2023 SFWSC Best Of Class Brandy Finalists

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  05.24.2023

Gorgeous bottle of Boulard Calvados XO iin front of a plain white background

Best Calvados Finalist: BOULARD CALVADOS XO

Prepare to be enchanted by the alluring aroma of a brandy that exudes pure vanilla richness. But don’t be fooled by its soft vanilla and toffee palate, as this complex spirit is also marked by notes of red fruit, orange peel, and oak. Its long and indulgent finish is accentuated by the warm embrace of cinnamon and clove, leaving you craving more with every sip.

Elegant bottle of Du Grand Comte Napoleon with beautiful amber Armagnac inside in fornt of a plain white background

Best Armagnac Finalist: Grand Comte Napoleon Armagnac

A true treat for the senses, Grand Comte Napoleon Armagnac is a blend of carefully aged eaux-de-vie that have matured for around 10 years in oak barrels. The stunning topaz amber color boasts a rich and inviting appearance. The aroma is a delightful combination of candied quince and zesty orange peel. The palate has a bold and assertive entry with distinct notes of vanilla, making it a true delight for cognac connoisseurs.

Beautiful bottle of Clos Martin Armagnac XO in perfect lighting in front of a plain white background

Best Cognac Extra Aged Finalist: Clos Martin Armagnac XO

Envelop your senses in the exquisite aroma of Clos Martin Armagnac XO, a masterful blend of spicy, nutty notes and ripe fruit sweetness. Experience the divine softness and roundness of its palate, which reveals hints of luscious almond, rich prune, and roasted coffee beans. The finish is lengthy yet tender, akin to indulging in a juicy plum.

Elegant bottle of Cognac: Ragnaud-Sabourin No. 35 Fontvieille in front of a plain white background

Best Cognac Extra Aged Finalist: Ragnaud-Sabourin No. 35 Fontvieille

Immerse yourself in the exquisite unblended Cognac from the coveted Ragnaud Sabourin distillery, crafted solely with the finest grapes from the illustrious Grande Champagne region. Immerse in its fresh, floral bouquet, with a complex yet harmonious palate that is rich and perfectly balanced. Savor the luxurious, lingering finish that is sure to leave an unforgettable impression.

A bottle of DEAU COGNAC LOUIS MEMORY FRANCE in an elegant bottle and plain white background

Best Cognac XO or Equivalent Finalist: Deau Cognac Louis Memory France

Delve into the sophisticated allure of Deau Cognac, meticulously crafted by the renowned distiller Louis. At 40% ABV, this exceptional cognac exudes an unmistakable brandy character that is synonymous with the most distinguished style of cognac. Treat yourself to the absolute finest expression of cognac with the exquisite Louis Memory Cognac.

Elegant bottle of Maison Ferrand Sélection Des Anges Grande Champagne Cognac in front of a plain white background.

Best Cognac XO or Equivalent Finalist: Maison Ferrand Sélection Des Anges Grande Champagne Cognac

Splurge with the exquisite and fully matured cognac, renowned for its impeccable flavor and distinct aroma. Named after the evaporation process in cognac, commonly known as the “angel’s share,” it boasts a lingering finish and an opulent taste, with subtle hints of velvety vanilla and luxurious licorice. This prestigious XO offering from the illustrious house is hailed as the epitome of consistency and approachability, a genuine tribute to the Grande Champagne region.

Elegant bottle of Gautier XO Pinar Del Rio Cigar Cognac with plain white background and shadow beneath.

Best Cognac XO or Equivalent Finalist: Gautier XO Pinar Del Rio Cigar Cognac

Experience the epitome of refinement with Gautier XO Pinar Del Rio Cigar Cognac, boasting a rich and lustrous mahogany and rosewood hue. Revel in the alluring aroma of vanilla, woodiness, and dried fruit, and relish the complex palate of potpourri, figs, and woody vanilla spice.

Mahogany-colored Ragnaud Sabourin Cognac with floral and woody notes.

Best Cognac VS / Three Star or Equivalent Finalist: Cognac Ragnund Sabourin – N°25 XO

Behold the enchanting mahogany dress with bright highlights of Ragnaud Sabourin Cognac. Enjoy the toasted almond aroma and the sweetness of linden, hyacinth, and roses. This delicate drink is both feminine and warm with notes of plums, toasted orange, and brown caramel. A long and elegant finish awaits, with a delightful blend of sweet spices, pepper, cinnamon, and smooth tannins.

Elegant Black Bottle Of Branson Cognac VS Phantom in front of a plain white background.

Best Cognac VS / Three Star or Equivalent Finalist: Branson Cognac VS Phantom

Indulge in the luxurious richness of Phantom, an exquisite brandy that drinks more like a VSOP. With its dark golden hue and captivating aromas of vanilla and fruit, this spirit tantalizes the senses. On the palate, experience bold flavors of oak, apple, and citrus, culminating in an elegant finish. Notes of apple, citrus, fruity, oak, and vanilla elevate the tasting experience to new heights.

A golden bottle with a red label and black lettering, filled with amber-colored liquid

Best Cognac VS / Three Star or Equivalent Finalist: Camus Cognac Very Special

Experience the richness of Camus Very Special, a meticulously crafted blend of eaux-de-vie from the Charente region. Enjoy the delightful floral aroma of jasmine and violet, followed by the taste of fresh mango, pear, and sweet almond. The finish is soft and tannic, making it an extraordinary choice for any occasion.

A luxurious bottle of Germain-Robin, elegantly reflecting the refined spirit within, adorned with intricate label detailing and encapsulating the essence of its harmonious, fruit-forward flavors.

Best Alambic Brandy Finalist: Germain Robin California Alambic Brandy Aged 7 years

Germain-Robin presents an olfactory symphony of opulent oak spice and luscious fruit. The harmonious bouquet showcases vivacious apple and pear notes, delicately adorned with whispers of honeysuckle and cherry blossom, gracefully unfolding into sumptuous apricot and peach expressions. Skillfully interwoven toasted oak imparts tantalizing hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. This exquisite, well-balanced amalgamation captivates the senses with its rich, velvety mouthfeel that lingers long after the finale.

Best Alambic Brandy Finalist: Germain-Robin XO California Alambic Brandy

Germain-Robin XO stands as a paragon of Californian Brandy excellence. Meticulously distilled in the esteemed Pruhlo Charentais Pot Stills and gracefully matured in Limousin Oak Barrels, XO accentuates the singular, captivating essence of California’s distinguished Pinot Noir grapes, creating a sensory masterpiece.

Elegant brandy bottle with dark amber hue, hinting at rich vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors within.

Best Alambic Brandy Finalist: Torres 20 Hors d’Age Brandy

A mesmerizing dark amber hue captivates the eye. Profound, inviting aromas envelop the senses, revealing hints of sumptuous vanilla, exotic cinnamon, and enticing nutmeg. The palate is seduced by an opulent, velvet-like texture, culminating in a fleeting yet memorable finish, graced by understated oak nuances. This meticulously aged brandy is born from the harmonious union of the esteemed Parellada and Ugni Blanc grape varieties, each distilled twice in the venerable, time-honored stills, to create a truly remarkable sensory experience.

Elegant Intipalka Pisco Puro bottle, signifying its five-time distilled smoothness and six-month oak aging.

Best Alambic Brandy Finalist: Intipalka Puro Italia Pisco

This sublime Pisco Puro hails from the heart of Peru, crafted from the most exquisite grapes. A quintessence of Pisco, distilled five times with unrivaled precision, employing the choicest grapes in an intricate process spanning over 24 hours. Intipalka Pisco Puro Italia luxuriates for a minimum of six months in distinguished oak barrels, culminating in a remarkably smooth and effortlessly drinkable masterpiece.

Charming Peruvian Pisco bottle, symbolizing delicate white flowers, lemon, chamomile, and minty freshness within.

Best Alambic Peruvian Pisco Finalist: Intipalka Pisco Mosto Verde Italia

Ethereal and gentle whispers of white flowers, lemon, and chamomile mingle with subtle hints of lemon zest. The palate is greeted by a velvety, mildly sweet embrace, gradually unfolding into verdant herbal and floral impressions, intertwined with invigorating minty freshness. A lingering finale graces the senses with tender warmth, a testament to the exquisite character of this Peruvian Pisco.