In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is brandy whiskey?” We will also discuss the differences between brandy and whisky in terms of their origin, ingredients used, distillation, aging, and flavors.
Is brandy whiskey?
No, brandy is not whisky. Although both of these alcoholic beverages are fermented, which requires the fermentation of sugar into alcohol, they have many differences. This method is responsible for the alcohol percentage of both spirits. Also, before consumption, brandy and whiskey are aged in wooden barrels for several years.
Brandy is a fruit-based distilled liquor, especially grapes. Simply put, brandy is distilled wine. Aside from grapes, other fruits commonly used to make brandy include apples, peaches, and apricots. Brandy usually contains between 35 and 60 percent alcohol. Unlike whisky which is bitter alcohol, brandy comes with a slightly fruity and sweet taste since it is derived from fruits.
While brandy is derived from fruits, whiskies are derived from different types of grains including corn, barley, wheat, and rye. Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains, especially whiskey from barley mash is very popular. Whisky, like brandy, is aged in wooden casks, which are often built of white oak.
Generally, whiskey develops a color as a result of the aging process in hardwood barrels. The whiskey’s color may darken as it ages inside the wooden barrel. Unlike brandy, all whiskeys take more than three years to age.
The whiskey goes through a chemical process inside the barrel that increases its malty, salty, and smokey flavor, color, and scent. Furthermore, the alcohol concentration of whiskey often ranges from 40% to 50%.
What are the differences between brandy and whisky?
The differences between brandy and whisky can be summarised under the following headings:
Brandy is said to be originated in the 15th century when winemakers attempted to distill wines to save transportation costs. As a result, it was named Brandywine, although today it is known as brandy all over the world. The word brandy was derived from the Dutch term “branwijin,” which means “burnt wine” and alludes to the distillation process of the drink.
Likewise, whiskey was initially manufactured in Scotland and Ireland in the 15th century before the rest of the world had a taste of it. The term Brandy is derived from the Gaelic phrase “uisge beatha,” which means “life’s water.” To obtain its flavor and the unique golden brown or amber hue, the liquor is aged in charred oak barrels.
Brandy is derived from fermented wine or fruit juice including grapes, apples, peaches, and apricots. The most popular and loved brandy remains to be the one made from grapes juice. Likewise, whiskey is derived from fermented grain mash. Usually, grains like corn, barley, wheat, malted barley, and rye are used for the whiskey.
Distillation and aging of alcohol
The color of brandy is determined by its age, fermenting technique, and distillation. The older the brandy, the darker it is. Furthermore, the age of the brandy determines its quality, which begins at two years. The distilled alcoholic beverage is distilled using huge pot stills.
Whiskey is typically distilled twice using a pot still or column still. After being filtered, it is now matured in wooden barrels for some time. The longer it stays in the barrel, the darker its color develops. Three years is the minimum maturity for whiskeys.
Since the ingredients used in brandy and whisky are completely different, their flavors and aroma are also very different from each other. The flavors of brandy are mostly found associated with fruits and flowers while whiskies have more powerful flavors.
Brandy is typically lighter and sweeter alcohol than whiskey. Caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, banana, fig, rose petal, apricot, and prune can be commonly found in brandy. It is a perfect choice when you want something stronger than wine but a little more delicate and subtle than whiskies.
The flavors of whiskey vary widely depending on the sort of whiskey you drink. However, stronger alcohol with more wood, tobacco, and malt can be expected. Even a sweet bourbon whiskey will not taste as fruity as a good brandy. Get to know more about the different varieties of whiskies here.
In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Is brandy whiskey?” We have also discussed the differences between brandy and whisky in terms of their origin, ingredients used, distillation, aging, and flavors.