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Brandy

Brandy is a generic term which describes a spirit distilled from a fruit.  In most cases this is grapes and perhaps the finest and best known of them all is cognac.  It is distilled twice and must be made in accordance with many regulations to maintain quality.  The other well-known French brandies are armagnac and calvados.  Armagnac is produced on a continuous still as a single distillation and is quite fruity in flavour.  Calvados on the other hand, is made from apples and can have quite a pear drop flavour as it is necessary to add pears for greater acidity to help the distillation.  However, there are other French brandies too.  One is from Alsace which is traditionally made from their Gurwüztraminer grapes and of course there is Marc, made in the Burgundy region usually from the heavy lees which include the skins and , pips.  A little less known is Champagne Marc which is distilled from champagne grapes which are pressed whole and distilled. It is quite fruity and distilled at a low rate of about 52 degrees.  Other French Brandies come from the Cote-du-Rhône, Provence and Jura where there is a long tradition.

Next best known is Spanish brandy. This is made in the solera fashion which is a top-up system of ageing. Producers can take up to 20% off the bottom of the barrel and replace it with new eau de vie on the top. Spanish brandies are also aged in casks that have contained other drinks, usually sherry. They are said to be the oldest brandies in the world using traditions passed on by the Arabs.  The Italian brandies are relatively tightly controlled, and only specific wines can be used. They are distilled at quite low alcohol ranges to preserve the fruitiness of the brandy.  Italian brandies are not to be confused with Grappa, often referred to as the peasant’s drink. Grappa was traditionally taken with coffee and used for all sorts of medicinal purposes, even disinfectant.  German brandies are made from grapes imported from either France or Germany, they often contain macerated fruits as well as caramel and sugar syrups. Probably the best known is Asbach.  Brandy is produced in many other different countries too including America, Australia, Argentina and South Africa. Each has their own style and methods since there are few, if any, laws to govern their production.

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  1. Cardenal Mendoza
    Cardenal Mendoza Gran Reserva is named after Bishop Mendoza who helped to drive the Moors out of Spain. It was produced for the wealthy Spanish speaking population around the world. The Oloroso casks produce a deep richness and despite its high strength has great style, it is rich but not heavy with spirit.
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    Excl. VAT: £40.11 Incl. VAT: £48.13

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    Cardenal Mendoza Gran Reserva is named after Bishop Mendoza who helped to drive the Moors out of Spain. It was produced for the wealthy Spanish speaking population around the world. The Oloroso casks produce a deep richness and despite its high strength has great style, it is rich but not heavy with spirit.
    Learn More
  2. Gran Duque d'Alba Reserva

    This very old, fine brandy is an exciting find. Thought to be from about the turn of the 20th century, it has an intense toffee and black treacle flavour with distinctive madeira qualities. Not to be confused with much later, unremarkable brandies bottled after 1983, although much of the packaging is similar.

    Aroma:
    Aroma: Powerful aroma of black treacle
    Flavour:
    Flavour: Very rich, intense toffee flavour with liquorice and black treacle giving it distinctive madeira qualities
    Learn More
    Excl. VAT: £231.00 Incl. VAT: £277.20

    Out of stock

    •  Express delivery available
    •  International Shipping
    •  Delivery to 50+ Countries

    This very old, fine brandy is an exciting find. Thought to be from about the turn of the 20th century, it has an intense toffee and black treacle flavour with distinctive madeira qualities. Not to be confused with much later, unremarkable brandies bottled after 1983, although much of the packaging is similar.

    Aroma:
    Aroma: Powerful aroma of black treacle
    Flavour:
    Flavour: Very rich, intense toffee flavour with liquorice and black treacle giving it distinctive madeira qualities
    Learn More
  3. Gran Duque d'Alba Gran Reserva

    Understood to be from around the turn of the 20th century, this very fine, rich, old brandy was probably bottled between 1960 and 1970 giving it a barrel age of around 50 years. It has an intensely toffee and mocha flavour with a rancio more consistent with old cognacs than grape brandies.

    Aroma:
    Aroma: Powerful, black toffee
    Flavour:
    Flavour: Very rich, intense toffee flavour with liquorice and black treacle giving it distinctive madeira qualities
    Learn More
    Excl. VAT: £323.40 Incl. VAT: £388.08

    Out of stock

    •  Express delivery available
    •  International Shipping
    •  Delivery to 50+ Countries

    Understood to be from around the turn of the 20th century, this very fine, rich, old brandy was probably bottled between 1960 and 1970 giving it a barrel age of around 50 years. It has an intensely toffee and mocha flavour with a rancio more consistent with old cognacs than grape brandies.

    Aroma:
    Aroma: Powerful, black toffee
    Flavour:
    Flavour: Very rich, intense toffee flavour with liquorice and black treacle giving it distinctive madeira qualities
    Learn More

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