It’s France who set the benchmark for these fruit spirits – with Cognac and Armagnac (grapes) and Calvados (apples and pears) being recognised the world over.


Distilled wine. In a simple sense – but so much more elegant than that makes it sound.

Brandy can come from distilled wine of many fruits – or in the case of pomace brandy, from the skins of the fruit.

Generally drunk as an after-dinner digestif, we stock a large range of Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados – and other brandies too.

Make sure you check out the vintages – some of these go way, way, way back…

NameCountryAge / Yr / VintageBrandy TypeABVSizePriceBuyhf:att:pa_brandy-type
NameCountryAge / Yr / VintageBrandy TypeABVSizePriceBuyhf:att:pa_brandy-type

Brandy and Brandy types

This must be the most recognised grape brandy in the world. For Cognac to be Cognac, the grapes must be grown in a specific area to the north of Bordeaux. Mostly using the Ugni Blanc variety which have an aroma of raisin and violets.

Cognac can differ by area and age – however the best are considered to be from close to the town of Cognac itself.

Cognac age statements / indications;

VS (Very Special) – minimum aged 2 years

VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) – minimum aged 4 years

XO (Extra Old) / Hors d’Age / Napoléon – min 6 years


Where Cognac is dominated by large producers, it is with Armagnac where the smaller Châteaus get chance to shine.

Armagnac follows a similar path to Cognac in terms of production, however there is a wider use of permitted grape variety.

Key differences also include a greater variety of vintages with Armagnac – as well as an unnamed spirit, called Blanche.

Armagnac labelling:

Blanche (Unaged) – Minimum 3 months in stainless steel

VS (Very Special) – Minimum 1 year in oak

VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) – minimum 4 years on oak

Hors d’Age / Vintage – Minimum 10 years in oak

Whereas Cognac and Armagnac are made from grapes, Calvados is made from apples or pears which grow better in the north of France – specifically, in Normandy.

Typically aged in oak barrels, Calvados usually retains an aroma of it’s base ingredient.

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