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Under EU spirits legislation, brandy is a spirit drink obtained from spirits with or without the addition of wine distillate distilled at less than 94.8% vol., provided that this distillate does not exceed 50% of the alcoholic strength by volume of the finished product. The term brandy was first used by the German brandy producer Hugo Johann Asbach (1868-1935) in 1896, who called his product Cognac-Weinbrand (but from 1919 the use of the name Cognac was prohibited outside France). By definition, the term brandy is actually an exception, because otherwise only those distillation products that were distilled from mash, such as grape brandy, are called brandy. However, such a distillate is not aged in oak barrels like brandy and is also called clear wine because of its light colour.

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