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You’ll love these popular brandy bottles (all under $40)

We ranked budget brandy bottles

Whiskey on a rock outside near a fire
Thomas Park / Unsplash

If you’re a spirit drinker, you’re likely well aware of how great bourbon, single malt Scotch, rye whiskey, aged rum, tequila, and mezcal are for sipping neat or on the rocks. But what about brandy? If you’re like many drinkers, your only image of brandy might be a memory of when you saw your grandpa drinking it on a cold winter night in front of a fireplace. But there’s so much more to this spirit than an old-timey drink enjoyed by geriatrics.

For those unaware, brandy is a spirit made from distilled wine as well as a variety of other fermented fruit juices (blackberry, apple, cherry, and more). Its name is a reference to the Dutch word brandewijn which roughly translates to “burnt wine”.

Whiskey
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The brandy umbrella

And while you can find bottles labeled as “brandy’, there are also other spirits under the brand umbrella. These include Cognac, Armagnac, calvados, pisco, grappa, and fruit-flavored brandies. Today, we’re most interested in traditional brandy and fruited brandies only.

Whiskey
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5 fan-favorite budget brandy bottles

Not only are there myriad brandies available, but you don’t have to spend the equivalent of a car payment to get your hands on a great, flavorful bottle. There are countless budget bottles just waiting to be discovered. Keep scrolling to learn about five of the best.

Montmartre Napoleon Brandy
Montmartre

Montmartre Napoleon Brandy

This traditionally-made French brandy was named after the exciting artistic district of Paris. Made from French wine grapes, this complex, flavorful brand is the epitome of bargain-friendly. The nose is a mix of grape skins, butterscotch, oak, and gentle spices. On the palate, you’ll find notes of rich oak, fruit esters, grapes, vanilla, and more spices. It’s simple, surprisingly inexpensive, and works as a great rainy-day sipper or mixer.

Cîroc VS French Brandy
Cîroc

Cîroc VS French Brandy

You probably know about this brand because of its vodka prowess. But, if you didn’t know it, the vodka is made from French grapes. It only made sense to launch a brandy back in 2018. This 80-proof VS brandy was matured in French oak before being blended with older, aged brandies. The result is a flavorful, memorable brandy with notes of ripe fruit, vanilla beans, caramel, wintry spices, and charred oaky wood. It’s a great sipping of brandy for a chilly evening.

Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy
Laird’s

Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy

This 100-proof applejack is made the same way it was more than two centuries ago. This 100% apple-based brandy is matured for at least four full years in charred oak barrels. The result is a surprisingly complex, bold, potent sipping brandy loaded with caramel apple, vanilla bean, gentle spice, and rich oaky flavors. Drink it neat, or add a few drops of water to open it up.

St-Rémy Signature Brandy
St-Rémy

St-Rémy Signature Brandy

This 80-proof French brandy was double-matured to create a complex, sippable brandy. It was first aged in new oak casks before being matured a second time in traditional casks. The result is a rich, mellow brandy with notes of gentle spices, oaky wood, ripe fruit, honey, candied nuts, and vanilla beans. It’s the kind of spirit you’ll want to sip on an unseasonably cool night.

Copper & Kings American Craft Apple Brandy
Copper & Kings

Copper & Kings American Craft Apple Brandy

Copper & Kings is a big name in the American brandy scene. Its American Craft Apple Brandy is one of its best budget expressions. This 92-proof apple brandy was copper pot-distilled and non-chill-filtered. It was finished in ex-bourbon and new American oak casks. This creates a complex, sweet, sippable brandy with notes of honey, oak, vanilla beans, butterscotch, candy apples, and gentle spices. It’s perfect as a replacement for whiskey in your favorite cocktail or as a neat sipper.

whiskey
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Picking the right brandy for you

Nobody will fault you for sticking with your favorite Cognac when it comes to brandy. If that’s as far as you delve into this spirit category, that’s okay. There are countless great VS, VSOP, and XO expressions from Remy Martin, Hennessy, Martell, and Courvoisier (as well as lesser-known brands). But if you want to step out of your comfort zone and try some other brandy varieties, there are a lot to choose from.

There are many American, French, Greek, and even Armenian brandies to choose from (as well as other countries). But there are also myriad fruit brandies. If you want to go for it, you’ll grab a bottle of calvados, pisco, or the lesser-known French brandy Armagnac. Better yet, try famed director Steven Soderbergh’s Bolivian brandy called Singani 63. Just remember to have an open mind about brandy. Clearly, it’s so much more than a drink your grandparents used to drink.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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