Craft Distillers’ Germain-Robin makes just ten barrels a year of this California brandy, now featuring a blend of 12 varietal brandies, seven of which are Pinot Noir. At 17 years of age, this spirit is young and a little brash by European standards but stands now as one of the best American brandies being produced today. The spirit offers an intense caramel nose, then apple and pear fruit. Modest wood, and a butterscotch finish. Despite the XO moniker, it’s a young brandy, but a pretty charming one nonetheless. Fruity and easy to drink, and while it works with a fruit-filled dessert, I think it’s best as a pre-dinner quaff.
B+ / $100 / craftdistillers.com