More French Booze, Plus Two
Well, after that last little huff n' puff, I give you three wonderful new products that were not distilled in Indiana.
Germain Robin K&L Single Barrel Blend CB2014B Alambic Brandy $59.99 - Labeled as Blend CB2014B - Barrel #134, this is our second barrel purchase from California legends Germain Robin in Ukiah. Aged in French Limousin oak, this brandy begins with a lovely flurry of fresh fruit before settling into more classic Cognac flavors of caramel and subtle toffee. The balance of this batch is impeccable and the brandy is decidedly better than the standard Craft Method in our opinion. Germain Robin already makes an amazing and affordable brandy, so we weren't going to take a cask unless it was significantly better or different than the standard expressions. In this case, it's both. Round, supple, but full of life and character. This is a bottle you won't want to miss. Only 200 bottles available.
Domaine d' Ognoas K&L Exclusive XO Armagnac $49.99 - We're back with another new release from one of our favorite French producers from whom we buy spirits directly! The seigneury of Ognoas dates back to the 11th century. For more than seven hundred years it was occupied by various lords and viscountesses until 1847, when the last remaining heir donated the property to the church. In 1905, the Domaine was passed over to the regional government and today the 565 hectare estate is run by the Conseul General des Landes and is operated as an agricultural school. The distillery at Ognoas is considered the oldest in Gascony and has been in operation since 1780. The estate has baco, ugni blanc, and folle blanche planted on site. Perhaps the coolest part of the operation is that Ognoas uses its own trees (from the 300 hectares of forest on the property) to make their own oak casks for maturation. A local cooper does all the work at the Domaine and selects the trees himself. Rather than another vintage selection, this year we opted for an XO marriage of vintages that brought heaps of rich flavor at a very affordable price point. Softer fruit and rich woody flavors permeate the intial sip, and the accents of spice and dark caramel carry through to the finish. There's no better deal in the $50 range.
Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Proof Cuban Style Rum $39.99 - Our madcap distiller friend Bryan Davis is back with a new 151 proof Cuban style rum that represents his best work to date. While Lost Spirits started off as a whisky operation, no one can argue that their best releases so far have been the Navy Style and Polynesian rums. They are taking the country by storm and this new Cuban style rum -- lighter and more focused on the sugar cane flavor -- just debuted at this year's Tales of the Cocktail. Despite its incredibly high proof, this rum drinks like a dream. The flavors are seamless and subtle, never funky or out of whack, and the cocktail mixing potential is endless. Plus, it's only $40! No one else is putting out rum of this quality, let alone of this value (and the label is absolutely gorgeous). Bryan Davis is killing it right now.