Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Spirit Log: La Castellina Squarcialupi

Grappa again. Am I the only person in the UK who likes grappa? Come on, what’s wrong with you all? That goes for those of you from elsewhere in the world as well. And the Italians! Put yer wine down, and get on to the hard stuff.

What do we have this week then? This is La Castellina Squarcialupi, from last year’s Tuscan adventure. It was one of two bottles I chose to bring home, and was actually the one I was most excited about because it was a bit more expensive than the other (25 euros as opposed to Mille Lune’s 15), and the bottle is numbered – 394 out of 2000 produced each year.

It is bottled at 42% ABV and comes in a long-necked 50cl bottle with a neat and modern label.

What’s it like, and would you be spending your money wisely on it?
For me, 25 euros is still a snip for 50cl of authentic grappa. If you were buying this in the UK – if you could buy it in the UK – I can’t imagine you’d be paying less than £40, so that’s certainly a consideration.

Put it in context though, and if you scour the towns and villages of Tuscany, you’ll see an enticing smorgasbord of affordable grappas, and until I’ve tried them all, how good they are is anyone’s guess. I’m guessing… good – to great.

So fuck it, how can I describe this for you? It’s hard to do so without referring to its direct rival, Mille Lune. It’s not quite as good as that. For all the Squarcialupi’s colour, that makes me expect a lingering sweetness… there is very little sweetness. Nor is it as oily and texturally pleasing as I had expected.

So while I don’t want to advise you against purchasing this one, should you be in the area… you can do better.

Yes, it’s just a short one this week. Next week though, the word count will be slightly higher when I discuss two Canadian whiskies I picked up earlier in the year – Lot 40 2012 edition and Highwood HighCentennial limited edition. I expect to see you then.

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