Budget Brandy For Tax Season

Just because your bank account has been depleted thanks to tax day doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the good stuff. Look for these budget friendly brandies so you can keep yourself in good spirits without breaking the bank!
Apr 13, 2016
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    90
    Don't let the sleek, modern design or the name fool you - ABK6 is a traditionally-made cognac produced at Domaines Francis Ab├ęcassis (hence the abbreviated name, ABK6) in the Fins Bois region. This single-estate VSOP is produced from grapes grown in the chalky soils and higher elevations of its vineyards. Though this category calls for grapes aged a minimum of 4.5 years, ABK6 prides itself in the maturity of the fruit used in its eaux-de-vie.
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    91
    "Mosto Verde" ("green must" in Spanish) refers to the technique of distilling the wine before the fermentation is complete, with the aim of preserving the fresh, floral aromas of the grape. BarSol's flagship Pisco starts with 100% aromatic italia grapes fermented until the alcohol reached 3-5%, then distilled to the precise proof at which it is to be bottled (Peruvian Pisco may not be diluted with water).
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    91
    Zumwohl kirsch is a "German-style" cherry schnaps distilled in Wellington, New Zealand. It's bottled at a high-proof 66% alcohol by volume.
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    93
    St. George starts out with whole California raspberries, picked at the height of ripeness to retain the freshness and purity of the fruit. Distilled in their proprietary copper pot-stills, the objective here was to capture the aromas of raspberries at their peak. Produced without the use of extra sugars or any other additives.
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    90
    Pear Brandy was one of the first products made by St George Spirits after they were founded in 1982. They start with whole organic Bartlett pears, picked at the height of ripeness and distill in copper pot-stills. The goal here, as with all great eau-de-vie is to create a pure unaffected expression of the base distillate. About 30 pounds of fruit are used to create just one 750ml bottle.
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    93
    Translated as "Field of Enchantment," Campo de Encanto Grand and Noble is a pisco from Peru. It is an acholado style pisco, meaning it is made of a blend of eau de vies from different grapes; five different grapes, in this case. Campo de Encanto is distilled only one time, with no water or sugar added.
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    91
    Nobel is an extra-aged pisco expression from the Mistral distillery located in the Elqui Valley of Chile. It is aged in new American oak barrels and is named in honor of Gabriela Mistral, a Chilean recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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    93
    Mistral's Pisco is distilled from Pedro Jimenez and Muscat of Alexandria grapes in Chile's Elqui Valley. It is aged in American oak barrels and bottled at 92 proof.
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    96
    In addition to strict production regulations, Peruvian piscos are further categorized into aromatic or non-aromatic as well as puro (pure) or acholado (blend). This is a puro pisco meaning that this is the product of only one grape. In this case, it is the moscatel grape which is an aromatic grape. As of early 2016, this is now available in the US after only being sold in Peru.
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    93
    Singani is a spirit that has been produced since 1530. It has its own DO (denomination of origin) and GI (geographical indication) and can only be produced in the Bolivian Andes. The grapes (of which only muscat of Alexandria can be used) must be planted at a minimum of 5250 feet (1600 meters). As Singani is not recognized as its own spirit category in most of the world, it can only be described as a brandy, but it is better to think of it as an eau-de-vie. This Singani is the first to be available in the United States and for that you can thank director, Steven Soderbergh and his blood, sweat, and tears (and money).