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Brandy

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Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn, “burnt wine”)[1] is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume (70–120 US proof) and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks, some are coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of aging, and some brandies are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring.

Brandy is also produced from fermented fruits other than grapes, but these products are typically named eaux-de-vie, especially in French.

In some countries, fruit flavouring or some other flavouring may be added to a spirit that is called “brandy”.

Armagnac (French pronunciation: ​[aʁ.maˈɲak]) is a distinctive kind of brandy produced in the Armagnac region inGascony, southwest France. It is distilled from wine usually made from a blend of grapes including Baco 22A,ColombardFolle blanche and Ugni blanc, using column stills rather than the pot stills used in the production ofCognac. The resulting spirit is then aged in oak barrels before release. Production is overseen by INAO and the Bureau National Interprofessionel de l’Armagnac (BNIA).

Armagnac was one of the first areas in France to begin distilling spirits, but the overall volume of production is far smaller than Cognac production and therefore is less known outside Europe. In addition they are for the most part made and sold by small producers, whereas in Cognac production is dominated by big-name brands.