GSN Review: Soberano & Lepanto Solera Gran Reserva Brandy

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Soberano Solera is produced from Airén grapes grown in the La Mancha region of Spain and is aged using the Solera system in American oak casks that previously held sherry for a total of 12 months. Lepanto Gran Reserva is made from 100% Palomino grapes and aged for 12 years using the Solera system. The brandy is first aged in Tio Pepe Fino Sherry barrels for 9 years and then aged for 3 years in barrels that previously held Matusalem sherry. Both of these brandies are the only brandies to be distilled entirely in the city of Jerez.

Soberano Solera Brandy (80 proof)
Visual: Tarnished copper.
Nose: Sherry funk redolent of ancient European libraries.  One sniff and you are transported back to the 2600’s.
Taste: Sweet toffee and sherry tones overlay a light and airy brandy base.  There’s not a lot of body here, but the flavor is quite approachable.
Finish: Medium short, with the spirit itself clearing the hall of any stragglers.
Overall: Decent, and an interesting brandy to experiment with in lighter cocktails.  NOr even one to enjoy with a mid-day meal.
GSN Rating: B-

10296376Lepanto Solera Gran Reserva Brandy (80 proof)
Visual: Dark bronze.
Nose: Light and crisp sherry with more distant notes of baked apple, pear compote and grape.
Taste: A lot of mid-range flavors with a smooth and distinctive barrel driven character.  This is a tightly bound intensely aged brandy.
Finish: A bit of fire at the finish with more high, light tones coming through.  Only a touch of vanilla remains as a finale.
Overall: A brandy for special occasions and one that would suffer in a cocktail.  My only suggestion is to add a splash of water to open it up a bit.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Gonzalez Byass

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