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Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

How much do you know about brandy?

We are talking about a distillate liquor of winemaking tradition, with great prestige in Spain, which represents a profitable investment with a sentimental value

What does its name inspire you? Maybe sophistication, status, elegance. What image evokes to you? Someone holding a low-ball glass. Do you know the making process? Maybe you’re still confusing it with the cognac. Could you mention a few varieties? From fruits, cereals, Jérez… Wait, is that a variety or a growing area? Brandy, a spirit, which is not suitable for all palates, but for the most trained and in turn a symbol of refinement. It is also a profitable business within the wine sector.

It is a liquor with high alcohol content, between 36 and 40 degrees, that unless otherwise is required (for example, when we talk about fruit brandy) is made with grape wine. Here lies its main difference with other alcoholic beverages, such as rum or gin, as brandy is obtained from the same pulp as wine. Hence its quality and charm. In addition, it is aged for long periods in oak barrels, where the process of distillation stains the liquid in yellow, which over time (aging) becomes amber and finally, caramel.

In Spain, the three main brandy producing regions are Jerez, Penedés and Tomelloso, all of which have a geographical sales designation. The main difference with respect to Cognac and Armagnac is the location. In all three cases, vines of white grape are used in the production, as the quality can be appreciated in the distillate beverages. According to the guidelines of the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (National Interprofessional Bureau of Cognac), only distillates produced in the French region of Cognac can enjoy this appellation, protected since 1908 by the Denomination of Origin.

And then, what are we referring to when we talk about fruit brandy? It is a product that has not necessarily been extracted from grapes, but from apples, cherries, apricots, plums…. The confusion comes directly from the United States, since the big producers of fruit brandies are in Europe and do not use the word brandy to refer to their product. Cereal brandy, on the other hand, is a variety that tends to be confused with whisky. However, here the grain is not malted or so aged.

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