Our Top Brandy Reviews From March 2017

Out of all of the bottles of brandy we reviewed in March, these ten got the highest scores from the Tasting Table!
Apr 03, 2017
  • 10
    Sweet & Tart
    A & G is the distilling label for Lake Michigan Shore Apellation’s St. Julian winery. Among grapes and apples a bit of cherries are grown. In this brandy the Montmorency, Meteor, and Balleton varieties are used. A&G is lucky enough to have a Carl-still which is the golden standard in craft distillation. After passing through the stills, the spirit rests for at least a year in a toasted French oak barrel. It is then finished in a cask from a cream sherry solera for further coloring and complexity.
  • 9
    With a name like Peach Street Spirits, you kind of half to make peach brandy. Theirs is made from local Palisade peaches in western Colorado . Open-air fermentation utilizes wild yeast before a single distillation through a Christian Carl brandy still. The final product is unoaked and unaged and is bottled in 375ml sized bottles.
  • 8
    This brandy was distilled in 1983 (hence the name) by Miles Karakasevic, then Master Distiller of Charbay, and his wife Susan. Their son, Marko, is the current Master Distiller. It was released in November 2010. The brandy uses 100% folle blanche grapes and was double-distilled in an Alambic Charentais pot-still. It was aged for 27 years in French Limousin oak barrels and bottled at 40% ABV. Only 100 cases were produced; a rare find, but one worth the hunt.
  • 7
    Maraska, well known for their tradition of making maraschino liqueur also makes a full range of fruit-based spirits. Here their Kirschwasser or Kirsch, is distilled from Marasca cherries grown only in the rich soil of the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. Artificially flavored.
  • 6
    Sweet & Rich
    Australia’s only certified organic distillers of brandy, Harris Organic has been situated in Western Australia’s Swan Valley for more than 16 years with the area being one of Australia’s prime wine growing regions. A single-vintage brandy, it is double-distilled with a wood-fired pot-still. The brandy then aged in small oak casks for a four year minimum. Note: This is currently unavailable outside Australia.
  • 5
    Spicy & Tart
    Guy Lhéraud doesn't necessarily have a problem with cognacs "made by a computer", as he describes electronically-controlled distillation equipment; it's just not the ways he wants to do things. All Lhéraud Cognacs are distilled by hand in a direct-fire still, and bottled without any additives other than water. This VSOP expression is aged for five years, the first two in new casks of Limousin oak.
  • 4
    Fruity & Woody
    Lhéraud's age-designated cognacs are in fact "vintage" cognacs in disguise. Each cuvee is a blend of barrels from a single year, favoring character and transparency over the consistency afforded by blending multiple vintages. The estate's younger bottlings comprise spirit that has spent the first few years of its life in new oak before being transferred to older barrels to complete its maturation.
  • 3
    Maraska Komovica is a “marc” grape brandy. Marc is the French term for the pulp behind left after pressing new wine and includes the grape skins, seeds, stems and yeast residue. The marc is used to make a second which is then distilled into a spirit of the same name. Maraska Komovica is produced in Croatia and matured in oak barrels of undisclosed size and time.
  • 2
    After experiencing a near extinction, Applejack is making a resurgence thanks to New England and New York's micro-distillery movement. Barrel aged for 6 weeks and distilled from Maine Apple Cider from the Apple Farm located in Fairfield. Made from late-season varietals (Golden Russet, Permain, and Northern Spy) and preservative-free.
  • 1
    Traditional methods characterize the entire Paul Giraud line including hand-harvesting and the fact that vintages are never blended, ensuring that each vintage will be just a little bit different. Their Napoléon is aged for 15 years with 25% of the blend aged in new oak barrels.