Fairly deep bright amber with a hint of old mahogany, legs.
Fragrant fresh and crisp, the spirit has just the right amount of wood notes with traces of spice, and is not weighed down with excessive Oloroso and PX. Instead it is pure and refined with hints of wine to balance and slight Amontillado notes and only a trace of sweetness. It smells very natural.
Generous and beautifully balanced, it is medium bodied and elegant, and not as clumsy as some. There is a fresh liveliness and the flavour of concentrated wine rather than burnt wine, with a gentle natural sweetness which rounds it off nicely and great length. A serious brandy.
The Andrada Vanderwilde family has been producing grapes and wine in Jerez for about 200 years but it was only in 1972 that they established Fernando de Castilla with the intention of producing the finest possible Spanish Brandy - and they have succeeded. The range has grown and now includes some amazing single cask brandies. This is not the cheapest Solera Reserva, but it is excellent. It has a high ratio of holandas and is aged for about 6 years (the minimum legally required is 1 year) in butts seasoned with old Amontillado and Oloroso.
PriceAbout 20 Euros, available in most good shops.