These are the best bottles of brandy for flaming your Christmas Pudding

From a small batch Cognac to an aristocratic tipple, these are the best bottles to fire up the festivities this Christmas

It’s the most decadent time of the year. Christmas is upon us, and with it comes more opulent, rich foods than you can shake a cranberry sauce-smothered turkey drumstick at. And the most crucial culinary part of the festive season? The firing of the Christmas pudding.

In most households, it’s a tradition; a time-honoured, booze-soaked ceremony. We douse the dessert in the best brandy we can get our hands on and light it up as the flaming festive centrepiece of the dinner table. But buy the wrong bottle and you risk putting out your own Christmas spirit. So, to avoid any soggy puds and mild flavours, we’ve uncorked up the eight best brandies money can buy.

For brandy-making heritage: Delamain Pale & Dry XO Centenaire

This incredible brandy begins life on vines in the Grande Champagne hamlet of Bellevigne, and is aged in old oak casks in Delamain’s semi-underground cellars. With peonies on the palate, notes of both apricot and orange, and a colour even richer than its illustrious heritage, it’s the perfect cognac for Christmas.

The nose has exotic notes of mango, lychee and nectarine. On the palate, it is delicately dotted with touches of peach, wildflowers and vanilla — with faint hints of hazelnut and chestnut also in the delectable mix. Ending on a lingering honey and almond finish, it’s a journey of sumptuous, seasonal sensations.

These are the best bottles of brandy for flaming your Christmas Pudding

Delamain Pale & Dry XO Centenaire

£86.95

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For an Italian option: Vecchia Romagna Riserva 18 Year Old Brandy

Vecchia Romagna is the world’s best-selling Italian brandy — and it’s bursting with as much colourful character and punchy, potent style as its compatriots. Since 1939, the brand has been bottling its brandy in distinctive triangular glassware (this 18 Year Old expression comes in a handsome three-sided box).

The liquid itself is beautiful. It’s a bold, exceedingly well-balanced brandy; initially matured in oak but finished in barrels that nursed a delectable Amarone Della Valpolicella red wine to old age. Expect aromas of dried fruit, walnut and figs — and the recognisably ‘pudding-y’ flavours of cinnamon, cloves, prunes and coffee.

These are the best bottles of brandy for flaming your Christmas Pudding

Vecchia Romagna Riserva 18 Year Old Brandy

£130.00

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For a full flavour: ABK6 Single Estate Cognac

ABK6 Single Estate Cognac

One of the most important parts of flaming a pudding is heating the spirit. Get your brandy in a long-handled metal ladle and heat it over a gas flame until hot. Of course, this means you need a spirit that can stand up to this searing punishment.

With aromas of spiced wood, brioche cake and cinnamon, this bottle from ABK6 not only fits that bill, but also ticks the Christmas box with confidence. Finishing with fruity notes, once you’re done with the pudding this will make a great French Manhattan cocktail.

ABK6 Single Estate Cognac

ABK6 Single Estate Cognac

£48.00

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For the best of both worlds: Vallein-Tercinier XO 46° Small Batch Cognac

Vallein-Tercinier XO 46° Small Batch Cognac

Sometimes, creating the best brandy takes a blend. As with whisky, some may turn their noses up at blends, but there’s something charmingly honest about this un-chillfiltered, naturally-coloured Cognac from Vallein-Tercinier.

A blend of 25-year-old and 15-year-old faux-de-vie, you get the best of both worlds on the palate. That means the fresh flavours of stone fruits, honey and citrus orange, but also the heavier, steeped aromas of rich stewed fruits and fiery ginger spice.

Vallein-Tercinier XO 46° Small Batch Cognac

Vallein-Tercinier XO 46° Small Batch Cognac

£64.00

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For a fruity feel: Jean Fillioux Cask 75 Through The Grapevine

Jean Fillioux Cask 75 Through The Grapevine

Christmas puddings are, predominantly, fruity. Sometimes even known as ‘plum pudding’, they are crammed with handful upon handful of currants, berries and dried fruits. And so, it’s only right that your brandy is equally fruity.

From La Maison Du Whisky, this fresh bottling of Jean Fillioux has loud tropical fruit on the nose, with an abundance of dark berries on the palate. Of course, there’s Christmas spice, too. From subtle clove to the stranger pine bark flavours, it’s a fruity riot — and seemingly made to be poured on your pudding.

Jean Fillioux Cask 75 Through The Grapevine

Jean Fillioux Cask 75 Through The Grapevine

£110.00

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For sheer seasonal decadence: Martell XO Cognac

Martell XO Cognac

Martell’s XO Cognac is nothing short of a triumph; a masterpiece of blending that’s almost wasted by burning on your Christmas pudding.

But, then again, Christmas is a time for decadence, and there’s nothing like this rich brandy with impressive depth — and a surprisingly elegant, subtle texture — to douse your pudding in. So go on, treat yourself.

For an aristocratic aroma: Torres Miguel Torres Imperial Brandy

Torres Miguel Torres Imperial Brandy

Not only is this one of the most storied bottles in the world of brandy, but it would also make a handsome centrepiece to any Christmas dinner table. Striking, bold and unique to the brand, the bottle shares these qualities with the flavour of the brandy itself.

A deep, warm aroma greets you with traces of dried fruit and nuts. Elegant hints of spice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg create a round, intensely velvety feel on the palate and a lingering aftertaste typical of its noble origin.

Torres Miguel Torres Imperial Brandy

Torres Miguel Torres Imperial Brandy

£56.99

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For a sumptuous flaming: 
Remy Martin XO Excellence

Remy Martin XO Excellence

There are certain foods and drinks that are unapologetically rich. Christmas pudding is one, and brandy is another. Remy Martin’s XO Excellence steps things up another gear again, with ripe fig, candied orange and juicy prune aromas coming together in a bottle of unrivalled sumptuousness.

Texture, complexity and richness; this brandy has it all.  And, our favourite thing about it is the delicate jasmine and iris top notes that somehow still come across despite the richness and depth of the heart flavours. Douse your pudding then pour yourself a double measure on the rocks — and thank us later.

Remy Martin XO Excellence

Remy Martin XO Excellence

£180.00

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