A & G Michigan Brandy Reserve
St. Julian Winery // Michigan, USA
A & G is the distilling arm of the St. Julian winery located in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. The process of distillation occurs in a custom Carl still (a German maker known for their quality and scaled to the craft distillation process.) The region’s Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Pinot Gris grapes are used for the wine base and the resulting spirit is aged for an impressive 10 years in Hungarian and French oak.
American BrandyProduced in the US, this is usually referring to brandy distilled from grape-based wine. If the producer uses other fruit, it must be stated on the label. If aged under two years in oak, it must state the word "immature" on the label. Beyond that, labels such as VS, VSOP, and XO mean little as the brands themselves dictate what that means to them.
Cask TypeFrench and Hungarian oak
"This is a very impressive ringer for Cognac and many tasters would have trouble picking it out in a blind tasting. The only missing component is Cognac’s telltale chalky minerality. Instead, there are plenty of tasty, decadent flavors like spring flowers, milk chocolate, toasted vanilla, and baklava. The oak has complimented the spirit instead of overwhelming it and the mouthfeel is lush and round with very little sense of alcohol and a sweet-toned finish. This is not the most complex brandy, but certainly an achievement for the region."