Monday, 13 May 2019

Brandy de Luxe Conde Duque 40%, González Byass

Very deep mahogany with copper highlights fading to amber.
Fairly intense and not particularly sweet - in fact it is quite dry, though there is a hint of brown sugar - with pronounced notes of Oloroso and oak. This is a serious brandy with aromas of walnut, cacao, some dried fruits, dates mainly, and caramel along with faint notes of clove and cinnamon, all well integrated over quite a few years of ageing.
Full bodied and full of character, it is a little sweeter than expected with Oloroso and possibly even some PX coming through and a faint trace of licorice. There are relaxed spice notes which work well with the sweeter ones and a little tannin, but it is not at all aggressive and adds to the structure and balance. The flavour lingers on the palate for some considerable time.
This was quite a find, a defunct brand from González Byass in a decanter style bottle which could well have been hand blown sporting a sort of bin label or metal necklace engraved with the words "Brandy de Luxe". It was available in a decorative cardboard box with or without a velvet bag. There is no mention of the words "Brandy de Jerez" nor the type of brandy, eg Solera Gran Reserva, which it most certainly is, so it must date back to before the DOE was established in 1987 and possibly the 1970s. It is certainly of fine quality, quite likely for the export markets (it was certainly exported to the US) but was probably dropped about 30 years ago. Interestingly, Bodegas Fernández Gao have registered a brandy with a very similar name: Brandy de Luxe Conde Duque de Olivares, and a very similar label except that this one has an illustration of a mounted knight.
75 euros, La Tienda del Jerez

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