Cognac vs Brandy: What’s the Difference

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

The debate between cognac vs brandy has been going on for generations, and there are a few key differences between these two types of alcohol.

Cognac vs Brandy

There is not an apparent difference between brandy and cognac at first glance, and while both maybe forms of brandy, they are far from the same thing.

What are Cognac & Brandy?

  • Brandy is a variety of French wine that has been distilled and aged in oak barrels to improve the flavor.
  • Cognac is a type of brandy, albeit a much more exotic inexpensive variety.

How are they made?

  • Cognac and brandy are both made by distilling wine into a concentrated spirit.
  • Cognac, however, takes the production process a step further and is distilled for a second time.
  • Cognac is then aged in oak barrels for 10 to 15 years.
  • Cognac is made in traditional copper pot stills, whereas brandy is often made in industrial, high-efficiency copper stills.

Where Do They Come From?

  • Cognac and brandy are both made from wine, and France is particularly known for these alcohols.
  • Cognac, on the other hand, is exclusively produced with grapes from the Cognac region of France, known for its ancient vineyards and high-quality growing conditions.
  • Brandy can be made from wine from any part of the world.

Taste

  • Brandy is typically sweeter than whiskey and has a floral aroma, often derived from the oak barrels in which it is aged.
  • Depending on the type of juice or wine that brandy is made with, the taste of some brandy may contain notes of apples, pears or other fruits.
  • Cognac has a rich and strong flavor, largely because of the higher alcohol content, which is often up to 70%

Blending & Aging

  • Brandy is blended and aged before being placed in oak barrels.
  • Cognac must be blended and aged for at least two years in oak barrels to have that distinction.
  • Other levels of quality when it comes to cognac include the VSOP (at least 4 years of aging) and XO (at least six years of aging).

How should they be drunk?

  • Brandy can be included in a number of popular cocktails.
  • Cognac, due to both its quality and high cost, should be sipped.

Which is healthier?

  • Given that cognac is prepared in copper stills, it derives more nutrients than brandy and is generally considered a healthier option.
  • All types of brandy, including cognac, have some antioxidant potential.
DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.8 out of 5.0 based on 10 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Words 'deja vu' highlighted in printed text

Déjà Vu Followed By A Postdictive Bias, Not Premonition

Most of us have been through the feelings of déjà vu, the feelings of having gone through this before. Some of us might also feel that we gain a sense of the…

READ MORE
An adult polar bear sitting with the arctic snow in the background

Virtual Reality Could Help With Chronic Pain Therapy

What sort of distractions can work when trying to deal with pain? A team of researchers now concludes that scenes from the Arctic on a virtual reality headset…

READ MORE
A hospital bed

Copper ICU Beds Could Reduce Hospital-Based Infections

Despite following strict hygiene standards, the risk of microbial infection in patient care facilities often exceeds risk levels. Hence, the focus on…

READ MORE