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French Cognac versus Cape Brandy

One of the most common questions we get asked at Oude Molen, is how Cape Brandy is different from Cognac. The simple answer is, it isn’t!

We’d even go as far as to bet, the next time you go Cognac shopping, you may well be reaching for the Cape Brandy instead!

Around the world, Cognac enjoys almost mythical status in its implied luxury and “Made It” sentiment. Being backed by some of the most stringent control checks in the world, and a 400 year history, it is a high quality drink that has rightly grown to be a king in the premium spirits world.

Not many people know, however, that Cape Brandy is produced in exactly the same manner as Cognac. All Cape Brandy is 100% double distilled in copper potstills, and aged for many years in oak barrels. In fact Cape Brandy actually has more stringent legislation in place around it, with minimum age terms for the grades of VS, VSOP and XO being substantially longer than those in France.

No flavours, preservative or alcohol is added, what comes out of potstill is what you drink years later, bottled straight from the barrel, with only pure water added to obtain bottle strength.

What’s important to understand in all of this though, is that while Cape Brandy mirrors Cognac in its production techniques, it also aspires to stand as something unique and different, a true challenger in its own right, for global domination.

The local “Terroir” combination of perfect soil and strong South African sun produce a bold brandy with a much fuller fruit flavour. As subtle, smooth and refined as its older Cognac brother, it stands tall in the eyes of critics, and wins more awards at global spirits competitions, than any other brandy in the world.

So the next time you feel like drinking a Cognac, try a Cape Brandy instead. Always look out for Cape Brandy, or 100% Potstill Brandy on the label, to be sure that the contents are world class. As with the French, South Africa makes a other styles of Brandy that are not 100% potstill, and it’s these styles that have given South African brandy a bad name in the past.

Were confident that if you try any of our Oude Molen Cape Brandy’s, either neat, on the rocks or with a dash of water, you will be pleasantly surprised. We’d even go as far as to bet that the next time you go Cognac shopping, you may well be reaching for the Cape Brandy instead!

Enjoy Cape Brandy, a proudly South African world beater.

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