Metaxa Brandy: A Timeless Greek Spirit with a Unique Legacy

by Kaia

Metaxa brandy, often simply referred to as “Metaxa,” is a renowned Greek spirit that has captivated the hearts and palates of connoisseurs around the world. This unique brandy boasts a rich heritage dating back over a century and a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart from other spirits. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the world of Metaxa brandy, exploring its history, production process, classifications, and the unparalleled sensory experience it offers to enthusiasts and newcomers alike.


The Legacy of Metaxa Brandy

Metaxa brandy is named after Spyros Metaxa, a Greek entrepreneur who founded the Metaxa Distillery in Athens in 1888. Spyros Metaxa set out to create a brandy that would embody the spirit of Greece and its rich cultural heritage. He envisioned a brandy that would not only be a testament to the country’s historical traditions but also a symbol of its warmth and hospitality.


Since its inception, Metaxa has been committed to producing high-quality brandy that remains true to Spyros Metaxa’s vision. Over the years, it has become synonymous with Greek culture and hospitality, enjoyed by locals and celebrated by visitors as a true taste of Greece.


The Production Process

Metaxa brandy is distinct in its production process, which combines elements of both brandy and wine-making techniques. This unique approach contributes to its characteristic flavor and aroma. Let’s explore the key steps involved in crafting this exceptional spirit:


Base Wine: The journey of Metaxa begins with the creation of base wine. High-quality grapes, primarily from the Greek islands, are harvested and fermented to produce a wine with rich and fruity characteristics. This wine forms the foundation for Metaxa brandy.

Double Distillation: The base wine undergoes a double distillation process in copper pot stills. The first distillation, known as “simple distillation,” yields a low-alcohol wine, while the second distillation, known as “double distillation,” refines the alcohol content and concentrates the flavors.

Aging: After distillation, the brandy is carefully aged in oak barrels for an extended period. Metaxa employs a solera aging system, which involves blending brandies of different ages in a pyramid-style system. The brandy gradually moves from the top tier of barrels to the bottom, resulting in a harmonious integration of flavors and a consistent quality.

Botanical Infusion: What truly sets Metaxa apart is its infusion with a secret blend of Mediterranean botanicals, including Muscat wines from the Greek islands, rose petals, and various aromatic herbs. This infusion takes place during the aging process and imparts the spirit with its unique character.

Blending: Master blenders carefully select and blend brandies of different ages and character to achieve the desired flavor profile. This artful blending is a crucial step in crafting Metaxa’s distinctive taste.

The Classification of Metaxa Brandy

Metaxa brandy is available in a range of expressions, each classified by a specific number that represents its aging period and flavor intensity. These classifications help consumers choose the Metaxa brandy that best suits their preferences. The main classifications include:

Metaxa 3 Stars (Three Star): This is the entry-level expression, aged for a minimum of three years. It offers a smooth and approachable taste, making it ideal for cocktails or sipping on the rocks. Metaxa 3 Stars showcases the brand’s signature fruity and floral notes with a hint of spice.

Metaxa 5 Stars (Five Star): Aged for a minimum of five years, this expression exhibits a greater depth of flavor and complexity. It is characterized by rich, honeyed notes, along with hints of dried fruits and a subtle touch of oak. Metaxa 5 Stars is a versatile choice, suitable for sipping neat or as the base for classic cocktails.

Metaxa 7 Stars (Seven Star): This premium expression is aged for a minimum of seven years and is known for its exceptional smoothness and elegance. It boasts a well-balanced blend of honeyed sweetness, fruity undertones, and delicate spices. Metaxa 7 Stars is often savored neat or with a splash of water to fully appreciate its nuanced flavors.

Metaxa Grande Fine: The Metaxa Grande Fine is a step further into luxury, aged for a minimum of fifteen years. It offers a remarkable depth of flavor, with complex layers of dried fruits, oak, and a touch of vanilla. This expression is best enjoyed neat, allowing the full spectrum of flavors to unfold.

Metaxa Private Reserve: The crowning jewel of the Metaxa range, Private Reserve is aged for a minimum of thirty years, resulting in an unparalleled level of sophistication and refinement. It offers a symphony of flavors, including rich honey, dried apricot, toasted oak, and delicate spices. Metaxa Private Reserve is reserved for those seeking the ultimate brandy experience.

The Sensory Experience

Tasting Metaxa brandy is a sensory journey that engages the palate, nose, and eyes. Here’s what you can expect when savoring this exceptional spirit:

Appearance: Metaxa brandy typically exhibits a rich amber or mahogany hue, a testament to its oak aging. The color is inviting and hints at the complexity within the glass.

Aroma: As you bring the glass to your nose, you’ll encounter a captivating bouquet of aromas. The botanical infusion, combined with the aging process, yields a fragrant profile that often includes notes of citrus, dried fruits, herbs, and a subtle floral sweetness.

Taste: The first sip reveals the brandy’s layered flavors. Depending on the classification, you may encounter a range of tastes, from the fruity and spicy notes of Metaxa 3 Stars to the opulent and complex profile of Metaxa Private Reserve. The balance of sweetness, oak, and botanicals creates a harmonious and memorable experience.

Finish: Metaxa brandy boasts a lingering finish that gently warms the palate. The botanical infusion imparts a distinct herbal and floral note, leaving a pleasant and lasting impression.

Serving and Pairing

Metaxa brandy can be enjoyed in various ways to suit different occasions:

Neat: For a pure and unadulterated experience, sip Metaxa brandy neat in a tulip-shaped glass. This allows you to savor the full range of flavors and aromas.

On the Rocks: Adding a few ice cubes to your glass can slightly dilute the brandy, opening up new dimensions of flavor while keeping it chilled.

In Cocktails: Metaxa’s versatile flavor profile makes it an excellent choice for cocktails. It can be used in classics like the Sidecar or Manhattan, or in modern creations that highlight its unique characteristics.

With Water: Adding a splash of water can help release the brandy’s aromas and soften its intensity, making it an enjoyable option for those seeking a milder experience.

Metaxa brandy pairs beautifully with a variety of foods, thanks to its complexity and versatility. Consider these pairing options:

Cheeses: The fruity and spicy notes of Metaxa complement a range of cheeses, from sharp cheddar to creamy blue varieties.

Desserts: Metaxa’s honeyed sweetness pairs wonderfully with desserts like baklava, crème brûlée, or fruit tarts.

Cigars: For those who enjoy a cigar, Metaxa brandy’s depth of flavor can harmonize with a fine cigar’s nuances, creating a luxurious pairing experience.


Metaxa brandy stands as a testament to the artistry of Greek distillation and the legacy of Spyros Metaxa’s vision. Its unique production process, classifications, and sensory qualities make it a spirit that appeals to both connoisseurs and those new to the world of brandy.



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