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Brandy - Ara Jan
Yerevan, Armenia

 

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Ara Jan
Imported by Aiko LLC., Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

PROOF: 80 (40%)
TYPE: Brandy, International (Armenian)
AGE: 5 Years
PRICE: $16.00 750ML

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"Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."  

Samuel Johnson

Notes: This is a Armenian Brandy - sometimes referred to as Armenian Cognac, but that designation is no longer allowed as it does not come from the Cognac region in France. It comes from the Yerevan region of Armenia. Armenian Brandy was a favorite of Winston Churchill.

First Impression: Dried fruits, apricots, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and almonds. A sweet, almost sherry-like smells, muscat/muscatel and other heavy intense grapes. Almost like a jam in intensity.

Appearance: Attractive red/gold color, leaves thin coat and some legs on swirling. Could be mistaken for a bourbon in color.

Taste: Sweeter and thicker than French Cognac, with intense dark fruits, then black pepper and a mild, slightly hot finish. Lets you know you are drinking brandy. Much milder than the German brandies (Such as Asbach Uralt ) but same basic flavor profile in some ways.

Drinks: Worked well in a Black Pagoda (basically a brandy Manhattan -See Gary Regan's Bartenders Bible) and and as usual for this style the intense fruitiness made for a wonderful brandy base for red Sangria (soak the fruit in it overnight for best results).

Bottle: Tall cylindrical bottle, glass is more like the kind/grade found with a tequila bottle than a brandy bottle which makes it somewhat distinctive. Some sort of seal pressed into glass at back of bottle just below shoulder.Also similar in shape to the new vodka bottles out there except, of course, it has a brown/gold liquid than a clear one. Holographic anticounterfit label on side of bottle and holographic anti tamper seal on cork. Cork closure and gold neck wrap complete the package.

Other: Twice-distilled and aged in small casks.

Final Thoughts: A heavy, fruity, brandy certainly more rustic than Cognac and Armagnac. This brandy almost has a flavor profile closer to a heavy bodied bourbon than a cognac. As I have said before about this type of brandy,if you like bourbon or Jack Daniel's more than cognac, this one is for you.

An excellent brandy for the money and a interesting one worth trying. Much better than any Cognac in that price range (although a completely different taste profile).

Website: http://www.aikollc.com  

Fast loading, in English, with lots of photos of handblown brandy bottles, but a bit light on information as to what is in them. Site des not work well with Firefox.

 

 







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