What is difference between Cognac, Armagnac, and Brandy?

Difference between cognac and armagnac and brandy

The principle difference between the above three not so much their style but rather the regions in which the fortified wine are originally made. All three are made from distilling wine (usually white) and placing the pale spirit in oak barrels for several years to age. Cognac more specifically is a French city regarded as being the finest for producing ‘top shelf’ brandies and is located some 500 km south of Paris, 120 km north of Bordeaux, and 60 km from the Atlantic Ocean (see www.le-cognac.com). Not too far away, more to the interior in the Gascogne region lies Armagnac, also within the southwestern part of France (www.armagnac.fr). If it should come from anywhere else it is simply referred to by the more common term: brandy.

Letters corresponding to the bottles’ aging process and their quality designate its status. For example, if the letters VS (very special) are on the bottle it means it has aged for 5 to 7 years. VSOP (very special old pale) means it has undergone 8 to 12 years of aging and the word Napolean signifies 15 to 25 years of aging. Similarly, the XO (extra old) label guarantees a premium quality product with around 40 years of aging invested.

The Big 4 Cognacs Telephone Location Visting Hours/ Fees
Hennessy Tel: (+33) 05 45 35 72 68Fax: (+33) 05 45 35 79 49 Rue de la Richonne, Quai Richard Hennessey-Cognac 16100 Open 7 days a week from March to December 10-5pm. Fee
Remy-Martin  Tel: (+33) 05 45 35 76 66Fax: (+33) 05 45 35 77 86 Domaine de Merpins (Rue de Pons/5km from Cognac) -16100 Open April to October from Mon to Sat-RSVP only
Courvoisier  Tel: (+33) 05 45 35 55 55 2 Place du Chateau, Jarnac 16200 Open 11 am to 7pm, 7 days a week from May to September (except Saturdays in May and September). Free
Martell Tel: (+33) 05 45 36 34 97 Place Edouard Martell, Cognac 16100 Open June to Sept. from Mon to Fri 9:30 to 17:00 & Sat/Sun 12:00 to 17:00. Fee

Cognac, Armagnac, and Brandy are all types of distilled spirits made from grapes, but there are distinct differences between them. Cognac and Armagnac are both types of brandy, but they come from different regions of France and are made using different methods. Cognac is made specifically in the Cognac region of France, while Armagnac is produced in the Gascony region. Additionally, Cognac is typically made from the Ugni Blanc grape variety, while Armagnac can be made from a variety of grape varieties including Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard, and Baco. Another key difference between Cognac and Armagnac is the method of distillation. Cognac is distilled twice in column stills, whereas Armagnac is typically distilled once in a traditional pot still.

Furthermore, the aging process and use of oak barrels differ between Cognac and Armagnac. Cognac is aged in Limousin oak barrels, which impart a smooth and delicate flavor to the spirit. Armagnac, on the other hand, is aged in black oak barrels, which give it a more robust and complex flavor profile. Additionally, Cognac is often aged for a minimum of two years, while Armagnac is typically aged for a longer period of time, resulting in a richer and more mature flavor.

In terms of taste, Cognac is known for its smooth and refined character, with notes of dried fruit, vanilla, and oak. Armagnac, on the other hand, is often described as more rustic and earthy, with flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Ultimately, while both Cognac and Armagnac are types of brandy made from grapes, the differences in production methods, grape varieties, and aging processes result in distinct flavor profiles that appeal to different palates.

Cognac, Armagnac, and brandy are all types of French brandies made from grapes, but there are several differences between them. Cognac is a type of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France, while Armagnac is made in the Armagnac region. One of the key differences between Armagnac and Cognac lies in the distillation process. Armagnac is typically distilled only once in a continuous still, whereas Cognac is distilled twice in a pot still. This difference in distillation process can result in distinct flavor profiles for each spirit.

Another difference between Armagnac and Cognac is the type of grapes used in their production. Cognac is typically made from the Ugni Blanc grape, while Armagnac can be made from a variety of grape varieties, including Baco Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard. Additionally, Armagnac is often made from grapes grown in the Armagnac region, which has a different terroir than the Cognac region. This can also contribute to differences in flavor and character between the two spirits.

Furthermore, there are differences in the aging requirements for Armagnac and Cognac. Cognac must be aged for at least two years in oak barrels, while Armagnac is often aged for longer periods of time. Additionally, Armagnac is sometimes aged in older barrels or smaller casks, which can impart different flavors to the spirit. These variations in aging and production methods result in distinct differences between Armagnac and Cognac, making each spirit unique in its own right.

In conclusion, while Armagnac and Cognac are both French brandies made from grapes, there are several differences between them. From white wine to brandy or cognac now you know the difference. These include differences in the distillation process, grape varieties used, aging requirements, and terroir. These differences contribute to the distinct flavor profiles and characteristics of each spirit, making them both unique and enjoyable in their own way.

Spirits of Europe

  • a pony is .75oz of liquor (half a jigger)
  • a shot is 1 oz. of liquor
  • a jigger is 1.5 oz. of liquor
  • a fifth of liquor equals one-fifth of a gallon or 750 ml.
  • to determine the proof of a liquor simply multiply the percentage of alcohol(by volume) by two. For example, liquor that is listed as 40% alcohol (by volume) is 80 proof
  • an aperitif is a before dinner drink designed to heighten the appetite
  • a digestif is an after dinner drink designed to aid in digestion

the Bloody Mary, a vodka and tomato drink, was based on the nickname for Mary I, who was the Queen of England from 1553-1558 and notorious for her bloody persecution of Protestants (it was not named after Mary Queen of Scots as many believe).