The word brandy is derived from the Dutch word brandewijn, which translates to ‘burned wine’ and is used to signify any spirit distilled from fruit-based wine. Brandy can be crafted from fruit wine or fermented juice — grapes, pears, plums, or apples.
Aging brandy lends a rich flavor profile marked by prominent notes of flowers, fruit, sweet spice, oak, citrus zest, and caramel. It can be best described as possessing elements of whiskey blended with nuances of sweet wine. As brandy ages, the flavors become more mellow and complex, making aging a crucial element that significantly contributes to the final product.
The importance of the brandy aging process
Brandy aging is a critical part of creating a distinct, robust spirit that provides a pleasurable drinking experience. As a brandy ages, it acquires depth, mellowness, and an irresistible oaky flavor that is its signature note. Aging brandy imparts a superior taste and enhances the quality of the spirit. Once the raw spirit is distilled, it needs to be refined, which is carried out in wooden barrels. Aging serves to eliminate harsh and undesirable raw alcohol while infusing the spirit with woody notes that slowly steep and develop.
Oak and brandy aging
When raw brandy is poured into the oak cask, which is often charred, the liquor runs clear, but as the brandy ages, it acquires a warm, rich amber or golden hue. Charring the oaks alters the wood's chemistry, allowing new elements from the wood to steep into the spirit. Temperate and climate play a major role in extracting flavors from the oak, so these elements are heavily considered throughout the production process.
Although oak is the wood of choice for the creation of casks, distillers can experiment with different materials to concoct unique notes that set their spirits apart from the rest. Still, brandy needs to be aged for a minimum of two years.
Purposefully distilled and aged to create a complex combination of flavors, many distillers elect to age brandy in new oak barrels for up to a year before transferring the gold-hued nectar into older barrels. For consistency in flavor between the same release, brandy can be blended with others to retain its signature notes between harvests.
Discover the finest brandy from Quality Liquor Store
At the Quality Liquor Store, we offer a wide selection of delightful aged brandies that roll right off your palate. Whether you’re looking for a delicious apple brandy with hints of caramel and honey or a lush raspberry brandy that’s ripe and aromatic, you’ll find it in our curated selection of brandies. Our expansive range contains all the finest liquors that will take your palate through a magnificent flavor journey — so shop today to discover your new favorite tipple and review our FAQs to find key details about our quick and easy shipping options.