Duque de Veragua

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

Another gem from Jerez that for some reason is not so well known outside of Spain: the Duque de Veragua Solera Gran Reserva made by Álvaro Domecq, S.L. from Jerez. This one was on my radar for some years but I somewhat never was able to source it for a decent price (I really wish I could visit Spain more often). Finally I found a place in Germany that had a good offer and I pulled the trigger. Maybe this Brandy is not so well known outside of Spain as the bodega is rather young. But so much upfront, I feel this really should change!

Duque de Veragua Brandy Jerez

The presentation with the nicely shaped bottle in the old school, red cardboard packaging already builds up a high expectation. The dark, glossy and almost coffee like color even more so. And what can I say, opening the bottle for the first time fills the ambient air with the rich scent of a well aged Solera Gran Reserva. Don’t you just love it when you pull the cork and get a nice whiff of Brandy?!? Spectacular!

Duque de Veragua Brandy Jerez

Luckily the taste and finish do not disappoint the high expectation as the drink carries all the classic aspects of an excellent Brandy. Really a true master piece that outshines many of the well known regular SLRs by a good stretch! Not knowing how many years this distill has on its back I am guessing that it contains quite some old stock, at least 15 to 20 years if not more (and after checking the home page linked above I understand the older contents of this SGR are 30 years).

Duque de Veragua Brandy Jerez

I personally always like to know which grapes have been used and here as well the above linked home page is very helpful. The Duque de Veragua is made of 95% Airen and 5% Palomino grapes. Another interesting aspect is the 38% alcohol by volume (AVB). Many Brandies have 40% so this Brandy has a particular smooth mouth feeling. Really the only thing I could point out as a minus here is the availability in my neighborhood and if I could choose I would wish for an even longer finish. Maybe the more expensive Duque de Veragua Reserva would satisfy this need in me? 🙂 In any case this Duque de Veragua is really great stuff and I highly recommend it!!!

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: Duque de Veragua

Equipo Navazos Bota 29

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

This Solera Gran Reserva from Jerez is not your typical Bodega product. The Equipo Navazos La Bota de Brandy de Jerez 29 comes from the Equipo Navazos group (check out their English home page) that selects/collects vines and distillates from various regions in Spain that live up to their quality expectation. For that they closely collaborate with the individual Bodegas and their wine maker.

Equipo Navazos La Bota del Brandy de Jerez No. 29

Here we are looking at an example of the Bota No. 29 which was filled into the bottles in June 2011. Overall there were only three casks of Equipo Navazos Bota 29 but I am not aware of the amount of bottles that got the number 29 label and as far as I understand the Navazos home page there are only a few Brandy releases under their name: number 13 (2008), 29 (2011) and 43 (2013). The later two are coming from casks of the Bodega Rey del Fernando de Castilla. So comparing it to the regular SGR or the Unico from this bodega should make sense. But can this somewhat special edition live up to its cousins? By the way once the led cover of the cork is removed, the symbol of Bodegas Rey de Fernando de Castilla can be seen on the cork. Nice touch!

Equipo Navazos La Bota del Brandy de Jerez No. 29

The first thing that got my attention when I finally had this bottle in my hands was the clear smooth color, almost apricot and transparent. Reminded me more of a Sherry finished Single Malt Whisky. Very light for a SGR but it says on the back label that the Brandy comes straight out of the cask having its natural color. So this purity really got me intrigued! The other distinctive thing is that the casks for aging are Fino casks and this really should give it a distinctive note.

Equipo Navazos La Bota del Brandy de Jerez No. 29

While I find all of the above very interesting it would not justify buying this rather pricy Brandy if the product would not excellent, right? Well, rest assured it is in one word: great! Sweet in the nose and unbelievable fruity in the mouth. There are multiple layers of fruit, vinegar and sweetness that make this Bota 29 complex and interesting. And the long orange cest filled finish does not disappoint. Excellent stuff! I am only left with the wish to get my hands on more of the bottles from the Equipo Navazos. Let’s see if. i can manage this. 🙂

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: Equipo Navazos Bota 29

Ximenez Spinola Brandy liquor

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

It does not always have to be Brandy. Well not pure Brandy in this case. Today I am having a look at the Ximenez Spinola Brandy liqueur “Tres Mil Botellas”.

Ximenez Spinola Brandy liqueur

I have been curious to know for a long time if a liqueur made from Brandy is like double the fun drinking. So I went out and got a bottle of the Ximenez Spinola liqueur that is limited to 3000 bottles a year (as the names says) and comes with a numbered label on the back.

Ximenez Spinola Brandy liqueur

As for the liqueur itself I was quite surprised! I did not expect this. Already in the nose it was clear that it was made out of Brandy but there were lots of other aromas lingering around. Drinking it it still felt a bit odd and to come to my conclusion straight away: This is not for me. While the woody notes were great and made it clear that this drink spend a lot of time in barrels, the overall product was simply too sweet. A little bit over the top I am afraid. Certainly nice to enjoy alongside a nice piece of cake in the afternoon but not for when I thirst for this “pure” Brandy spirit.

Ximenez Spinola Brandy liqueur

By the way, some say that my beloved Luis Felippe is more of a liquor or a port as well. And while there is a point in that as it really is very intensive there are worlds apart when it comes to subtleness, complexity and consistency.

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: Milenario

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