Brandy and Whisky: Two sides of the same coin
What Brandy and Whisky have in common
As you know, Brandy and Whisky are the two most famous drinks in the world, and despite differences in the raw materials used and the methods of production, they share certain similarities.
To give you a general idea of both drinks, we will explain briefly their key points:
Ingredients used in their production:
Brandy is a spirit distilled from fermented wine and is aged for varying periods in oak barrels. Whisky is a spirit distilled from fermented malted cereals such as barley, wheat, rye and corn and, like Brandy, is aged for varying periods in oak barrels.
For Brandy production the process is based on the distillation of wine in copper stills. Interestingly, three litres of wine are needed to produce one litre of Brandy, and it is for this reason that Brandy is known as the “Spirit of Wine”. Whisky on the other hand, is made by the distillation of fermented malted cereals, also in copper stills.
Ageing of the spirits:
Once the new spirit is distilled it needs to be aged. To do this, both Brandy and Whisky use a very similar system to nurture the spirit to its optimum state for drinking: ageing in American oak barrels which have previously been used to age Sherry.
This is the key. Sherry comes in a large range of styles from dry to sweet, and this will decisively influence the flavour, aroma and colour which the Brandy and Whisky will later acquire.
Why Sherry is used:
This is simply because of the vast array of aromas and flavours which both drinks inherit from the Sherry barrels. Brandy uses them for their capacity to “educate” the spirit, giving it subtle notes which it could only get from contact with oak, and it is the same with Whisky. Every year the producers of famous brands of Whisky visit Jerez, urgently seeking out these barrels steeped with Sherry over the years. Only this way will they obtain the fine colour and flavour expected of a good Whisky.
As you can see, despite their differences both drinks share common features, as much in their production as in their ageing, to achieve the highest levels of quality. The tones of colour, flavour, aroma etc. of both drinks depend directly on the type of wine the barrel had previously held before its use as an ageing vessel for Brandy and Whisky.
Why choose Cardenal Mendoza to start discovering Brandy?
Cardenal Mendoza has long experience in the production of Brandy. We have a large range available, from our Cardenal Mendoza “Clásico” through Cardenal Mendoza “Carta Real” to our star Brandy Cardenal Mendoza “Non Plus Ultra” which has spent fifty years waiting to be tasted and enjoyed.