Whether you are a Cognac fan or a Brandy lover, whatever your preference there are significant differences between the two. Did you know that Cognac is a type of Brandy that must come from the Cognac region in Southwest France to be considered Cognac whereas Brandy can come from anywhere in the world.
Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit juice aka wine, which needs to be high in acidity and low in alcohol and residual sugar. Cognac however can only be made from white grapes.
In terms of the ageing process, Brandy is aged in wooden casks and Cognac is aged in Limousine or Tronçais oak casks. Brandy is also distilled in pot stills or column stills, Cognac is double distilled in a copper pot still.
What really makes Cognac really unique to other spirits is that the liquid is blended and aged after distillation and must be aged for at least 2 years in French oak.
Both Cognac and Brandy are indicated through a grading system. “VS” stands for “Very Special”, “VSOP” stands for “Very Superior Old Pale”, “XO” stands for “Extra Old” and lastly if Cognac or Brandy have been graded Beyond Age they will get labeled Hors d’âge.
Visit your nearest Liquor City for your favourite Cognac or Brandy and be sure to keep these fun facts in mind the next time you host a get together with friends and family.