Maker: Germain-Robin, Ukiah, California, USA
Appearance: Burnt orange with a long, persistent necklace.
Nose: Alcohol, raisins, prunes, mincemeat, black tea.
Palate: Full-bodied and rich. Prune juice, star anise, passito wine, oak.
Finish: Dry and spicy. Fruitcake or mincemeat spices, raisins.
Parting words: Co-founded by a man from a distilling family in Cognac, Germain-Robin is probably the U.S.’s finest producer of brandy. They’ve been in business since 1982 (an eternity in micro-distiller years) and were favorites of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, among others.
This is very much in the style of Cognac but better than most in its price range. As a whiskey drinker primarily, it makes a very pleasant change of pace. I haven’t tried V & T’s other batch, 2012E but I have heard excellent things about it too. Something this tasty at this price is not something I would mix. It’s an excellent value from an excellent maker and an excellent retailer. Germain-Robin Alembic Brandy Reserve Vine & Table batch 2012F is highly recommended.