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Old 10-13-2010, 02:17 AM   #1
KingBrianI
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Default Any Brandy Connoisseurs Around?

I'd like to soak some oak cubes in Brandy prior to adding it to my 11-11-11 old ale and I'm after a certain flavor profile. Are any of you familiar with a not-too-expensive Brandy featuring caramel, nuts, almond, and stone fruit flavors and aromas? Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-13-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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What you are describing sounds more like Calvados (oaked apple brandy) than a grape brandy.

If you just want the stone fruit, then get a Kirsch, but I never seen an oaked one.

I wouldn't say that Cognacs and Armagnacs are known for their 'stone fruit' flavors, but that's IMO.

By the way, Caramel is an additive used to impart color and isn't necessarily a 'good thing'. Cheap brandies are loaded with caramel flavor, craft expensive ones are not.

Why don't you just go get a cheap brandy and also a Kirsch. Kirsch is made from cherries.

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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I'm a big fan of armagnac and some of the ones I've had (not that many, hard to find anything good in a PA liquor store) have nutty and butter toffee tastes not so much on the stone fruit. Cognac is similar but lighter. Spanish brandy has darker flavors. American brandy is all over the map. A good resource for this kind of thing is http://www.tastings.com.

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Old 10-14-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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What do you mean by "not too expensive"? That somewhat vague, isn't it? To me, it means under $75 a bottle.

In that class, Tesseron Lot 90 XO has most of the qualities you're looking for. I think I paid around $53 or $57 a bottle, somewhere in that range. It's one of the few spirits I prefer to buy by the case. It has the almond and stone fruit notes, is nicely oaked, but it lacks any caramel flavor. It's one of my favorite for the snifter due to the excellent quality at a reasonable price. In the Tesseron lineup, Lot 76 and especially Lot 53 are easily more satisfying, but neither of those have the almond and stone fruit characters, and they are considerably more expensive too.

A cognac that does have the caramel notes, but does not have the other characteristics you are looking for is Chalfonte VSOP. It's also underpriced, in my opinion, at around $26 or $29 a bottle. This is not the best cognac in the snifter, but it is excellent as a mixer, especially in a sidecar.

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Old 10-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys! $53-57 is a bit out of the range I was looking at but it sounds like the Tesseron Lot 90 XO has almost everything I'm looking for. Now, I just have to find a bottle somewhere...

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