Germain-Robin XO Select Barrel Brandy

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Germain-Robin XO Select Barrel Brandy

Postby BSinTX » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:01 am

Living in Kentucky, where all of the bourbon I drink is made, gives me a bit of appreciation for what goes into making fine spirits. Enter Germain-Robin; a distillery of which I have tried several products in the past and have been quite impressed. Today I present their Select Barrel XO which was US $112, 40%ABV, and not too much info with regards to additives. This particular bottle has a lot of competition as there are some fantastic Cognacs coming in at around the same price. This is made in the same manner as Cognac but with grape varieties not permitted in Cognac. From what I gather from the website, the distiller is born, raised, and learned his craft in Cognac and has brought this knowledge with him to the US in order to expand upon his craft.


Nose: Without water, the nose takes a bit of work to get the intricate aromas. Sweet smelling with vanilla, buttery toffee, root beer, a tad bit of green apples, and I really want to say allspice but I am not 100% certain this is the correct spice. With a splash of water and 20 minutes of patience, the root beer fades off in the distance while lemon furniture polish and yellow cake batter come into the scene.

Taste: Without water, Nice entry followed by explosion of flavors very much in line with the aromas, this is a spicy sip. Nice sugary sweetness at first but the explosion of flavors comes off to a nice oak bitterness, tons of spice (I still think allspice), and the finish of spice keeps going like the energizer bunny. With water, the entry is a bit less sweet and the spice is WAY calmer, I get a more rounded group of flavors. The sweetness turns a bit more sour and lemony and without the huge spice wallop, the oak is much less pronounced.

This works surprisingly well at 40%. It doesn't need water, I just seem to prefer it with a splash as without it, the spiciness tends to linger a bit too much for my preference. The unusual variety of grapes makes this taste much different than Cognac. All in all, I am very please at the quality of this product. 40% is rather weak especially considering the price tag, and there is nothing on the label stating anything with regards to additives. The simple bottle and label are proof that the quality is inside the bottle, so no frills packaging is a huge plus. I have been very happy with Germain-Robin brandies in the past and this one is no exception.

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