Friday, November 20, 2009

Tales from the top shelf: Gran Duque D' Alba

Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva

This was my duty free purchase from our Barcelona adventure.  It's the first non-cognac grape based brandy that I have liked.

Label stuff:  Gran Duque De Alba owes it's fine balance and unique character to long aging in the Oloroso seasoned oak casks of it's own solera.  Light mohogany in colour, with a mellow velvety texture and aromas of plum and prune.  Wow, plums and dried plums.  It's complex flavour with hints of nuts and ripe fruit lingers on the palate to give the smooth finish of a truly great brandy.

What in the hell is solera?  It's too complicated to explain while I'm drinking brandy.

What the hell is Oloroso season cask?  I think that it is a sherry cask

Fun Brandy fact:  Cognac, Armagnac, and Brandy de Jerez are the only place specific appellations for brandy. Thank you the passionate foodie for the fyi.

Even more Fun Brandy Fact: I have all three appellations on my top shelf.

What does it taste like?  In my opinion, it tastes like alcohol, oak, and raisins.  It's complex like cognac, but it feels heavier and sweeter on the tongue.  Doing research for this one, I find that that lot's of folks taste different things.

Wine esters with distinct balsamic notes.

oak, prune and sherry. Velvety texture with flavors of caramel, chocolate and orange, with a long finish

burnt sugar, dried fruits and salty butter roasted nuts flavors

old leather, old books, toasted marshmallow, pipe tobacco, prune Danish, dried fruit, salted butter and caramel cream

Which goes to show you while I try not to get to bullshitty with my adjectives.  "Old books"?  Yummm.

Cost: 19.60 ($30) euros on sale at the duty free.  Usually 24.50 ($37).  It's $50 plus on the web, so I got a deal.
Grade: B+
Cost adjusted Grade: At the price that I got it.  A.  For $50, B+

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