Lustau Solera Reserva

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

When I started this blog I wanted to concentrate on Solera Gran Reserva and nothing less. But today I am writing something about a Solera Reserva. There are three reasons for this: I really liked the family reserve from Lustau. I was intrigued by the box saying this one had won “best in class”:

And last but not least there are enough limits and restrictions in this world and why not drinking something else from time to time. 🙂

So here goes the tasting of the Lustau Solera Reserva.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see by the small bottle in the pictures I got this one in a trial package containing three Brandies (more on the others later in time). I could not resist picking it up for the above mentioned reason and I do applaud to this kind of thing as I feel that Brandy for some reason has lost its old glory and is somewhat out of fashion. That is a crying shame and trial packages like this and other marketing things are very welcome in my view to make Brandy more attractive to a broader public. BTW Lustau actually is more known for its wide and excellent range of Sherrys.

The Brandy that has been aged in 500 liter american oak casks is a very pleasant surprise indeed. Grape variety is 95% Airén and 5% Palomino and while it is not complex and maybe a little too sweet it taste of dried fruits and brown sugar and this it does while being surprisingly smooth and balanced taking into consideration that it is “only” a Solera Reserva thus consisting of younger spirits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Compared to the few Brandys I know out of the same league I do see why this one got the “Best in Class” award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition. Well deserved and I would even go so far as to say that this one can keep up with a few run of the mill Gran Reservas in taste. Great value for money.

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: LustauSoleraReserva

Fernando de Castilla Unico

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

FernandodeCastilla

Here comes a tasting of another special Brandy: Fernando the Castilla Unico by Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla from Jerez de la Frontera.

This Brandy seems to be mainly unknown outside of Spain. And if you see a Fernando de Castilla it is the “normal” Solera Gran Reserva.

DSC_6028

The Unico is produced in limited quantities and the color of this Brandy is a give away already. Its darker tones tell a tale of long aged Brandy. And indeed this Brandy delivers! Sweet notes of dried fruit and candice sugar melt in this very refined drink that is up there with the best. A truly classic representative of Spanish Brandy de Jerez combining all its virtues in one glass.

DSC_6030

Staying on the virtues: While I believe that the Carlos I Imperial is actually an excellent Brandy that is showing all the characteristic of Brandy de Jerez, the Fernando de Castilla is doing this as well while being more elegant and smooth at the same time. If there is anything negative I can say it is that I wish that the finish would be a tad bit longer.

A true connoisseurs drink that will never disappoint you!

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: Fernando de Castilla Unico

Cognac Isard XO

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

After my post about Torres 20 I felt it is time I write something about a real Cognac. Just for a change. For this I opened up a bottle of French Isard Cognac XO.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Judging by the price of it, Isard XO must be in the lower range of the XO category. I was hoping that choosing a spirit like this it would be a fair comparison to the standard Gran Solera Reservas I like so much. And to be clear, I do not know about Cognac.

Presentation is nice with the red box and the representable bottle. The color, while on the lighter side, is beautifull and promising. But when it comes to taste and finish I was disapointed. I felt it was too faint. It surely could not hold up to the very nice and complex nose this Cognac has. The smell really is the Isards strength, having fuity and complex components.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maybe the Isard for whatever reason was not the best choice so I decided I will publish some notes of another Cognac later on in order to have another comparison but I’ll stick to Spanish Brandy. So much is sure.

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: Isard

copyr