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  1. #11
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    Funny, the BiB is available here, but not the 12 y/o. How much does it go for in your neck of the woods? I saw it last time I was at Binny's, but I remember it being kind of on the pricey side.
    The 12yr runs around $40/bottle. I'm not sure about the 7.5yr, it's not available locally, and this one was given to me. The BIB, when I find it, usually goes for $20 or under.

    Bottles of the 12yr usually last me quite a while, so $40/bottle goes pretty far. Whenever I do pull it out, it's always a hit. Unfortunately, it's not 100 proof like the BIB.

  2. #12
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    I should like to point out that a proper fruit brandy is a spirit made by distilling pressed fruits, like the peach brandy made at Mt. Vernon recently by some bourbon distillers. It's a whole world of distinctive spirits and a specialty of the distillers here in the Black Forest.

    Other hard liquors to look at...

    For rum, I'd recommend getting some Gosling's Black Seal, especially if you can find the 140° version. This doesn't cost much more than $20 for a fifth, I think. You can drink it neat and it tastes yummy. If you change your mind and want to try a mix, pour in some ginger beer and squeeze in some lime or lemon (I prefer lime) for a dark n' stormy.

    Gin... the only gin I've enjoyed drinking straight is Cadenhead's Old RAJ although it is a bit on the expensive side. I've read it costs over $50 in the States. It's delicious, though.

    As for brandy (i.e., cognac not from Cognac), there's an Armenian brandy called Ararat that's not bad for the money, as I recall. There are many fine cognacs as well, of course, but you'll have to pay a lot to get a decent one, in my opinion. I don't much like Courvoisier or Hennessey, especially not the VS. I love Martell Cordon Bleu, but that'll usually run you over $100 for a bottle.

    My last recommendation would be to try some grappa or marc (the French name for it). This is a spirit made by distilling what's left after you've pressed grapes for wine. In Germany (where it's called Weintrester) and in Alsace, this is often made from Gewürztraminer pressings which works very well. I also like grappa di moscato. But you can get it as made from many different kinds of grape (pressings) -- and at least around here, it's not all that expensive. So it may be something to look into.

    Hope this helps...

  3. #13
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DanG View Post
    My last recommendation would be to try some grappa or marc (the French name for it). This is a spirit made by distilling what's left after you've pressed grapes for wine. In Germany (where it's called Weintrester) and in Alsace, this is often made from Gewürztraminer pressings which works very well. I also like grappa di moscato. But you can get it as made from many different kinds of grape (pressings) -- and at least around here, it's not all that expensive. So it may be something to look into.

    Hope this helps...
    It's fairly expensive in the U.S. In Michigan grappas range from $20-$140 for 750 ml (some only come in 375 ml bottles). Unaged corn whiskeys, white tequilas and white rums are much cheaper if one is looking for that "raw" experience. I have never seen anything labeled as Marc or Weintrester on American shelves.
    Last edited by Josh; 11-09-2010 at 08:37.
    bibamus, moriendum est
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  4. #14
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    Lower AL
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Try the Ron Zacapa 23 yr rum, especially if you can find it on sale. It's a good sipping rum, but it blew me away with Coke. I don't do much mixing and I was a little reluctant at first but I'm glad I did. The taste evolves (yes, it seems to get better with each sip) into a unique dessert-like treat.

  5. #15
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    It's fairly expensive in the U.S. In Michigan grappas range from $20-$140 for 750 ml (some only come in 375 ml bottles). Unaged corn whiskeys, white tequilas and white rums are much cheaper if one is looking for that "raw" experience. I have never seen anything labeled as Marc or Weintrester on American shelves.
    Next time you come down for a bourbon run, I'll point out the Marc's to You. Pretty distinctive stuff.

  6. #16
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Pollito View Post
    Next time you come down for a bourbon run, I'll point out the Marc's to You. Pretty distinctive stuff.
    I'd love to try some. I do like it raw.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  7. #17
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    Manheim, PA 17545
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    This is all good information. I wish I could get more mini bottles of stuff to try it before I go and spend $30-$50 a bottle and find I don't like it. I think I'm going to try a few brandies first. We'll see how that goes.....
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  8. #18
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    It's fairly expensive in the U.S. In Michigan grappas range from $20-$140 for 750 ml (some only come in 375 ml bottles). Unaged corn whiskeys, white tequilas and white rums are much cheaper if one is looking for that "raw" experience. I have never seen anything labeled as Marc or Weintrester on American shelves.
    I highly doubt you'll find anything called Weintrester -- even in Germany, most wine-makers who do distill the pressings call it Marc to make it sound fancier. And considering the dearth of German wines in the States (especially from Baden), it's unlikely there are any marcs available from Germany. As for the French Marc (pronounced without the c, by the way, just to be snooty), it's not as well known worldwide even though it can be very good. You'll more likely find it in high-end imported chocolates -- Marc de Champagne can be found in some great Swiss chocolates by makers like Läderach.

    As for the "raw" experience, I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but well made grappa and fruit brandies are simply unlike anything else. The flavor of the fruit shines through and you get the warmth of the high alcohol content (good fruit brandies should generally be at least 90°) without the rough, indelicate taste separating itself out as in the cheaper-made "geists." I don't know the name in English (the literal translation is spirits), but it's when you put the juice into a cheaper spirit and then redistill, similar to a common method of making gin.

    Another thing to mention is that, in my anecdotal experience, Americans rarely like fruit brandies. I don't know why. I am American, by the way, and I do love them. On the other hand, the Japanese must love it, because they even make it out of potatoes. I had some at a nice Japanese restaurant in Frankfurt last weekend. I would not recommend it...

  9. #19
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Raw meaning unaged. Even in the best made unaged brandies and other spirits I get a distinct note in the nose. That's what I mean by raw.

    As for Americans and fruit brandies, I think it's become into a chicken & egg situation. They're not popular, so they aren't widely available, which means people don't get a chance to try them. But count me as a fan too!
    Last edited by Josh; 11-10-2010 at 04:14.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  10. #20
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    Re: Expanding my spirits drinking.....

    Ah, okay, thanks for the explanation, Josh. If you happen to be in southwest Germany, let me know and I'll be happy to share some fine fruit brandy with you! I have so much liquor, I really do need to start finishing this stuff off since I may be moving back to the States next year...

    As for aging -- true, this is not usually done around here. The Swiss seem to do it more often than the Germans. The award-winning distiller I know from this area ages his Marc de Gewürztraminer and plum brandy (from regular plums -- he makes brandy from 4-5 different kinds) in wood. He sells both the barrel-aged and regular varieties, and the difference is, as one would expect, very noticeable. The barrel aging does great things for the plum brandy, actually softening it up a little bit. With the Marc/grappa/Weintrester I'm not as sure. Some years it's clearly better, but sometimes I like that clean, crisp flavor you get without the barrel aging. It's very hard to say.

    I also had the chance to try some barrel-strength apricot brandy that had also been kept in wood as a special competition-only offering. Very strong stuff. It actually tasted kind of like a sharp bourbon until cut down with water.

 

 

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