The Best Brandies From November

These ten brandies ranked the highest among all of the expert Tasting Table reviews in November!
Nov 30, 2016
  • 10
    10 Dutch's Spirits Peach Brandy
    85
    Fruity & Woody
    Dutch’s Spirits based in New York’s Hudson Valley makes Peach Brandy in the traditional manner by using only peaches (from New York) that are first fermented then distilled into their small batch, 100% Peach Brandy. It is then aged in toasted American Oak Barrels. Bottled at 80 proof and hand labeled with batch and bottle number. (Note: Batch 02, bottle 61 was used for this review.)
  • 9
    9 Schoharie Mapple Jack
    87
    Sweet & Oily
    New York's farm distilleries, like Charlottesville's Schoharie Farm, benefit from a state law allowing them to sell directly to the public, facilitating a boom in craft distilling in the past decade. This most unusual spirit consists of aged apple brandy, with the addition of just a touch of local maple syrup.
  • 8
    8 Finger Lakes Distilling Riesling Grappa
    88
    Fruity & Sweet
    Finger Lakes Distilling is a New York State Farm Distillery, which means they must use locally-grown produce to create their spirits. They are located on a vineyard in one of New York's premier wine regions known especially for producing great riesling wine. Their Riesling Grappa is an unaged pomace brandy made from the highly aromatic grape. It is crushed and pressed for wine then the entire grape – seeds, skins, and all- are fermented and distilled as is traditional for grappa. Note: This is sold in 375ml sized bottles and found only in New York State.
  • 7
    7 Finger Lakes Distilling Brandy
    90
    Floral & Fruity
    Finger Lakes Distilling Brandy is an aged, Cognac-style brandy made from a blend of vinifera and native grapes. As a New York State Farm Distillery, they source all of the grapes for this brandy from their local region, the Finger Lakes. After fermentation, the wine is distilled in a copper 350-gallon pot still with a 20-foot rectification column. This is followed by aging in used whiskey barrels for 3 - 4 years.
  • 6
    6 Berta Grappa di Nebbiolo da Barolo
    92
    Fruity & Rancio
    A landmark brandy producer based in Asti, Piedmont, Berta is famous for the approachability of its grappas. Made 75% from the must (stems, seeds, and skins) of Nebbiolo grapes sourced from Barolo along with 25% juice from the grapes themselves. This grappa is subsequently aged for about a year in French oak barrels before it is ready for your glass.
  • 5
    5 Calvados Adrien Camut 6 Year
    92
    Sweet & Fruity
    The Camut estate grows a staggering 800 types of apples on their bucolic property in the heart of the Pays d'Auge region of Calvados. This, and the maturation in large semi-full oak barrels, creates a spirit with surprising complexity and softness for a relatively young brandy. The Pays D'Auge AOC requires double distillation in copper pot stills, but the Camuts go a step further by using wood fire to power the still the old fashioned way.
  • 4
    4 Berta Acquae Vitae 20 Anni
    93
    Fruity & Sweet
    Distillerie Berta was established in 1947. This brandy was distilled from a selection of grapes sourced from Piedmont where the distillery is located. It is aged 20 years in French oak barrels. Berta embraces the Sur Lie method of distillation, which is to say, the sediment after fermentation is not removed.
  • 3
    3 Campo de Encanto Barkeep's Whimsy Pisco
    93
    Fruity
    Campo de Encanto's "Barkeep's Whimsy" developed out of the company's Distiller's Apprentice program, which brings bartenders to Ica, Peru to learn about pisco. This expression inverts the recipe for their Grand and Noble pisco (torontel, quebranta, moscatel, mollar, and italia grapes) to bring the torontel grape to prominence. It is distilled one time with nothing added.
  • 2
    2 Clear Creek Grappa of Pinot Grigio
    93
    Fruity & Tart
    This grappa from Clear Creek is distilled from pomace from 100% pinot grigio grapes from the Pacific Northwest. Once the wine is made, the pomace (skins, seeds, etc.) left over from the fermentation and pressing are removed. The dry pommace is then itself fermented and distilled. This is sold in both 375ml and 750ml sized bottles.
  • 1
    1 Paul Beau Lignee de Samuel Cognac
    94
    Rich & Rancio
    Maison Paul Beau is a grower-producer in Cognac, one of the oldest artisanal cognac distillers in Segonzac. This bottling is based on the ugni blanc and colombard grape varietals all sourced completely from Grande Champagne region where Paul Beau is located. The “Lignee de Samuel Cognac” is an assemblage of eaux-de-vie from 1930 and 1950. Being one of the rarest expressions from this small house, only 60 bottles are released each year in the U.S.