Saturday, 11 March 2017

Brandy 103 Etiqueta Negra Solera Reserva 36%, Osborne

Fairly deep amber with golden highlights, legs.
Nicely balanced aromas of Sherry wood and vanilla with a trace of spirit, a hint of dried fruits and nuts, well rounded and quite dry with traces of spice from the wood and a trace of tobacco.
A hint of sweetness rounds off the woodiness and emphasises the vanilla along with a trace of caramel and that hint of spice. This is a fairly light, crisp and reasonably young brandy yet it has some complexity of character with good balance and a long nutty Sherried finish.
The very successful 103 brand was originally produced by Bodegas Bobadilla which were bought in their entirety by Osborne in 1990. There were three brandies: 103 Etiqueta Blanca Solera, 103 Etiqueta Negra Solera Reserva and Gran Capitan Solera Gran Reserva. The latter has unfortunately disappeared as Osborne has so many brandies and can't promote them all, and the Etiqueta Blanca is now a "Bebida Espirituosa", a blend of brandy and other ("agricultural") spirit, so no longer worth bothering about. Anyway Etiqueta Negra comes from a 1903 solera and is a blend of lower strength holandas and higher strength aguardientes aged for well over two years in  a solera established in 1903 whose butts were previously seasoned with Amontillado. Considering its youth, it is very good, and just shows how effective solera ageing is.
13 euros from Roali Cash & Carry

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