Premium Brandy: What’s the deal?
Love it or hate it, South African Brandy is a widely misunderstood spirit. Here are a few things you may not have known about the smooth, golden elixir.
Our premium brandy is Cognac at heart
It has global market domination, a sexy French name and the endorsement of bling-bearing gangster-rappers everywhere. Mention the word Cognac, and most wouldn’t hesitate to think premium, expensive and luxury.
What people don’t realise, is that one of our 3 local brandy styles (Potstill Brandy), is in essence, Cognac.
We can’t use the name, nor would we really want to. But both are double distilled from wine in big copper potstills. Both are matured in French oak barrels for a very long time, and both are blended with care and skill to produce the final fine tipple.
Met Eish? YA!
Most dudes love a good brannas en coke by the fire. And while mixing standard or blended brandy with coke (Tip: try ginger ale or Appletiser too) is a local staple, there are also other ways to enjoy the fine spirit.
A pure potstill brandy neat in a brandy snifter (or brandy balloon) or with a cube of ice is different. It’s richer, fruitier, more intense and complex. Smell deep in the glass, savour the full fruit on the nose, the sweet vanilla tongue, and the smooth finish from its years in French oak.
Look out for POTSTILL on the label. They live mostly on the top shelf with the foreign Whiskys and are half the price! Want some hints on where to start? Get going in the brandy tasting room.
SA brandies are the world’s best
They clean up at international awards shows. IWSC, ISC, CMB, you name it. Name any decent wine and spirit awards show, and our brandies have walked away with the bling.
For a little more context, South African potstill brandies have won worldwide best brandy 11 times in the last 14 years.
Locally too, our brandies get the recognition they deserve. Veritas awards 2012 racked up a whopping 7 Double Gold, 7 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze medals across the brandy board.
Road trip anyone?
Many of our local brandy clan are descended from the uber houses of Distell and KWV, but it doesn’t stop there for brandy production.
Grab your brandy bro, and hit the road. Conveniently dotted over two separate brandy “routes” are over 22 brandy producers with equally good potstills to tantalise the taste buds. Thanks to www.brandyroutes.mobi it’s easy to set out on your own journey of discovery and see what all the fuss is about.
So what are you waiting for?
The next time you fancy a whisky after a posh dinner – or at a poker evening with the lads- give potstill brandy a spin instead. You won’t be disappointed. A whole new world of premium spirit adventures awaits you…
WIN A TASTING!
Win a tutored brandy tasting with Mens Month and Brandy & Ginger for you and 3 of your dudes. We’ll take you through 5 different potstill brandies and compare each with tasting notes along the way.
Write us a comment below sharing your favourite potstill brandy, and why you like it so much. Entrants must be from Cape Town or surrounds.
The tasting will take place on Thursday 22 November (17:30) at 11 Adderley Street, 5th floor. Persons must be 18 years or older.
Source: Alastair Coombe
Visit Alastair’s website: www.brandyandginger.co.za