Thursday, 11 June 2015

Spirit log: Carlos i Solera Gran Riserva

Having already covered the fascinating story of procurement of this latest foray intoSpanish brandy, it is time now to give it its appraisal. How will it compare with its peers or even brandies of different heritage? Let’s find out.

First it should be noted that the ABV is a disappointing 38%. Both my previous dalliances with solera gran riserva brandies, Cardenal Mendoza and Gran Duque D’Alba have lived up to the standard 40. A quick filter of the data on my geeky spreadsheet shows that of all the brandies I’ve purchased [or received as gifts] in the past, only the Tesco Value brandy and Osborne’s 103 would also be members of this sub-strength club – and they weren’t good. Nevertheless, Carlos I (which, like the 103 is produced by Osborne) was the most special offering the supermarket I chose to make my purchase from had. I am hereafter determined to try a bit harder the next time I go to Spain.

Opening this bizarrely (and not particularly conveniently) shaped bottle actually coincided with the death of my last Ikea brandy snifter, so I was “forced” to find the funds for some far better quality John Lewis ones. There’s one in the picture – much better (though you can't really see it all that well).

I don’t know whether it is partially down to the quality of my new John Lewis brandy snifters, but I rate this far more highly than the other aforementioned solera gran riservas. It’s soft and mellow and occasionally there’s a slight hint of caramel in there, along with a hint of balsamic vinegar on the nose. It has proved to be popular with guests and, while I doubt I’ll be opting to buy another bottle in the future, it was of acceptable standard.

It's been a short one this week then. What's next week? I think I might be doing something about weird asian booze. Not sure. Come back next week and find out. Laters.

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