Published on March 23rd, 2015 | by Ruben0
Brandy Solera Gran Reserva – Finest Selection (Lustau)
A mix of different casks is used to mature this Solera Gran Reserva Finest Selection
Lustau has a range of four expressions of Brandy de Jerez: the Brandy Solera Reserva (aged for over 3 years in Amontillado casks), the Solera Gran Reserva (aged for over 10 years in Oloroso casks), this Solera Gran Reserva Finest Selection (aged for over 15 years in a mixture of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks) and the Solera Gran Reserva ‘Reserva Familiar 1977’ (a limited edition aged in Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks).
By law, Brandy de Jerez has to be matured in barrels that have been seasoned with sherry for a few years. In the case of Finest Selection, the brandy itself is around 15 years of age (average age because of the solera ageing), but the barrels themselves are 40-50 years old, which means they’re more than just quickly seasoned.
Solera Gran Reserva – Finest Selection (40%, Lustau, Brandy de Jerez)
Nose: this reminds me a lot of whisky matured in sherry casks (think Macallan, Glendronach, Glenfarclas…), only (a lot) sweeter. There’s plenty of raisins and figs, milk chocolate, thick caramel and vanilla syrup. Molasses and sticky toffee pudding. Crushed almonds. In the background there are hints of exotic woods and soft spices (clove, cinnamon).
Mouth: very sweet, you can really feel the Pedro Ximénez here. Lots of dried fruits, mainly dates chocolate coated figs, sprinkled with caramel. Rum & raisins. Candy apple. After the initial wave of sweetness, which will be a little overpowering for some, it settles down on hazelnuts and spices (pepper, cinnamon) and just a hint of smoked wood. Long, dark and sweet finish.
Availability: fairly good. Around € 50-60 for a 70cl bottle. Try TheDrinksShop or Lavinia.
Summary: The Pedro Ximénez casks have certainly imposed their character onto this brandy. In general, I prefer my spirits a little drier, but this is very rich, well made and probably more accessible than a lot of other spirits.