Lustau Solera Gran Reserva

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

The last of the three samples and this one is a classic Solera Gran Reserva. Not just a plain Solera but also no special filling.

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I have been taking my time to open this little bottle and because I liked the other Lustau’s so much my expectations were sky high. Smelling the brandy was not the most pleasent experience (hardly ever is with Brandy). Strong alcohol fumes penetrated the nose. But after another sniff or two it revealed some very nice and even elegant notes. And after all Brandy is for drinking and not for looking at it or just to take an occasional sniff.

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The “drinking experience” certainly was good. Again I was impressed with the full bodied distillate. It clearly showed its genes and as it remembered me a little bit about the Cardenal Mendoza I felt it is on par with the SGR Finest Selection. Very flavorful with dried fruits, caramel and even some hints of coffee beans.

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In short, another excellent Brandy from Lustau! They never failed to impress me so far.

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: LustauSGR

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Comments (2)

  • Fauntleroy

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    Aroma is 90% of why I enjoy Brandy! If you burnt your nose hair, you must have stuck your nose too deep in the glass!

    Do as the professionals do:
    1.) Don’t swirl or heat the glass – both release the pungent alcohol fumes.
    2.) Instead, roll the glass around so that all of the inside walls are covered in Brandy. (That way, the majority of evaporation is aroma, more so than alcohol.)
    3.) Starting at arm’s length away from your nose, slowly move the snifter towards your nose. STOP when you start noticing the FIRST aromas. (Usually one or two hand widths away from your nose still.)
    4.) Feel free to move closer to the glass to discover different “layers” of aromas, but do NOT stick your nose all the way in.
    5.) Don’t inhale while taking a sip. If you have to, inhale through your mouth, not your nose.

    If the alcohol fumes are still overpowering, this tells you that it is either still a young spirit, made in a rustic process, or both. It’s not really the pure Ethanol you are smelling, but rather higher alcohols (“fusel oils”) and certain esters (e.g. Ethyl-Acetate, aka “nail polish remover”).

    It is the art of the stills-man to cut these out or leave just enough to make the spirit more interesting.

    Unfortunately, many Brandies de Jerez are made in a very crude process, so I also find them more pungent than they would need to be.
    In many ways, they are just young or crude Brandies, very much like Armagnacs, that have been extensively flavoured with the Sherry casks.

    There is a lot of potential for greatness, but the market is mostly not willing to pay Cognac prices for old Brandies (de Jerez)…

    Reply

    • feltedhat

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      Ah – I’ve been missing your comments! And the, as you call it, crude process is certainly the weakness of Spanish Brandy. Luckily there are some nice and refind ones out there too.

      PS: Nose hair is still there (unfortunately). đŸ™‚

      Reply

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