Brandy Sainte Louise hit the scene in 2018, designed for bartenders as “a classic, Old-World style brandy with a balanced, fruit-forward flavor profile.” It’s made in France by a Cognac cellarmaster but most of its grapes (classic ugni blanc) come from just outside the Cognac AOC region. The spirit is pot distilled and aged in French oak between 3 and 10 years in the Cognac region of Charente. Per the company, “In comparison to other aged brandies, Brandy Sainte Louise is between VS and XO” — though there’s no age designation on the label. All told, the basic idea here is that you’re getting Cognac quality at American brandy prices.
Let’s give it a whirl.
The nose has some brash youth to it, but also plenty of more inviting qualities: clean linen, lavender, dried florals — all the goodies you expect from young Cognac. An immediate sweetness is quick to hit the palate, tempering some of the heavier perfume notes that dominate the aromatics. Light but lively with notes of golden raisins, milk chocolate, fresh plums, and a light layer of caramel, the palate is gentle but really expressive — and easy to enjoy. Lingering notes of incense keep the finish lingering for quite a while — and the brandy never outstays its welcome.
Fairly straightforward, but a solid offering at this price level — Cognac or no.
A- / $35