There are a lot of fruit flavored brandies out there, and most aren’t worth your time. Overly sweet, made with artificial flavoring and coloring, they are the epitome of “bottom shelf”. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to recently sample a European product that exceeded my expectations.
Xanté is a liqueur created in Sweden from Belgian pears and four-year old French Limosine oak aged cognac. Supposedly, the recipe originated with Benedictine monks in Namur, Belgium who then passed it on to distiller Jean Heinrich who had fled Alsace during the Franco-Prussian war. Regardless of its heritage, this is a tasty drink that makes for a great after dinner drink on the rocks, or used in a cocktail as an interesting substitute for apple schnapps.
Xanté (76 proof)
Visual: Rich golden hue.
Nose: Fresh pears in cognac with subtle hints of spice. Mouth-watering and substantial.
Taste: Rich and viscous with the pear playing more of an understudy role to the brandy. Lots of sugar, cinnamon and cognac warmth.
Finish: The pear comes to the fore again as the fade begins, ending with a slight sense of having eaten the pear peel.
Overall: Very pleasant and smooth. Highly recommended as a dessert liqueur.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Xanté