There are several factors involved in the question of how expensive grappa is. Like a lot of spirits and other alcoholic beverages, the quality of the grappa you buy greatly affects not only the price but also what your grappa tastes like.

Cheap Shots and Firewater…

Grappa gets a bad rep with many as a cheap and not particularly appetising shot. This assessment is true of all spirits if you first encounter a blend at the low end of their quality spectrum.

Just as there’s a million miles between a shot of Patron or Don Julio Anejo tequila (both of which are divine) and a hit of Jose Cuervo (which may actually be kerosene), there’s a world of difference between low and high end grappa.

Humble Origins…

Grappa has a long and proud history, and was originally designed as a cheap liquor to fortify the working class with extra calories and liquid courage. This harsh and extremely cheap form of grappa was (and still is) known by a rather colourful moniker that really says it all: firewater.

Cheerful Charm…

Drinking firewater is akin to smooching a salamander. But while it scorches your throat, your wallet will remain happy and healthy; low end grappa is distilled from pomace that is more stalks and pips than anything else. Without the sweet remnants of the grapes themselves, grappa is a cheap, cheerful choice, still popular with those in grueling jobs, who feel the need to scorch the earth at the end of the day.

And students. They love a cheap tipple.

The Bottom Line…

Firewater can swiftly be identified by its price tag. Generally speaking a 70cl bottle of grappa costing under £20 is going to wake you up in a hurry. If you’re specifically in the market for an interesting alternative to the paint thinners currently lining the bottom shelf, cheap grappa has a lot of charm.

Flavour and Finesse…

Two factors affect the quality and taste of grappa and, as a result, exactly how expensive it is: the concentration and calibre of the grapes in the pomace from which it is distilled; and the amount of time it is aged.

The Grace in the Grapes…

The pomace used to distil grappa varies greatly. High end grappa is distilled using pomace that is rich in the mulch of grapes left over after the winemaking process is complete. Some pomace contains a high proportion of grape to other elements, such as stalks and seeds. The higher the proportion of grape, and the more sophisticated the original grapes used for winemaking were, the more refined the grappa produced will be in terms of taste and smoothness.

Just as the high quality grapes from coveted regions produce more elite varieties of wine, so too do good grapes make good grappa.

Age Becomes Beauty….

Firewater is right off the still. It’s bottled and sold as soon as it’s finished, and as a result it has a slightly harsh flavour. High end grappas are aged to perfection. The longer they are given to mature, the sweeter they become. But aging grappa requires resources and additional expertise (exactly how long should you leave it to ensure it hits that perfect sweet spot?). As a result of this and the improved taste, aged grappas are more expensive.

The Bottom Line…

A high end bottle of grappa will set you back considerably more than its cheaper counterparts. Price variation based on quality is to be expected from any spirit. A perfectly aged and highly prized Scotch costs more per shot than a full bottle of Jack Daniels or Jim Bean (and it’s worth every penny). Likewise the investment in seriously smooth grappa is well worth ponying up the additional cash.

A high end 70cl bottle of grappa costs between £40 and £50. There is a mid-range in the grappa market, with 70cl bottles of £25-£35 offering a happy medium between the two. Grappa in this range isn’t as exquisite as the higher end stuff, but it’s a lot smoother (and sweeter) than the bottom shelf bargains.

How Expensive is Dappa…?

To answer the inevitable question of where our beloved, home-grown, Devonshire-distilled grappa (Dappa) falls on the pricing scale, we’re proud to march among the ranks of premium quality grappa that’s sweet as honey, and aged to perfection. The secret? It all starts with sourcing the finest grape-skins England has to offer. From Gloucestershire to Sussex we work with several Award Winning Vineyards, including Biddenden Vineyard, Bolney Wine Estate, Sharpham Vineyard, and Three Choirs Vineyard.

So go on, grab yourself a bottle from our shop, and be sure to let us know what you think…we know you’ll love it.