Sunday, June 19, 2011

Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy ~ Lot 23

Photobucket   I have a confession to make: I know pretty much absolutely nothing about brandy, much less fine alembic brandy the likes of which Germain-Robin is reputed for. A multigenerational descendent of vaunted cognac distillers, Hubert took his priceless heritage to another level by distilling fine wines into brandy decadence using a restored ancient alembic still. Ranging in accessibility and price, no matter what your indulgence, all of the fine Germain-Robin brandies will indubitably titillate and please.
Wine isn’t my imbibement of choice but when distilled into Brandy/Solera/Armagnac/Arzente, my tastebuds’s curiosity is peeked. Am I being blatantly biased and ignorant of wine’s fine standing? Yes. But for now wine is of little personal professional interest which I shall rectify one of these days…just not today. This isn’t to say I haven’t had good wines both white and red (with a definite preference for red) but brandy isn’t wine, at least not anymore. Brandy is typically distilled from the lesser white grapes because, after all, the best grapes should be saved for the best wines. Or should they? Shouldn’t a better grape wine make a better brandy? I say yes and the proof is quite tastefully in the brandy, specifically the brandies of Germain-Robin which use only the finest Pinot Noir, Colombard, and Semillon grape wines.
The bottle I cracked into was from Lot 23. What is Lot 23? Not quite sure; I’ve tried email inquiries with Germain-Robin but with no response so far. But I shan’t give up for a greater knowledge of this fine imbibement can only improve upon my slow savorance of its bottled divinity one glass at a time. And so without further ado…

Color: clear brilliant polished deep oranges and rich golds. Copper glints along the edges.

Nose: sweet heat tickles with flambéed orange and mandarin. Cinnamon sticks and mulled cider. Plump golden raisins. Cardamom. Orange honeycomb. Crisp and bright – pierces the senses.

Body: oily – long lingering tears. Thick in the middle, sticky, then dry along the sides. Holds onto the back of throat.

Palate: rich, smooth, and soothing. Lips tingle with spice and heat which unfold into orange rind, cardamom, orange honeycomb, and flambéed marmalade. Werthers Original planted right smack dab in the middle. Plump golden raisins dipped in honey and orange peel all as one. Heat also tickles in the middle back of tongue.

Finish: fleshy apples and cinnamon sticks – spiced and mulled. Fresh oak. Long and heavy on top of the tongue.

I never quite understood why the hubbub over truly good brandy. Having observed a steady procession of average to mediocre brandies go from shelf to counter to someone’s plastic cup, a high opinion I did not have. After all, it wasn’t exactly being savored for its individual qualities of which it appeared to have little. But taking time and tender loving care into consideration, a good brandy (wherever it may come from) is as worthy of a crystal snifter or fine cocktail as countless other treasured distillates. Ginger ale need not apply here, thankyouverymuch. Instead I'll continue to savor my Germain-Robin neat which, having opened the mind’s eye to a fantasia of flavorful possibilities, has properly prepared me for all future brandy excursions. What next? Only time and my own trip from shelf to counter to glass shall tell.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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