After seeing a sign declaring Tanduay Rum the “best in the world” I was send on an odyssey of other “best”, or rather best selling drinks in the world. Jingo Soju is the best selling liquor brand, Snow the best selling beer, and Tanduay the best rum. Well, it turns out Emperador is the top selling brandy. Here’s the tale of Emperador Brandy, the best in the world…..
Brandy in the Philippines
When we talk about great brandy’s our initial thoughts take us to France. Of course though France do not make great brandy’s, they make fine Cognac. Cognac is to brandy what Champagne is to sparkling wine it is that simple.
But, if we go down this route and talk about great brandies then that would take us to Spain, aside from the Cognac of France, Spain makes the best brandy.
The Philippines were formerly a Spanish colony, hence why they are the only serious ru makers in Asia. Therefore it is no great shock that they would try their hand at taking brandy right?
Emperador Brandy in the Philippines
Whilst the history of Tanduay goes way back to colonial times, Emerador has a much more contemporary history.
Before 1990 the Philippines was apparently a barren wasteland when it came to brandy, so Emperor launched as the first brandy product in the country. This turned out to be a rather smart move as it turns out that the Philippines really like their booze!
By 2006 Emperador was he top selling brandy brand in the world and by 2015 was selling 300 million liters a year. When you factor in that this is almost exclusively in the Philippines then you truly get some context.
Are there other variations of Emperador Brandy?
- Emperador Light – You will see this next to regular Emperador and whilst it does have some kind of following is really not all that great. At only 27% it is really not worth it.
- Emperador Deluxe – A 30% premium brandy bottled in Spain. I have honestly never seen Emperador Deluxe anywhere.
- Emperador Solera Reservada – Another deluxe version of Filipino brandy you are unlikely to bump into at a house party.
Is Emperador Brandy the best in the world?
OK, so lets get a little technical here! The label of the Light variation identifies the product as “Premium BRANDY Liqueur”, rather than simply “brandy”. This is because they add other crap like sweeteners and sugar cane. By this definition it is not even really a true brandy.
Taste wise it is also not all that great and you will need a lot of coke to make it palatable. I have never seen Emperador Brandy drank from a brandy glass on heated water. Just saying you know.
It is though the biggest selling by far. In the Philippines alone it accounts for 50% of the Filipino liquor market. There are 100 million Filipinos an they all really like a drink.
Can you buy Emperador outside of the Philippines?
Not in all that many places, but Thailand and essentially anywhere else with a Filipino diaspora. I once purchased a bottle of Emperador in Palau and Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
And that is the tale of the best selling “brandy”, bot not the best brandy on the planet by any reckoning.