Grain-based spirit is awesome. And so is grape-based spirit! The Imperial XO by Carlos I Brandy falls into the latter category. It originates from Spain’s famous sherry region Jerez and is made exclusively from so-called holandas, i.e. flavorsome grape distillates with an initial ABV of 60 to 65 per cent. Since Carlos I Brandy is part of the portfolio of leading sherry producer Osborne, they can afford the luxury of maturing their product in the best wood only. For this expression, they exclusively used barrels that kept sherry for 20 years or longer. This clearly shows in the Imperial XO’s smooth, rich, savory and flavorsome character. So far, I have admittedly not spent too much drinking brandy (or its French cousins cognac and armagnac). But now that I have made the acquaintance of the wonderful Imperial XO, I have become thirsty for more. So line up your bottles, Carlos I – I am very eager to try them!
Eye: Dark mahogany with a reddish glimmer.
Nose: An opulent, heavily sherried bouquet. Chocolat mousse, bramble sauce and dark grapes appear together with strawberry creme and orange zest. There is a good amount of sulphur in there, too – a note I always find very intriguing!
Palate: The spirit is sweet, mellow, creamy and elegant. It has soft peaches, cocktail cherries, strawberries, cowberries, raisins, winegums and a bit of cocoa powder. This layered, velvety pour caresses the taste buds in a beautiful way.
Finish: The Imperial XO’s golden-sweet finish is soft and palatable with sugared grapes, strawberries, vanilla, citrus and firecrackers. If I had to compare it to a Scotch whisky, I would place this elegant Brandy de Jerez next to the high-class expressions from The Dalmore.
Region: Spain (Jerez)
Alc. volume: 40 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~45.00 Euro
More info: https://carlosbrandy.com/ (Brand)
*** Bottle kindly provided by Carlos I Brandy. ***