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Reviews for 2023

September 2023 - Brandy

September 2023 - Brandy
This month's Spirits feature is Brandy

Brandy Reviews

Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
98 points
$399
The kind of luxury spirit that is so good and well integrated with aromas and flavors that it leaves you temporarily dumbstruck asking yourself, "What is that delicious memory?"
Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
97 points
$579
Upon pop and pour, this could use more fruit to balance the umami, resin-esque quality of the finish; however, with some extended aeration this rich and complex spirit truly opens up to become something special proving there is no faking the luxury and age this exhibits.
Bhakta Spirits 50 Year Old De Gaulle Barrel No. 29  Islay Cask-Finished Armagnac
96 points
$450
Complex and delicious with the fruit leading and the mildly smoky savory aspect lingering on forever; it has a story to tell and commands a listen.
Bhakta Spirits 50 Year Old Emperor Norton Barrel No. 30  Islay Cask-Finished Armagnac
95 points
$450
Smoky roasted nuts with a dash of honeyed figs; a fascinating flavor excursion that is incredibly layered and nuanced and really subtle for its high proof.
Bhakta Spirits 50 Year Old Rasputin Barrel No. 28 Islay Cask-Finished Armagnac
95 points
$450
Sweet and fruity with savory and meaty notes all swirled together in this umami bomb; tons of smoky goodness that demand cigars and smoking jackets.
Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy
94 points
$44
A triumphant example of fine Spanish Brandy that brings the aged and tertiary flavors and aromas to the forefront but remains well within balance.
Abecassis 1er Cru VSOP Cognac
94 points
$62
Outperforms the VSOP category with the elegance, depth, and integration found in the glass; if you enjoy Gran Napoleon or XO Cognac this is a value grab for sure.
Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
94 points
$194
Okay Raj, this is fancy, tasty, and better than that Whiskey made down the road; fruit, honey, barrel spicy, tobacco and nuts, this is so so delicious.
Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
94 points
$339
Tastes like old luxury; leather, fruit, honey, finely aged tobacco... they should pump this aroma into the high rollers room at a casino.
Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
94 points
$389
Exactly what old Armagnac is supposed to be, capital Yum.
Bhakta Spirits 50 Year Old Pickerell Barrel No. 26 Islay Whisky Cask-Finished Armagnac
94 points
$450
Some interesting luxury libations alchemy happening in the glass here; quite complex and delicious but also not normal, so let's stay weird with this dram.
BrandyLab Aged Brandy
93 points
$34
Fruit forward with a well balanced flash of barrel flavors; very well executed and an all around ingratiating sipper.
Merlet VSOP Cognac
93 points
$44
A quite delightful VSOP that deserves a spot on your back bar whether for classic cocktail applications or for sipping.
Cardenal Mendoza Nebulis Unusually Smoky Cask-Finished Brandy
93 points
$49
For fans of old, earthy, and smooooth Brandies that want none of the fruity flavors or alcohol bite.
A. De Fussigny VSOP Cognac Grande Champagne
93 points
$69
Orange, honey, dates, and caramel roasted nuts dance upon the nose giving way to a lush palate and medium long fruity finish.
Bhakta Spirits Single Vintage Armagnac
93 points
$299
Sit back and enjoy the ride of layer upon layer upon layer of flavor here.
Camus XO Cognac
93 points
$349
The nose and the palate are delicious, but this is all about the long, lingering, and ethereal finish that only can be found in finely aged spirits.
Bhakta Spirits 50 Year Old Jackie Barrel No. 27 Islay Cask-Finished Armagnac
93 points
$450
Quite the aromatic and flavor journey to be found within your glass: sweet, fruity, savory, earthy, rancio; liquid history.
Martell Blue Swift VSOP Cognac
92 points
$48
Wonderful balance of fruit character against the barrel characteristics; would play winningly in a wide range of cocktails as well as being more than good enough to sip on its own.
Martingale Cognac
92 points
$120
Super clean and unadulterated, this Cognac speaks to a purity of grape flavor reminiscent of what great Brandy was before additives; you can taste grape, still, and oak cleanly.
Courvoisier XO Cognac
92 points
$200
A benchmark XO Cognac; has a little of everything you expect from a top tier XO.
Ferrand Sélection Des Anges Cognac
92 points
$210
Complex and well aged with lots of savory sweet barrel character but nice flashes of young red fruit appear here and there as well.
Courvoisier 30 Year XO Royal Cognac
92 points
$285
A contemplative sipper with a rich, leather bound library kind of vibe.
Abecassis 1er Cru VS Cognac
91 points
$40
A well aged and serious Cognac for being a VS; delightful flavors and aromas with a slightly hot and spicy finish.
Courvoisier VS Cognac
90 points
$30
Good enough to sip alone but has a tinge of spice and heat that will showcase agreeably in classic cocktails.
Ferrand 1840 VS Cognac
90 points
$41
The slightly higher proof is nice for cocktail applications with the fruit and wood spice also playing well in the classics.
Reviseur Single Estate Platinum XO Cognac
90 points
$120
A very charming XO that seems like a fine Champagne blend aimed at Whiskey drinkers.
Courvoisier VSOP Cognac
89 points
$42
Rich and smooth and tasting older than a VSOP based on the weight on the palate and a well integrated flavor profile from the major Cognac regions.
Pisco Capel Reservado
88 points
$19
Best Buy
Clean and pleasantly fruity, this is a nice and mild introduction to the Pisco category.
88 points $19 Best Buy
Aldeia Velha Vínica Brandy
88 points
$20
Best Buy
Sweet candied fruit with a heady perfume make this a fun but specific use mixer.
88 points $20 Best Buy
Pisco Capel Alto Del Carmen Pisco Reservado
88 points
$23
Very pleasing with approachable aromas and flavors of vanilla candied fruit.
Nyak Cinnamon Fiyah Brandy
88 points
$28
Cinnamon and a barrel-aged base that will Christmas up some coffee real good.
Driftless Glen Distillery 5 Year Reserve Brandy
88 points
$29
A nice interplay of fruit and barrel that grows on the palate and leaves you with a long finish of warm gingerbread.
Cardenal Mendoza Angelus Flavored Brandy
88 points
$36
A solid orange Liqueur for all cocktail applications, and on its own it comes through as slightly floral; covers the bases.
Reviseur Single Estate VS Cognac
88 points
$49
A beautifully dark and rich VS with lots of oak character; this is an after dinner Cognac for a Speyside Whisky drinker.
Ferrand 10 Générations VSOP Cognac
88 points
$58
A good sipper but the touch of extra ABV and spice on the finish makes this seem like it was made for cocktail applications.
Nyak Peach Brandy
87 points
$28
A fun and vibrantly peachy Brandy that will be great as a cocktail modifier; your great Aunt will go nuts for this.
Reviseur Single Estate VSOP Cognac
87 points
$66
Rich red fruit balanced with a nice interplay of vanilla and cocoa from the oak; exactly what you want from a VSOP Cognac.
Shortcut: https://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Spirits/Review-2023-09-01-Brandy.aspx