Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Berlinsterdam Booty Part 2: Asbach Urbrand brandy

Following on from last week’s post in which we looked at one of the spirits I brought back from my Berlinsterdam adventure, this weekwe’re looking at another – Asbach Urbrand brandy (40 ABVs). This was the first bottle I decided to open, as all the others appealed to opening at parties or in the presence of particular friends.

I’ve been asking for some time whether it is possible to get great brandy at a decent price (like it is with whisky), though in all fairness I haven’t been trying that hard. I certainly haven’t been able to answer in the affirmative yet, but while I always keep a bottle of brandy in stock, it isn’t a spirit I delve into all that often. Neverthelss, with this German brandy, it looks like I’d done it. Seriously; this is going straight to number 1. I don’t normally like to blow my load like that straight away, but I’m so thrilled and it’s so rare to find such a brandy that I just can’t wait.

The Asbach Urbrand has a hint of new trainers on the nose (and in no way is that a bad thing – I love the smell of new trainers), a body like silk and a complexity of flavour I just haven’t found in brandy before. To top things off, there’s a pleasant alcohol bite, just to let you know you’re drinking the good stuff. Not a note out of place, from the fruit to the candy to the spice tones; just superb.

My only gripe is that I had to use a knife in order to get the cap off; it wasn’t anchored so it just kept turning round and round instead of unscrewing. I couldn’t get a decent grip on the seal with my sausage fingers, so in the end I had to slice through the joins and now the cap won’t seal properly. Instead it does that annoying thing where it goes from almost but not quite tight to completely unscrewed and back again ad infinitum when you try to seal it until you have to make a decision as to where you think might be sufficient to keep the goodness fresh. On top of that, it was a plastic bottle, which is good for not adding weight to your baggage, but having bought it at the airport, that wasn’t really a consideration anyway.

Putting that aside, at 9 euros for half a litre, this is top notch. I really wasn’t expecting much, and had almost decided not to buy anything in Duty Free that day, but with my Carlos I almost gone and brandy specifically being something I’d been looking for, I had to, and I’m glad I did. Keep an eye out for this as you’re passing though the German airports; it’s worth a punt.

Next week (assuming I can finish writing it to my satisfaction), I’ll be presenting part 3 of this series and looking at German korn with Berliner Brandstifter. See you back here for that.