Sunday, 7 May 2017
Brandy Marqués de Misa Solera Reserva 36%, Williams & Humbert
Deepish amber with old gold and coppery highlights.
Subtle toasted oak and caramel notes along with those of dried fruits and nuts with a hints of mineral and brown sugar. The crispness of the aguardientes is just about rounded off by the holandas.
Fairly sweet on entry with dried fruit, caramel and a slight liquorice/aniseed note, then it gets crisper and nuttier. It looks as if the ageing butts were more Amontillado than Oloroso so the brandy is a little lighter in style. There are trace wood notes and very low tannin, but noticeable sweetness is balanced by a slight parting bitter note.
Manuel Misa y Bertemati founded his bodega in 1844 and merged with his brother Buenaventura Pablo whose bodega was established in 1840. Manuel was a great salesman and was deeply involved in politics, holding various important posts for which he was made Conde de Bayona and later Marqués de Misa, a Spanish grandee. He constructed the lovely bodega in Calle Diego Fernández Herrera now owned by Diez Mérito. After his death in 1903 the firm continued in family hands until the late 1960s when Rumasa bought the stocks and brands selling the bodega to Harveys. The stocks were transferred to the vast Bodegas Internacionales, now Williams & Humbert, which was also bought by Rumasa in 1972. The old Misa brandy solera was already there when the Medinas bought the firm. This brandy is made from mostly Airén and some Palomino grapes and is a blend of holandas and aguardientes. It has an average age of over three years, the minimum required being one, and a sugar content of 15g/l. The bottle is thankfully sealed with a cork instead of those annoying plastic "tapones irrellenables" you find under screwcaps.