Great Tasting Brandy For A Great Price
A great "everyday" brandy.
I love my brandies, Cognacs and Armagnacs. I find St. Agnes to be the best of the Australian brandies, by far. This St. Agnes VSOP is definitely a step up from the 3-Star (***), or what would be VS grade, younger sister and normally for only about $4.00 more per bottle! They sell for $30-35. IMHO I can't understand why anyone would buy the *** if this VSOP were also available. At 5 years aged, it's just great value for the money, especially compared to any other spirit you can purchase in Australia, for the same m...oney, with our CRAZY alcohol taxes. For this price, you're lucky to get some awful no-name grain alcohol so-called "vodka". But this is actually a spirit with character! Anyway, it has a nice, fruity and sweet aroma with hints of brown sugar and it has a pretty even body and decent finish. I'd say it's not quite up there with the French Cognacs in terms of complexity but hey, for half the price of even the lowest grade Cognac, it's a no-brainer. I keep my nicer Cognacs on hand for when I'm in the mood but in general I just sip on this St. Agnes VSOP straight, from a snifter. Also 1-2 shots goes beautifully with almost-boiling water, a half-slice of lemon, a spoon of honey, two cloves and a cinnamon stick (Hot Toddy) when those Winter colds set in! Don't forget to mix in that honey and let brew for 3-5 minutes with a saucer on top to not let the heated alcohol escape! The honey will coat a sore throat and ease it, the lemon cuts into the bacteria and also evens the taste of the drink and the brandy will relax you so you can sleep off the cold. Some people also add a black tea bag. Anyway... I can't wait to try their XO! I just had my liquor store order it in for me. It's blends range from 20 to 50 years and costs about $85! It comes in a beatiful glass bottle with a glass stopper. I've heard it's really nice, and again for those non-French Cognac prices, you can't lose! Well balanced flavour, inexpensive especially for its quality. Doesn't QUITE rate with the French VSOPs but it costs less than half the price so who cares?
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