Two hearts beat in the chest of our wine friend Steven. In addition to wine, he also loves high-proof distillates so much that we couldn’t help but write down his spirits tips for enjoying and giving away.
One thing must be clear in advance: I am a wine lover through and through. But a noble fruit brandy, mature cognac, rum or whiskey should not be missed either by lovers of large wines. It is clear to me that some wine drinkers still have to be convinced of this mindset, but spirits not only offer an enormous variety of tastes, they are simply a different kind of drinking culture. This ranges from the contemplative, meditative moment provided by a glass of old rum with its banana and vanilla aromas, to the ritual after-dinner digestif or a classic cocktail to start the weekend.
Especially during the opulent Christmas season, there is always room for a good spirit. By the way, not only as a moment of pleasure with friends and family: A bottle of good whiskey or a classy cognac also stands out as a Christmas present from any tie or sock present. In addition, it is often easier to choose a high-proof drop for the recipient than to perfectly match his wine taste. You can’t go wrong with a quality spirit.
Cognac, Rum and Brandy
At this point, another caveat about the high-spirited elixirs needs to be cleared up. Spirits, it is said, are not for women and are therefore actually a drink for men. However, a rum like Ferrand’s “Plantation Barbados Extra Old” promises a very soft, harmonious drinking pleasure, with which man and woman can look forward to an aromatic sensitivity, sip by sip.
Of course, this applies to a cognac to the same extent, also in its Spanish variant, brandy. Now Spain is also close to my heart as a wine lover, which is why I almost inevitably have a preference for brandy. In our range we have, for example, the “Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva“. Also a drop that you can enjoy slowly and with a lot of attention. This brandy shows how complex spirits arrange their aromas and you can look forward to a taste journey that has everything to offer from oak to vanilla notes to honey and roasted aromas. After all, Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla has allowed this masterpiece of maturity to happen for twenty years.
Clear Recommendation: Vodka and Gin
But spirits can also be very different. For example, vodka, which I understand belongs in every well-stocked household, is the absolute opposite of rum, cognac and whiskey. His ideal is absolute clarity, for which multiple distillation and mostly complex filtering stand. One goes, one has to. I would be a bad tipster if I didn’t include the trend spirit of recent years in my recommendations: gin. As popular as the high-proof with plant and spice aromas, the so-called “botanicals”, is, the selection of good qualities of every gin style is just as huge.
Surely I could continue my crush. I haven’t said anything yet about the big world of whiskeys and bourbons, I’ve also left out the ranks of fruit brandies. But there will still be an opportunity. At this point I’ll leave it at my personal “fantastic four” and if you still want to find out more about high-proof spirits, I recommend the article about my preference for grappa.