Review: Gran Duque d’Alba Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva

Review: Gran Duque d’Alba Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva

Spanish brandy is far less common in the U.S. than its French or American counterparts. Made mostly from the airen grape, most Spanish brandy is aged in a solera style that sees younger stock constantly replenishing barrels of increasingly aged, blended spirit. While Gran Duque d’Alba makes an older, XO bottling of its brandy, this is the expression you’re much more likely to find on the market.

Rich and aromatic, the brandy’s nose is dense with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, orange peel, dried figs, and — lastly — some petrol. This lattermost note hits the nose as quite sharp, but it doesn’t overly detract thanks to the intensity of the other aromas in this thick, almost decadent experience. On the palate, oxidized fruit notes — think a Port sauce reduction — lead the way to a sweeter coffee note, more chocolate, and notes of vanilla cola. The orange influence gives the brandy a touch of acidic citrus that helps to perk up what can otherwise be a dense and overwhelming experience at times, the finish perking up with touches of toasted marshmallow and nutty, oxidized Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Spanish brandy can often be a bit overwhelming, but the Gran Duque strikes a fine balance between richness and approachability, with plenty of character worth exploring. Best of all the price is approachable enough to encourage liberal cocktail experimentation efforts.

80 proof.


Gran Duque d'Alba Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva




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