The art and science of making a perfect brandy
The warmth exuberated from a glass of fine brandy is one that is treasured by the lovers of the drink. It is the kind that a classic music lover finds in the works of Beethoven or Mozart, what a travel enthusiast finds when looking at the beautiful Taj Mahal. Brandy making is a fascinating but complicated process which demands respect from the geniuses and talented individuals who make it. Unlink many other spirits, Brandy is made from wines, in fact, the meaning of the origin of the word Brandy is ‘burnt wine’.
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The primary objective of making the perfect brandy is to capture the essence of the underlying fruit leaving behind the off-tastes and championing alcohol in the process. The art of balancing the raw materials such that the undesirable flavors are eliminated and the underlying character of the fruit is preserved.
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After having the best mix for the ingredients, the process of distillation is usually carried out in copper pots to distill brandy from wine. Distillation methods of Potstill and Columnstill distillation are used for this purpose depending upon the desired output. The wine is heated until the alcohol starts to evaporate from the wine which is later cooled and separated. For purity reasons, this alcohol called the ‘Low wine’ is captured in thirds. Brandy is made from the middle third called ‘heart’. This process separates the hearts fractions and the spirit is now put into oak barrels for aging.
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The aging and maturation of the brandy can be done for as long as it deems fit for the creator. Heart is a clear white alcohol with flavors and aromas of the base wine, which when infused in the oak barrels gives the spirit its character and its distinct golden hue. These barrels are often toasted inside with an open flame to transfer the flavor and character of the spirit aging inside.
After the aging and maturation is complete, the master distiller selects from different barrels different brandy with their own individual characteristics to carefully blend and make the right one with the distinct nose, flavor and palate. With numerous meticulous efforts like these, the classic bottle of brandy is ready for consumption, to fill up your heart with the warmth that it rightfully promises.