Full Review

Gran Duque De Alba

Gran Duque De Alba
Solera Grand Reserva Brandy

Category: Spanish Brandy

Date Tasted:
Country: Spain
Alcohol: 40%
93 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$45.99

Gran Duque De Alba
Solera Grand Reserva Brandy

Category: Spanish Brandy

Date Tasted:
Country: Spain
Alcohol: 40%
Brilliant dark amber color. Roasted, musty aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, aged leather and wax, fleur de sel, and rancio with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, captivating, medium-long caramelized dried fruits, delicate spices, and pumpkin bread finish. A wonderfully expressive Spanish brandy with lovely fruit, honey, and rancio notes.

Tasting Info

Spirits Glass Style: Complex, Mild, Rich & Spicy
Aroma Aroma: butter roasted nuts, aged leather and wax, fleur de sel, and rancio
Taste Flavor: caramelized dried fruits, delicate spices, and pumpkin bread
Smoothness Smoothness: Tingling
Finish Finish: Normal
Enjoy Enjoy: neat, on the rocks and with cigars
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A wonderfully expressive Spanish brandy with lovely fruit, honey, and rancio notes.

The Producer or Importer

Palm Bay International

The Producer or  Importer
48 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
USA
1 800-872-5622

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Spanish Brandy

Spirits Glass Snifter Brandy.jpg
Serve in a Snifter
Brandy de Jerez is made by the Sherry houses centered around the city of Jerez de la Frontera in the southwest corner of Spain. Virtually all Brandy de Jerez; however, is made from wines produced elsewhere in Spain -- primarily from the Airen grape in La Mancha and Extremadura -- as the local Sherry grapes are too valuable to divert into Brandy production. Nowadays most of the distilling is likewise done elsewhere in Spain using column stills. It is then shipped to Jerez for aging in used Sherry casks in a solera system similar to that used for Sherry wine. A solera is a series of large casks (called butts), each holding a slightly older spirit than the previous one beside it. When brandy is drawn off (racked) from the last butt (no more than a third of the volume is removed) it is replenished with brandy drawn from the next butt in line all the way down the solera line to the first butt, where newly distilled brandy is added. This system of racking the brandy through a series of casks blends together a variety of vintages (some soleras have over 30 stages) and results in a speeding up of the maturation process.

Basic Brandy de Jerez Solera must age for a minimum of six months, Reserva for one year and Gran Reserva for a minimum of three years. In practice, the best Reservas and Gran Reservas are frequently aged for 12 to 15 years. The lush, slightly sweet and fruity notes to be found in Brandy de Jerez come not only from aging in Sherry casks, but also from the judicious use of fruit-based flavor concentrates and oak essence (boise).

Penedès Brandy comes from the Penedès region of Catalonia in the northeast corner of Spain near Barcelona. Modeled after the Cognacs of France and made from a mix of regional grapes and locally-grown Ugni Blanc of Cognac, it is distilled in pot stills. One of the two local producers (Torres) ages in soleras consisting of butts made from French Limousin oak, whereas the other (Mascaro) ages in the standard non-solera manner, but also in Limousin oak. The resulting Brandy is heartier than Cognac, but leaner and drier than Brandy de Jerez.