Top Shelf Brandy Picks From The Distiller Community

These brandies were added to Distiller users' top shelves more than any others last week.
Jul 27, 2020
  • 10
    10 La Diablada Puro Moscatel Pisco
    96
    Floral & Herbal
    In addition to strict production regulations, Peruvian piscos are further categorized into aromatic or non-aromatic as well as puro (pure) or acholado (blend). This is a puro pisco meaning that this is the product of only one grape. In this case, it is the moscatel grape which is an aromatic grape. As of early 2016, this is now available in the US after only being sold in Peru.
  • 9
    9 Osocalis Apple Brandy
    93
    Fruity & Sweet
    Osocalis is a brandy distillery located in Soquel located in Northern California, but the traditions and methods of distillation are French. Dan Farber, owner and master distiller, spent many years in France and other parts of the world studying and making brandy. He began Osocalis in the early 1990's and exclusively produces brandies. A small, alembic still is used for distillation and in this bottling, over a dozen apples from the mountains of northern California are employed. It is aged for 15 years.
  • 8
    8 Singani 63
    93
    Fruity & Floral
    Singani is a spirit that has been produced since 1530. It has its own DO (denomination of origin) and GI (geographical indication) and can only be produced in the Bolivian Andes. The grapes (of which only muscat of Alexandria can be used) must be planted at a minimum of 5250 feet (1600 meters). As Singani is not recognized as its own spirit category in most of the world, it can only be described as a brandy, but it is better to think of it as an eau-de-vie. This Singani is the first to be available in the United States and for that you can thank director, Steven Soderbergh and his blood, sweat, and tears (and money).
  • 7
    7 Christian Brothers VS Brandy
    69
    Sweet & Spicy
    A religious order called the Christian Brothers began to distill brandy in 1882. Wine is still made and is distilled in the San Joaquin Valley which contribute a part in their brandies. European brandy is also blended to create this product which is bottled in California. The VS is aged from 2-6 years in oak barrels.
  • 6
    6 E & J VSOP Brandy
    74
    Fruity & Sweet
    The E & J in question are Ernest & Julio Gallo, the brothers who in 1933 founded their namesake winery, a giant still to this day in the world of wine-making. Their VSOP has no age statement (but is slightly older than their VS bottling). It is produced, bottled, and blended in California from a variety of grapes.
  • 5
    5 E & J VS Brandy
    72
    Fruity & Sweet
    Ernest & Julio Gallo are the namesakes for the E & J Brandy portfolio. Their first brandy sold was in 1938, but their VS was released in 1975. The VS is the youngest in their brandy portfolio and is at least 2 years old. Bottled and blended from a variety of grapes in California.
  • 4
    4 Paul Masson VS Grande Amber Brandy
    66
    Sweet & Spicy
    The term "VS" is meaningless to determine age with American brandy. The brandy does, however, have a small age statement: "aged three years in oak" listed on the front of the bottle. Paul Masson was one of the pioneers in the California wine making world back in the 1890's and created and popularized the first American sparkling wine. This brandy has Californian origins, but is bottled and blended in Bardstown, Kentucky.
  • 3
    3 Courvoisier VS Cognac
    78
    Fruity & Sweet
    This expression is the youngest released from Courvoisier and uses eaux de vie that range in age from 4-7 years. The grapes are primarily sourced from the Fins Bois region with some Petite Champagne used as well.
  • 2
    2 D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
    81
    Woody & Spicy
    D’USSÉ is a new brand, however, it's produced by Baron Otard, which has a history stretching back centuries, not to mention its own castle, the Château de Cognac along the Chartente river. The Baron Otard label itself has never been for sale in the United States. Enter, D’USSÉ's lineup, which was designed from the start to appeal to the American palate. The VSOP incorporates eaux-de-vie aged between four and eight years, and is meant to either hold up on its own or work well in mixed drinks.
  • 1
    1 Hennessy XO Cognac
    92
    Rich & Fruity
    Hennessy's XO first debuted in 1870, crafted by Maurice Hennessy for friends and family. The blend incorporates over 100 eaux-de-vie with ages up to 30 years. It's said to be the first XO ever released, with Hennessy dubbing that name himself. According to the brand, that's why the full name is technically Hennessy The Original X.O.