Brandies For Your Holiday Punch

Holiday punch shouldn’t be relegated to spiking it with flavorless vodka! Take your punch game to the next level with these brandies, all sip worthy and none of them will break the bank
Dec 14, 2016
  • 10
    10 Martell VSOP Cognac
    83
    Fruity
    Martell's VSOP Cognac incorporates eaux-de-vie between four and seven years old, with the average age said to be closer to six years of age. The blend incorporates grapes from four of six Cognac crus, with an emphasis on the Fins Bois and Petite Champagne regions. This is contrary to most of Martell's line, which heavily emphasizes the Borderies region.
  • 9
    9 Tariquet Bas-Armagnac VS Classique
    83
    Woody & Spicy
    The vineyards for the Château are located in Bas-Armagnac and for this bottling, 60% ugni blanc and 40% Baco grapes were used in its distillation. This is the youngest expression of their portfolio and is aged a minimum of 3 years in French oak. This family-owned, independent estate produces both Armagnac and still wine.
  • 8
    8 Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac
    83
    Fruity & Rich
    If you've ever had a VSOP Cognac, chances are it was Rémy. Released in 1927, this classic VSOP is a Fine Champagne Cognac with 55% coming from Grande Champagne. The grapes used for the House of Rémy are predominately ugni blanc (97%). This is a blend of over 200 eaux de vie which were aged 4-12 years.
  • 7
    7 Merlet Brothers Blend VSOP Cognac
    84
    Fruity & Sweet
    Previously a contract distillery for some of the larger and more prominent houses in Cognac, the Merlet Brothers decided that it was time to produce cognac under their own name. Produced from a blend of eaux-de-vie ranging from (the minimum) 4 to 12 years of age, the Merlet Blend VSOP is a very easy drinking cognac meant to be consumed neat or in a cocktail without any fuss.
  • 6
    6 Christian Brothers Sacred Bond Brandy
    85
    Woody & Spicy
    The Sacred Bond from Christian Brothers is a named, in part, for it being bottled-in-bond, the first for a grape brandy. Aged for 4 years in former Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, the brandy is distilled in California in copper pot-stills. It is bottled at 50% ABV and as such is suggested for use in cocktails.
  • 5
    5 Paul Beau VS Grande Champagne Cognac
    85
    Floral & Sweet
    The Paul Beau label represents one of Cognac's first growers to bottle brandy under their own name in 1895. Not that they were a young producer then, their 200 acres of prime land in the Grand Champagne have been cultivated by their family for long before that. The style here emphasizes elegance, and is achieved by removing the fine lees (expired yeast cells left over from fermentation) before distillation in their red copper still.
  • 4
    4 Pierre Ferrand Original Formula 1840 Cognac
    85
    Fruity & Floral
    Released in 2011,1840 Original Formula was created as a collaboration between Pierre Ferrand owner, Alexandre Gabriel, their cellar master, Christian Guerin, and cocktail historian, Dave Wondrich. Using a rare 19th century cognac, Pinet-Castillon Cognac from 1840 as a base, this product is designed to replicate what would have been used then in cocktails and punches. Its youthful fruity and floral character along with its higher proof for added oomph makes it stand out from other VS cognacs.
  • 3
    3 Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez
    86
    Woody & Spicy
    Cardenal Mendoza is distilled from mostly Airen grapes. The solera this is aged in is made up of barrels that previously held Pedro Ximenez sherry, a dessert-style fortified wine. The average age of the solera is 15 years.
  • 2
    2 Courvoisier VSOP Fine Cognac
    87
    Fruity
    This VSOP offering from Courvoisier is a Fine Champagne Cognac meaning it is comprised of the top two sub-regions in Cognac: Grande Champagne (at least 50% of the blend) and Petite Champagne. Cognacs are prized from these areas due to the high chalk content in the soil which makes the vines work harder to get water which results in better wine.
  • 1
    1 Louis Royer VSOP Preference Cognac
    88
    Fruity & Sweet
    Louis Royer is a “big house” that eludes the spotlight shared by other brands. The VSOP Preference is made from a blend of eaux de vie ranging from 4-6 years of age sourced from Fine Champagne, Fins Bois and Bons Bois crus.