Top Spanish Brandies

Big and bold, Spanish Brandies definitely pack a flavor punch. Best enjoyed after dinner. Here are some of our favorites.
Aug 29, 2017
  • 5
    5 Gran Duque d'Alba XO
    83
    Woody
    Gran Duque d'Alba XO is aged in a solera for over 12 years which use American oak ex-sherry butts. The brandy is then further aged for 6 years in American oak barrels that held Don Guido Pedro Ximénez sherry. The Gran Duque this brand is named for is named for the Great Duke of Alba, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, a 16th century Spanish general who advised both King Charles I and King Philip II of Spain.
  • 4
    4 Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez
    86
    Woody & Spicy
    Cardenal Mendoza is distilled from mostly Airen grapes. The solera this is aged in is made up of barrels that previously held Pedro Ximenez sherry, a dessert-style fortified wine. The average age of the solera is 15 years.
  • 3
    3 Soberano Solera Brandy de Jerez
    87
    Sweet & Fruity
    Soberano is a brand offshoot of González-Byass that has existed since at least 1913. The brandy is produced from the must of the Airén grape variety grown in La Mancha, distilled in a column still. The distillate is then brought to Jerez, where it is aged in ex-bourbon-turned-sherry barrels, set up in a solera system.
  • 2
    2 Lepanto O.V. Gran Reserva
    89
    Woody & Fruity
    This is one of the few brands of Brandy de Jerez that is actually distilled in Jerez (most others are just aged there). As is typical, the brandy is aged in a solera system. This bottling uses 15 different criaderas (nurseries of soleras) that have brandies aged for over 12 years in American oak ex-sherry (in this case, Tio Pepe Fino Sherry). The brandy is removed from the solera and then further aged an additional 3 years in very old ex-Oloroso Apóstoles & Matusalém sherry. Note, this review is for the 80 proof, but outside of the US you will find 72 proof bottlings.
  • 1
    1 Lepanto PX Gran Reserva
    90
    Sweet & Rich
    Lepanto is the luxury offshoot of González-Byass which has the distinction of being the only Brandy de Jerez which is produced entirely from start to finish in Jerez. Lepanto PX Gran Reserva is produced from Palomino grapes grown in the region, which undergo a double-distillation process in the Los Arcos cellar between two Charentais pot stills from Cognac that date back to the 1960s. The distillate, or 'horanda', is aged for a minimum of 15 years in a solera system in sherry barrels once used for bourbon. They spend 12 years in barrels that had been used for Tio Pepe sherry and 3 years in barrels that had aged Noe, a Pedro Ximénez sherry that ages for 30 years.