Five Spanish brandies
| 28 Jun 2009 |
Spanish brandies tend to be very rich and oaky which makes them heavier than
French brandy (cognac and armagnac included). Because Spanish brandies are so rich
I find they work best as digestifs. It took me a while to get used to the strong oak
influence in Spanish brandies but nowadays I quite enjoy sipping one after dinner.
I've tasted a couple of recent purchases and revisited a few old acquaintances.
The first three brandies come from Jerez in the very south of Spain (Jerez gave
sherry its name, by the way)
and the final two are made in Catalonia:
Gran Duque de Alba:
This is my favourite brandy (up to now, at least) so I'm using it as a benchmark. It has
a rather nice nose with notes of prunes, raisins, vanilla and oak. Rich, sweet palate with
vanilla and fruit. Develops oak and spices. Dry, slightly disappointing finish, however.
Lepanto OV (Oloroso Viejo):
Very nice nose with fresh citrus notes. Develops dried fruits and gingerbread, also oak.
Rich, fairly nice palate with notes of raisins and prunes. Unfortunately the fruits quickly
fade and are overtaken by very dry oak.
Lepanto PX (Pedro Ximenez):
Very nice, fragrant nose with raisins, oak and vanilla. Nice, rich palate: fairly sweet with
notes of dried fruits. Also rather oaky, but the oak isn't overpowering. Dry, oaky, spicy finish.
This was a pleasant surprise after the disappointing "Oloroso Viejo". The PX is in fact on par
with my previous favourite, the Gran Duque.
Nice nose with notes of grapes and plums. Rich, earthy palate, also fairly sweet with
nice fruity notes. The finish is a little disappointing, however: dry, spicy and quite fiery.
Sweet, richly fruity nose with notes of cinnamon and oak. Rich and complex
palate with prunes and oaky, spicy notes. Oaky, dry finish. All in all fairly nice.
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