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Review: 1980s Miguel Torres Reserva Especial

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Miguel Torres Reserva Especial (1983-1985) - 40%

Torres brandy production began in 1928 when Juan Torres Casals started aging his distilled wines. He was the second generation to make wine. His son, Miguel Torres, worked with him through the Spanish Civil War and WWII to preserve the business even as the winery/distillery was partially destroyed during aerial bombings in 1939. In 1985, Matías Llobet was appointed Master Distiller. This bottling was produced shortly before Miguel officially handed over the reins to Llobet.

Torres brandy is produced/matured outside of the sherry triangle in Penedès, Catalonia, so it does not qualify as Brandy de Jerez. All their brandy is made from grape varieties grown in Penedès, such as Xarel·lo or Ugni Blanc (body and fruity aromas), Macabeo (nutty flavour), and Parellada (delicate acidity). Distillation takes place using both pot and column still depending on grape varietal and target profile. Maturation takes place in American oak via the solera system. There is some static aging in French Oak for special release like the Torres 20. Additives are allowed and used more often than not in what we receive stateside.


Nose: Oxidized dusty notes. Brie. Dates. Jammy red fruits. Wood steers young/cheap. Raisin. Vanilla. Honestly, more complex than expected.

Flavor: Vanilla. Marshmallow. Tart red fruit. Big raisins. Tannis. Coffee.

Structure: Fat up front, a little sluggish mid - then very thin and short.

Alcohol Integration: Notes are clear. Structure and finish suffer.

Score: 5 (Acceptable) Thought it was going to be sweeter. I mean, it certainly is up front on the palate but gets tart and dry in a hurry. I picked this up for $30. As a light, change of pace dessert pour, it works.


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Decent pivot for entry level port.


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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