Monday, 11 December 2017

Ponche Caballero 25%, Luis Caballero

Mahogany fading to amber with coppery gold glints.
Very fresh and clean which avoids over-sweetness and not over alcoholic. There is a lovely balance of brandy and spices as well as an attractive fruitiness. Cinnamon and vanilla are perhaps the most prominent spices, and there is lots of orange with nutmeg not far behind. Lovely.
Sweet, naturally, and very tasty with hints of toasted almond, caramel, orange, cinnamon and vanilla. There is a gentle tanginess which mitigates some of the sweetness while all the different flavours bind together to form a liqueur better than the sum of its parts. No cloying and gently spicy finish.
This is the best selling Ponche, and that's because it is very good, and was arguably the first. In fact it is the top selling liqueur in Spain and in the top ten worldwide. The formula has been used by the firm for 180 years and needless to say it is a secret, however it contains spices from all round the world which have traditionally been imported into El Puerto de Santa Maria for centuries. They include vanilla, cinnamon, clove, orange peel and nutmeg, based on brandy. In 1943 the bottle was wrapped in silver paper as a homage to the old silver punch bowls, and in 1969 a better process was invented, and copied by many. Grupo Caballero produces Milenario brandy and the lovely Miura cherry liqueur among others, and owns Bodegas Lustau in Jerez, (they also bought Burdon and Cuesta) as well as being a large drinks distributor. Ponche is lovely straight from the fridge or on the rocks.
9.35 euros, Roali

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