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Reviews for 2018

September 2018 - Brandy, Cognac, Armagnac & Grappa

September 2018 - Brandy, Cognac, Armagnac & Grappa
This month's spirits feature is Brandy, Cognac, Armagnac & Grappa

Brandy, Cognac, Armagnac & Grappa Reviews

Camus Extra Dark and Intense Cognac
94 points
Dark amber color. Aromas of dried cherries, luxury tobacco, and caramelized passionfruit and soursop with an oily, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, very long bay leaf, rose water, game, espresso crema, allspice berries, ginger, and artisan rootbeer float finish. A nutty, decadent Cognac with an oscillatingly nectar-sweet and spicy finish.
94 points $499.99
Perea Apricot Brandy
93 points
Best Buy
Clear color. Confected aromas of butterscotch, apple, wildberry candies, strawberry shortcake, and mixed berry pie filling with a round, crisp, fruity light body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long blackberry fruit roll-up, chocolate taffy, agave, and dried apricot finish. Electric waves of intense fruits are packed into this flavor-trip of an eau de vie; a very fun spirit to mix in cocktails or sip neat to celebrate.
Awards: 2018 Best Fruit Brandy
93 points $25 Best Buy
Croizet X.O. Gold Cognac
93 points
Amber color. Aromas of caramel, passionfruit, toasted croissant, sesame oil, and cured meats with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, layered, long espresso beans, red bean bao, milk chocolate with roasted almonds, caraway, and dried peach finish. A spicy, chewy XO cognac that will be a delightful nightcap offering for your guests.
93 points $137.99
Camus Borderies XO Family Reserve Cognac
93 points
Bright bronze color. Aromas of tobacco, caramel sauce with candied lemon peel, apple strudel, and wax with a round, crisp, dryish medium body and a charming, medium-length mixed berry jam, spiced orange oil, dry roasted peanuts, pressed flowers, and leather patina finish. A dry XO that brings a citrusy vibe for mellow sipping.
93 points $169.99
Frísco Brandy
92 points
Brilliant clear color. Fruity, floral aromas of sweet plantain, ripe cantaloupe, iris, aniseed, sandalwood, and grapefruit with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light body and a warming, captivating, medium-long violet, orange blossom, sour cherry preserve, eucalyptus, and kumquat finish. A vivacious and smooth clear brandy that seems a cousin to South America’s famous eau de vies.
Pere Magloire VSOP Calvados
91 points
Golden amber color. Yeasty aromas of heirloom apples, sultana studded yeasty brioche, dandelion blossom, forelle pear, plum vinegar, and honey on french toast with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-long bananas in custard, smoked Manchego, butterscotch pudding, flaky lemon curd Danish, mango rind, and walnut finish. A rustic, charming Calvados with a huge spectrum of flavors.
91 points $39.99
Croizet V.S.O.P. Cognac
91 points
Amber color. Complex aromas of dulce de leche, orange zest, dark chocolate shavings, cedar, and lilac with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, long butterscotch, leather patina, minerals, and chocolate ganache finish. A rich, buttery cognac with velvety texture and nuance to spare; an excellent choice for elegant cocktails.
Awards: 2018 Best VSOP Cognac
91 points $65.99
Clem’s Cowboy Cognac
90 points
Amber color. Aromas of chocolate covered toffee and pears, kettle roasted nuts, dried pineapple, and raisin studded king cake with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-long dulce de leche, buttercream frosting, leather, and tiramisu finish. A rich and decadent VS cognac that truly delivers; classic cocktails will shine with this spirit.
Awards: 2018 Best VS Cognac
90 points $29.99
Camus Borderies VSOP Single Estate Cognac
90 points
Golden amber color. Fruity aromas of apple butter on rye toast, black licorice, dried currants and dates, and toasted coconut with a satiny, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-length chocolate-caramel chew, pressed flowers, charred nuts, and cardamom and rose tea finish. A solid VSOP with a caramel richness; will play well in cocktails.
90 points $52.99
Croizet Black Legend Cognac
89 points
Amber color. Aromas of boysenberry jam, pineapple, apricot-almond tart, bananas flambe, steamed almond milk, and wintergreen with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, appealing, long brandied cherries, tangerine zest in caramel, dark chocolate, and dried sweet tomato finish. A rich and lively Cognac with lots of fruit and spice to ponder.
89 points $74.99
Laurendeaux Cognac VS
88 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of ripe golden apple, marzipan, caramel-glazed pineapple, eucalyptus, and flaky all-butter pie crust with a satiny, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, stimulating, medium-length cherry flesh and stone, golden raisins in bread pudding, salted milk chocolate, candied hazelnut, and thyme finish. An attractive, lengthy VS cognac that won’t let you down.
88 points $29.99
Domaine Dupont Fine Reserve Calvados
88 points
Golden straw color. Aromas of nougat, dried golden apple, chardonnay, fig newton, and braised turnip with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a warming, medium-length cinnamon and clove pastry and fennel seed finish. A youthful Calvados for cocktail play.
Croizet V.S. Cognac
88 points
Amber color. Fruity aromas of plump dried figs, dried pineapple and orange peels, toasted artisan baguette, and red apple chutney with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a sleek, breezy Dr. Pepper and mulling spices finish. An easy, breezy, figgy little cognac.
88 points $49.99
Bailoni Original Gold Apricot Brandy
87 points
Clear color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of plums and apricots, toasty fig bars, magnolia, and cherry blossom with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long finish. A cheerful apricot brandy with delicate florals that’s like sipping a bouquet of cherry blossoms.
87 points $49.95
Pietro Gallo Estate Grappa Di Prosecco
86 points
Silver color. Aromas of wool, parmesan rind, plantain peel, and charred cereals with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity light body and a silky, medium-length tangerine, lavender, jasmine, apple liqueur, and nickel finish. A crafty grappa with a bright and fruity center.
Wollersheim Distillery Wisconsin Apple Brandy
84 points
Gold color. Aromas of golden and granny smith apples, walnut confection, spumoni, vanilla buttercream, clove, and dried mint and thyme with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length nougat, tiramisu, and caraway finish. A cocktail friendly apple brandy with a nice fruity, creamy style.
Vermont Spirits No.14 Apple Brandy
84 points
Golden amber color. Woody aromas of sawdust, dried stonefruit, cinnamon, and parsley with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium body and a peppery, short-to-medium banana bread, underripe pear, cherry stone, pastry dough, and fresh no 2 pencil finish. An oak-dominated fruit brandy for a fun twist on an Old-Fashioned cocktail.
84 points $52.99
Janneau VSOP Armagnac
84 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of roasted pine nuts, enamel, gingerbread cookies, gelatin, charred nuts, mustard, salami, and brie with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-length cocoa and toast finish. A rustic Armagnac for cocktail play.
84 points $59.99
Argonaut The Claim Brandy
81 points
Sedimentary gold color. Tropical aromas of sugared bananas, underripe papaya, breadfruit, grilled green pepper, and passionfruit ice cream with a glycerous, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, intriguing, medium-length clove, wintergreen, crystalized tangerine peel, roasted pistachio, and buttercream finish. A seemingly unfiltered brandy packed with crowd-friendly fruits and creamy appeal; oddly sedimentary.