Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling fruit wine. Cognac and Armagnac both come from grapes specific to the Cognac and Armagnac regions of France.
Armagnac is made with a blend of grapes – typically four – and column-distilled twice. The result is a fruitier, more rustic spirit that isn’t cut with water and therefore has a higher ABV.
Cognac is usually made with just one grape, Ugni Blanc, and tends to have a lighter fruit flavor and more delicate profile.
The letters that are included on bottle labels for Armagnac and Cognac represent the age of the spirit.
V.O. (Very Old): Aged a minimum of 4 years.
V.S. (Very Special): The youngest Cognac or Armagnac in the blend must be a minimum of 2 years old.
V.S.O.P. (Very Special/Superior Old Pale): The youngest Cognac in the blend must be at least 4 years old or, for Armagnac, 5 years old (though often it’s much older).
Napoleon: A Cognac that’s 4 years old or an Armagnac that’s at least 6 years old.
X.O. (Extra Old): The youngest Cognac or Armagnac in the blend must be a minimum 10 years old.
Cru: Not a statement of age, but place, basically the growing region, which you’ll see more often on Cognac (which has six official growing regions).
Please check with the store you selected to verify they have the item in stock. Spirit Finder information is based on store purchases not current store inventory.
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