Christopher Osburn

20 Best Brandy Brands to Sip Right Now | Man of Many


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

How Man of Many Chose the Best 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.

What is Brandy?

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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