- Since it is made from grapes and other fruits, pure, distilled brandy is considered gluten-free.
- Special attention should be paid to flavored varieties as they may contain glutenous ingredients such as additives and flavorings.
- Unlike flavored brandies and eau-de-vie, genuine brandies are distilled directly from fruits and do not contain sweeteners or added flavorings.
- The oak barrels in which the brandy is aged can sometimes be sealed with a paste made of rye or wheat flour. While the cross-contamination is minimal, people with extreme gluten intolerance may see themselves affected.
This is a question we hear all the time from alcohol consumers, is there gluten in brandy? And many similar questions that people ask about alcoholic drinks. Well, we have the answer right here for you, just keep reading below and find out.
One of the most consumed distilled liquors in the world, brandy is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed straight, in cocktails, on the rocks, or can be used to add flavor and sweetness to desserts, sauces, and many other delicious recipes.
Since it is made from grapes and other fruits, pure, distilled brandy is considered gluten-free.
However, if you are celiac or suffer from gluten-intolerance, there are certain aspects you must pay attention to: cross-contamination, added flavors, or gluten-containing ingredients.
Is there gluten in brandy – What is brandy
Brandy is a renowned sweet and fruity liquor that is distilled from wine and other fermented fruit juices such as apples, berries, apricots, pears, cherries, etc.
The brandy that is not distilled from wine is commonly referred to as eau-de-vie or flavored brandy and it includes varieties such as ouzo, grappa, or calvados.
Unlike flavored brandies and eau-de-vie, genuine brandies are distilled directly from fruits and do not contain sweeteners or added flavorings.
Though the manufacturing process varies from one distillery to another, there are several basic stages that all brandies go through: fruit fermentation, distillation into alcohol, and aging.
The aging process is what determines the quality and type of brandy that will eventually make it into our glasses for pure enjoyment.
Apart from the simple brandy types made of wine, there are various special designations that are a sign of superior quality: Armagnac, Pisco, Spanish Brandy, and – probably the most famous one – Cognac.
If you want to know exactly what you are buying, pay attention to the following rating system that is usually clearly displayed on the label:
A.C.: Aged 2 years in wood
V.S.: 3-star or “Very Special” – aged +3 years in wood
V.S.O.P.: 5-star or “Very Superior Old Pale” – aged +5 years in wood
X.O.: “Extra Old” – aged +6 years
Vintage: This brandy is stored in the cask. After bottling, the vintage date will be shown on the label
Hors D’age: This type of brandy is too old to determine its age
Known brands for gluten free brandy
Located in Cognac, France, Hennessy is owned by Moët Hennessy. One of the best brands you can find out there, Hennessy offers a wide range of pure, high-quality cognacs.
Their cognacs are made from grapes that are grown in Charante, France, and are safe to consume by celiac and gluten intolerant people.
Alongside Limited Edition varieties, their product list includes:
- HENNESSY VERY SPECIAL
- HENNESSY V.S.O.P Privilège
- Hennessy Paradis Imperial
- Hennessy Fine de cognac
- HENNESSY X.O
- James Hennessy
- Hennessy Privé
- Richard Hennessy
- Hennessy Paradis
You can check out all the available Hennessy products and creative ways to enjoy them here.
Another French award-winning cognac distiller, Courvoisier has been providing high-quality products since 1828. Their grapes are grown in Jarnac, France.
The Courvoisier collection includes:
- Courvoisier VS
- Courvoisier VSOP
- VSOP Exclusif
- Courvoisier XO
- 12 Year Old
- 21 Year Old
- Napoleon Fine Champagne
- Initiale Extra
- L’Essence de Courvoisier
- Succession JS
You can check out their product list here.
According to Courvoisier’s FAQ section, their cognacs contain no animal products, no allergens, no sulfites, no gluten, and no lactose. That means that they can be consumed safely by vegans, vegetarians, celiac, and gluten-intolerant people.
Remy Martin Cognac
Another high-quality distiller based in Cognac, France, Remy Martin is known worldwide for the superiority of their cognacs.
The Remy Marting Collection includes:
- 1738 ACCORD ROYAL
- CARTE BLANCHE À BAPTISTE LOISEAU
All their products are gluten-free and can be safely consumed by celiac and gluten-intolerant people. You can check out all the varieties and additional information on the distillation and aging process here.
Kasser Laird Brandy
Laird & Company is a US-based distiller that provides high-quality American Apple Brandies and a wide variety of Applejacks. You can check out all the available varieties here.
Things to look out for
Pure, quality brandies are naturally gluten-free. However, special attention should be paid to flavored varieties as they may contain glutenous ingredients such as additives and flavorings. As always, reading the label carefully might save you from a lot of troubles.
If the brandy is produced in a facility that also processes other gluten-containing products, there is a risk of cross-contamination.
What’s more, the oak barrels in which the brandy is aged in can sometimes be sealed with a paste made of rye or wheat flour. While the cross-contamination is minimal, people with extreme gluten intolerance may see themselves affected.
If you have doubts, make sure to contact the manufacturer before consuming the product.
To sum up
Pure brandy is naturally gluten-free. However, you need to be extremely careful with flavored brandies and other fruit-based brandies as they may contain hidden glutenous additives and flavors.
Cross-contamination may also happen if the brandy is produced in the same facility as other gluten-containing beverages.
We cannot stress enough the importance of carefully reading the label before consuming a product, especially if it is not labeled as ‘gluten-free’.