This Brandy from Jerez is not your every day Solera Gran Reserva. The Fernando de Castilla Solera Gran Reserva Allier made by Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, is something special.
Already the label is a great give away as the hand written parts show that this is a limited and numbered Brandy. Only 360 of those bottles where made in 2007 (it is not clear to me if this was repeated in later years as well). And each bottle is signed by the cellar master!
But what is so special? Well, similar as with the Uno en mil from Sanchez Romante, this is a single cask Brandy that ages its last three to four years in a Allier oak cask and comes unfiltered. This kind of selection and ‘botteling’ is very rare to see and is somewhat of a speciality/exception in the world of Spanish Brandy.
It is no surprise that oak is the dominating thing when drinking this fine spirit. :-)) Be it in the nose, on the palate or in the finish. This dominance in all the areas is actually very impressive as I never had that in a Brandy before. Apart from that it is a straight and honest Solera Gran Reserva. If I could wish for something I would wish for a few more years of age. Even though I am not sure if this would turn the woody notes and make them unpleasant I feel that a tad bit more texture would have lifted this one to an ‘Über-Brandy’ at least in my imagination. But as said that might have thrown the whole thing over the top.
All in all an excellent Brandy that certainly is something special and very unique. It is a very distinguished addition to each Brandy collection. I applaud to Bodega Rey Fernando de Castilla for creating this Brandy as I feel it adds depth and versatility to Brandy and requires a lot of know how to create a Brandy like this. Very, very special!