brandy(redirected from brandies)
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(Russian, kon’iak), a strong alcoholic beverage distilled primarily from dry white grape wines and aged in oaken barrels or cisterns with oaken staves. During the aging process brandy, which has an alcoholic content of 65–70 percent by volume is enriched with tannins and acquires its characteristic taste, bouquet, and color. At the same time, oxidizing processes are influenced by oxygen from the air. Distilled water is used to lower the alcoholic content of brandy. The production of brandy is especially widespread in France, in Charente Department (administrative center, Cognac), where the fine French brandy known as cognac is made.
In the Soviet Union two basic kinds of brandies are made, depending on the length of aging: ordinary brandies (from three to five years old, with the age indicated by asterisks) and fine brandies. The latter include KV, or aged brandy (from six to seven years), KWK, or highest quality aged brandy (eight to ten years), and KC, or old brandy (aged more than ten years). High-quality brandies are made in Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, and the Northern Caucasus. Other countries producing brandy include Italy, Spain, and Greece.