Germain-Robin XO - Independent Spirits - V346 - 41.2%
This was a single barrel from Germain-Robin selected by Independent Spirits and bottled in 2016 before GR sold in 2017. I tried to get some additional info beyond the "brandies over 20 years old" on the label. The store didn't have much to go on, but there was a good chance these were distilled from reisling. Between climate change and new GR ownership, I wonder how many options for quality, well-aged, California brandy we're going to see in the future.
Notes: Orchard fruit aromatics up front- apple, pear. Nectarine. White grape. Toasty barrel notes underneath. Full, soft structure much like lower proof, longer-aged, naturally reduced cognac. All the fruits from the nose lead on the palate with the citrus playing louder toward the back. Significant barrel influence mid-palate into the short finish. Definitely front loaded on the palate.
Score: 7 (Recommend) I really enjoyed crushing through these bottles, but never quite enough to stash one. There was a seemingly endless inventory of 30+ bottles for about 4 years at a very reasonable, sub-hundred bucks a pop. One day they were all gone. Predictably, now that they're gone, I wish I'd have stashed one or two.
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