Brandy de Jerez Guide

Unveiling the Extraordinary Transformation from Humble Origins to World-Class Refinement


Last updated: November 22, 2023


Fifty years ago, Spanish brandy was rarely held in great esteem by cigar-chomping sybarites. Inexpensive to make and widely available, it had the texture of sandpaper and the finesse of an overcooked ham. Yet the drink was very popular with Spanish consumers in the mid-20th century, sold as an affordable tipple to get workers through their arduous days. Nevertheless, a generous assessment would describe the critical mass of Spanish brandies as “firewater.” Velvety, they were not.

However, the picture looks very different today. Amid the national wine renaissance, there has been a concurrent revitalization of the country’s spirit industry, with major investments raising the quality bar to new heights; this has been fueled by rising global demand for premium spirit brands. The chief Spanish beneficiary of this dramatic turnaround has been the Sherry Triangle – home of Brandy de Jerez. Over 95 percent of all Spain’s brandies are made in this beautiful region, the finest of which can compete with the long-aged Cognacs of France. A poor and lackluster relation to its French counterpart? Qué va! as they say in the tapas bars of Seville.


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James lawrence

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