brands at a Glance

To help you in this endeavour, we decided to list our favourite brandy brands. From brandy to cognac, Armagnac, and even apple brandy, you’ll find everything you need to start your brandy journey below. Our list of the best Brand goes like this.

Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list. Then get your home bar cart or liquor cabinet ready, you’re about to fill it with new, exciting expressions.

Best brandy brands remy martin vsop cognac
Remy Martin VSOP Cognac | Image: Supplied

1. Remy Martin

One of the “big four” cognac houses, Remy Martin has been producing award-winning cognacs since its inception in 1724. Cognacs produced by Remy Martin have a Cognac Fine Champagne appellation. This means that they only use eau de vie made from Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne crus. While the brand has a whole line of cognacs, one of its most popular is its VSOP. Known for its flavours of licorice, dried fruits, vanilla, and caramel, it’s a must-try cognac.

Founder: Rémy Martin
Founded: 1724
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$92

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Best brandy brands hennessy vs cognac
Hennessy VS Cognac | Image: Supplied

2. Hennessy

Another one of the “big four” of the cognac world, Hennessy was founded not by a Frenchman, but by an Irishman. Richard Hennessy, a military officer who had served in King Louis XV’s army retired and moved to the Cognac region of France where he learned to distil cognac and eventually founded the brand the world now knows as Hennessy. If you’re going to try any cognac from this iconic distillery, we suggest Hennessy XO with its flavours of milk chocolate, stone fruits, vanilla, toffee, and light spices.


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Founder: Richard Hennessy
Founded: 1764
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$87.99

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Best brandy brands sullivans cove xo single cask brandy
Sullivans Cove XO Single Cask Brandy | Image: Supplied

3. Sullivan’s Cove

The oldest commercial distillery in Tasmania, Sullivan’s Cover was founded in 1994. And while it has received much acclaim for its high-quality whisky, you definitely shouldn’t sleep on its brandy. One of its best is its Sullivan’s Cove XO Single Cask. This Tasmanian brandy is matured in both European and American oak barrels. The result is a rich, warming brandy with notes of sticky toffee, chocolate, vanilla, and dried cherries.

Founder: Robert Hosken
Founded: 1994
Alcohol volume: %
Price range: from AUD$185

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Best brandy brands martell vsop cognac
Martell VSOP Cognac | Image: Supplied

4. Martell

Another one of the most well-known cognac houses, Martell is also the oldest. Founded in 1715 by Jean Martell who was originally from the island of Jersey. While the brand makes myriad well-known, award-winning cognacs like the highly acclaimed Martell Cordon Bleu, we prefer the unique, boundary-pushing Martell Blue Swift. Aged for a minimum of four years in French oak casks before finishing in Ex-bourbon barrels it’s known for its flavours of dried fruits, vanilla, and wintry spices.

Founder: Jean Martell
Founded: 1715
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$99.95

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Best brandy brands giffard cherry brandy classic liqueur
Giffard Cherry Brandy Classic Liqueur | Image: Supplied

5. Giffard

This family-owned spirits and liqueur brand is produced in Angers, France. Founded in 1885 by Emilie Giffard, it makes countless products like Coconut Liqueur, Crème de menthe, Marschino Liqueur, and others. But it also makes a few fruit brandies. These include apricot, cherry, and others. While the brand doesn’t make cognac, you’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that makes more exciting, flavourful expressions than Giffard.

Founder: Emile Giffard
Founded: 1885
Alcohol volume: 25%
Price range: from AUD$51.99

Shop at Giffard Shop at Dan Murphy’s Shop at Nick’s

RELATED: If you need any more convincing, check out our full guide to Brandy right here.

Best brandy brands bardinet vsop french brandy
Bardinet VSOP | Image: Supplied

6. Bardinet

In 1857, Paul Bardinet, then only 20 years old, founded Bardinet House. His passion for spirits was ignited when he noticed sugarcane-based spirits being unloaded from boats. Fast forward to today and, while he did get into sugarcane-based spirits (and the brand still makes them today), the brand is also producing high-quality brandy. One of its best is its Bardinet VSOP, an oak-matured brandy loaded with notes of woody oak, dried fruits, and buttery toffee.

Founder: Paul Bardinet
Founded: 1857
Alcohol volume: 37%
Price range: from AUD$36

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Best brandy brands barsol quebranta pisco
Barsol Quebranta Pisco | Image: Supplied

7. Barsol Pisco

If you’re a brandy fan and you’ve never tried pisco, you’re really missing out.  If you want to try one, we suggest Barsol Pisco. This small batch, estate bottled pisco is distilled in Ica, Peru. Its Barsol Puro Quebranta is made from wine made with 100 per cent Quebranta grapes and is distilled to bottle-proof. It’s well-known for its fruity, citrus, and slightly nutty flavours.

Founder: Diego Loret de Mola and Carlos Ferreyros
Founded: 2002
Alcohol volume: 38%
Price range: from AUD$79.99

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Best brandy brands st agnes vsop brandy
St Agnes VSOP Brandy | Image: Supplied

8. St Agnes

Established in 1910, St. Agnes is one of the most acclaimed brandy brands in Australia. It all started with Thomas Angove who had the idea to craft a brandy from fortified wine. His son even learned to perfect the spirit when he visited the Cognac region in 1925. Since then, St. Agnes has continued to produce award-winning brandies (the distillery also makes whiskey and gin). One of its best is St. Agnes Bartender’s Cut. Made in collaboration with ten of Australia’s best bartenders, this unique brandy carries hints of dried cherries, rich oak, sweet sherry, caramel, and baking spices.

Country: South Australia, Australia
Founded: 1910
Alcohol volume: 37%
Price range: from AUD$45.99

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Best brandy brands darroze les grands assemblages bas armagnac 12 years old
Darroze les Grands Assemblages Bas Armagnac 12 Years Old | Image: Supplied

9. Darroze Armagnac

You probably know all about cognac, but you might not be as well-versed in its close relative Armagnac. While geography and other factors come into play, the main difference between cognac and Armagnac lies in its distillation. While cognac is distilled in pot stills, Armagnac is made using column distillation. One of the best Armagnacs to get you started on this spirit is Darroze. It’s Grand Assemblage 8 is a good start with its rich, inviting flavour profile filled with notes of leather, vanilla, dried fruits, and toffee.

Founder: Francis Darroze
Founded: 1974
Alcohol volume: 43%
Price range: from AUD$139

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Best brandy brands paul masson vs brandy
Paul Masson VS Brandy | Image: Supplied

10. Paul Masson

One of the first innovators in the California wine world, Paul Massin emigrated to the US from France in the late 1800s. He made many wines (including the first sparkling wine in America) but is today well-known for his brandy. It’s still made the same way over 100 years later. The most well-known expression is Paul Masson VS. Made the traditional way and aged in oak, it carries notes of caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, and rich oak.

Founder: Paul Masson
Founded: 1852
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from USD$14.99

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Best brandy brands asbach original
Asbach Original | Image: Supplied

11. Asbach Uralt

When we think of German spirits, we tend to look towards schnapps before anything else. But brandy company Asbach Uralt was founded in 1892 by Hugo Asbach in Rüdesheim am Rhein in Germany. This brand makes double distilled, Limousin oak aged brandies. One of its best beginner expressions is Asbach Uralt 3 Year with its notes of vanilla, oak, and dried fruits.

Founder: Hugo Asbach
Founded: 1892
Alcohol volume: 38%
Price range: from AUD$69.99

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Best brandy brands 23rd street distillery not your nannas brandy
23rd Street Distillery ‘Not Your Nannas Brandy | Image: Supplied

12. 23rd St Distillery

Named for its location on Twenty Third Street in Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland. 23rd St Distillery is known for paying tribute to traditions while being firmly entrenched in the modern world. The distillery makes many notable vodka, gin, and whiskey expressions, but we’re here to talk about its range of brandies. The most noteworthy is called Not Your Nanna’s Brandy, a rich, fruity, oaky, slightly spicy brandy.

Country: South Australia, Australia
Founded: 1914
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$45.90

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Best brandy brands chateau tanunda brandy
Chateau Tanunda Brandy | Image: Supplied

13. Chateau Tanunda

Chateau Tanunda is one of the most recognizable buildings in Australia. Founded in 1890, it was a wine pioneer in Barossa Valley in South Australia. While still well-known for its winemaking prowess, Chateau Tanunda also makes a well-known brandy. Known for its smooth, elegant flavours, this popular brandy is matured for a minimum of five years.

Country: South Australia, Australia
Founded: 1890
Alcohol volume: 37.1%
Price range: from AUD$49.99

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Best brandy brands torres brandy
Torres Brandy 10 | Image: Supplied

14. Torres

This Spanish brandy’s genesis can be traced back to 1928. This is when Juan Torres Casals decided to make brandy from Penedès grapes and age it in oak. Loaded with flavours like rich oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and dried fruits, the brand’s award-winning Torres 10 Year is one of the most popular Spanish brandies in the world.

Founder: Jaime and Miguel Torres
Founded: 1870
Alcohol volume: 38%
Price range: from AUD$175

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15. Delamain

It all started when James Delamain moved from his native Ireland to France in 1759. The brand itself didn’t officially start until 1824. Since then, the company has remained in the family with nine generations taking part in the cognac world. If you’re going to try one of its expressions, make it Delamain XO Pale and Dry. It’s known for its fruity, honey, and vanilla flavours.

Country: Barcelona, Spain
Founded: 1824
Alcohol volume: 38%
Price range: from AUD$175

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Best brandy brands germain robin
Germain Robin Select XO Barrel | Image: Supplied

16. Germain Robin

California is well-known for its seemingly countless wineries. So it only makes sense that there would be a great many brandies produced there as well. German Robin is one of the best. Its flagship expression, simply called Germain Robin Brandy, is distilled using Pruhlo Charentais Pot Stills and aged in Limousin oak barrels known for its notes of dried fruits, oak, and vanilla. It’s one of the hardest brandies to find in Australia, but those in America should have no trouble finding it in their local bottle shop.

Founder: Hubert Germain-Robin
Founded: 1982
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from USD$130

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Best brandy brands courvoisier vsop cognac
Courvoisier VSOP Cognac | Image: Supplied

17. Courvoisier

More than simply the favourite drink of ‘The Ladies Man’, Courvoisier is one of the biggest names in the cognac world. Founded in 1835, it is the youngest and smallest of the “big four,” but it’s made a name for itself by producing an accessible range of VS, VSOP, and XO Cognacs. Our favourite expression is its VSOP and we love its notes of almond cookies, vanilla, and ripe fruits.

Country: France
Founded: 1835
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$98.99

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Best brandy brands lairds 100 proof apple brandy
Lairds 100 Proof Apple Brandy | Image: Supplied

18. Laird and Company

Depending on who you ask, applejack (and not bourbon) is actually America’s native spirit. The oldest distillery in American history, Laird first opened in 1780 (although distillation actually began in the 1600s). Makers of apple-based spirits, specifically applejack and apple brandy, the brand’s Old Apple Brandy is matured in oak barrels for a minimum of seven and a half years. The result is a mellow, sweet, brandy with notes of caramel apples, vanilla, and oak.

Founder: Robert Laird
Founded: 1780
Alcohol volume: 64.35%
Price range: from AUD$120

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Best brandy brands philbert cognac
Philbert Cognac | Image: Supplied

19. Philbert

This very limited, small-batch cognac brand is well-known for its artisanal expressions. Using traditional ingredients and techniques, this small brand was named for a familial French general and war hero. Philbert Distiller Reserve Grande Champagne Cognac, with its hints of coffee, almonds, vanilla, caramel, and dried fruits, is one of its most popular expressions.

Founder: Comandon Cognac company
Founded: 1890s
Alcohol volume: 41.5%
Price range: from USD$80

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Best brandy brands camus vsop intensely aromatic cognac
Camus VSOP Intensely Aromatic Cognac | Image: Supplied

20. Camus

Started in 1863, this family-run brand has been growing grapes, making wine, and cognac ever since. Now run by Cyril Camus, the innovative brand has one hand firmly entrenched in the tradition, terroir, and history of the region and the other in the modern, innovative age. Its Camus Borderies VSOP is known for its smooth, floral, oaky, vanilla, and fruit-filled palate.

Country: France
Founded: 1863
Alcohol volume: 40%
Price range: from AUD$112.99

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How Man of Many Chose the Best Brandy

With more than 10 years of experience reviewing beer, wine and spirits, Man of Many’s team of editors has selected a list of the best Brandy. Additionally, author Christopher Osburn has more than 15 years of experience writing about alcohol and lifestyle topics across the globe. As our resident drinks expert, is the perfect person to unpack this mixture of flavours.

What is Brandy?

Here’s a little background into what exactly brandy is. To put it simply, brandy isn’t your grandfather’s secret cough syrup. It’s a spirit distilled from wine or other fruits (in that case the fruit is included in the title). The name is derived from the Dutch word brandewijn which means “burnt wine”. That’s a pretty simple way to explain the distillation of wine in one simple word.

While the spirit produced from distillation is simply called eau de vie (which translates from French to English as “water of life”), it’s clear and only has the simple flavours imparted by the distillation process. To give it the amber, copper, caramel, or dark brown colours many drinkers associate with cognac and other brandies, it needs to be matured in wooden barrels similar to whisk(e)y.

More information about brandy can be found in our full guide to Brandy at the link below.

Our guide to Brandy

Brandy FAQs

What is the best cheap brandy that’s good value for money?

While many know this brand more for its sparkling wine, they definitely shouldn’t sleep on its brandy. One of the best, affordable brandies on the market is Korbel Brandy. Made using California-grown grapes, it’s known for its toffee, caramel, tree nuts, dried fruits, and gentle spices. It’s warming and surprisingly mellow for a bargain-priced brandy.

What is the best expensive brandy?

If you’re going to really ball out and spend the big bucks for a bottle of brandy, you’re going to want to grab an expression from Louis XII. But if you don’t have potentially thousands to spend and you still want an epic bottle, purchase Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No. 3 Cognac. This limited edition expression featuring notes of vanilla, caramel, dried fruits, and light spices, is a blend of hand-selected cognacs.

Where is the best brandy made?

While brandy can be made anywhere in the world (and is), it’s difficult to dispute the level of cognac made in France. There’s a reason even novice drinkers know the names Martell, Hennessy, Courvoisier, and Remy Martin. If you only try one type of brandy in the world, make it cognac. You won’t be disappointed.

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Christopher Osburn
Contributor

Christopher Osburn

Christopher Osburn is a pop culture, travel, food, and drinks writer located in New York. He's been writing professionally since 2006 when he got a job as a beer columnist at his local newspaper. Since then, the culture and drinks expert has written for Men's Journal, Thrillist, Esquire, Food & Wine, Uproxx, Matador, Maxim, and many more sites and magazines.