Germain-Robin Happy Harry’s Single Barrel Brandy
Written by: Alex C, Happy Harry’s Resident Brandy/Cognac Expert
Recently, we had the opportunity to re-release the Germain-Robin line of brandies into our stores after an absence. With the re-release comes many new and exciting products and perhaps one of the greatest values of the lot is our Single Barrel Select, which I had the privilege to select for Happy Harry’s.
So what is so special about Germain-Robin?
Germain-Robin is one of the finest craft spirit makers in the US and is one of the finest brandy makers in the world. They pride themselves on using premium varietal grapes from California. Their biggest bragging right is that many of their top brandies are made with Pinot Noir purchased from the Roederer California Champagne Estate at a cost of $10,000 per barrel. If left in a wine state, you’d be talking $30-50 bottles of wine. These grapes are then distilled using an old Cognac still and aged in French Limousin Oak.
It was a real thrill to be able to pick out a special batch of brandy that is exclusively bottled for our store! I’ve been able to sample a portfolio of over 200 brandies over the years, with retail prices up to $18,000. It’s given me extensive insight into what qualities make the best brandies and I have selected this cask for you due to its balance in body and complexity versus the perceptibility of alcohol, giving you the fullest brandy that is still smooth to sip on. It easily out-values any comparably priced product it stands against.
NOSE: This brandy has the nose of a nice XO Cognac. Though light and delicate, it is floral (white flowers) and there are notes of fresh fruit (fig, lemon zest). Caramel shows up as it opens further.
PALETE: The palate well surpasses the level of smoothness one would expect of a VSOP or even some Napoleon Cognacs. Dried fruit is predominant (raisin, pear, and fig). Subtle caramel and vanilla are also present. There is noticeable oak as well.
FINISH: The finish is moderately long and has an initial bitterness about it, but turns sweeter. There are nice flavours of dried fruits throughout. It ends with cinnamon.