Whenever I have to talk about brandy or cognac I have the certainty that someone will not be happy with my words. But let's try. We agree that cognac is a type of brandy that is distilled twice and that comes from white grapes which origin is close to the French city with the same name, Cognac. But then what is the brandy? And which type of brandy is brandy Napoleon?
Brandy is nothing but a type of spirit obtained from the distillation of wine (although there are brandy varieties that can include cereal or other fruits besides grapes in the process). It is not true that brandy can only come from outside France as a cognac replacement. In fact there are many French brands of brandy.