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Old 01-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
It's a matter of taste methinks. I sampled some great eaux de vie during the holidays, all handcrafted by my dad.
I like to try all different spirits. There are some I like more than others. For example, there is a reason why pear brandy and apple brandy (Calvados) are more popular than plum or cherry brandies; the fruit flavor comes through stronger in the first two.

Yet, I have had a few bottles of pear brandy, and found I like some more than others. It's difficult to say why. Isn't it like a certain woman's look appeal to a man more than another one? Why ask why?

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Again, let me point you to Tequila.net, specifically Reposados - Tequila Reviews at Tequila.net. The "Gran Centenario Reposado Tequila" has a respectable rating of 91 so it can't be all that bad. In any event, you may want to read reasons for why members gave their individual rating for hints on finding your own personal taste preference.

I do have to agree with your opinion of X(tra) O(ld) brandy.
Yes, I used that site in my research too. However, other than a general suggestion for avoiding the really bad bottles, the scores may not agree with one's personal preference. For example, I saw that the Patron Reposado ranks lower than the Centenario Reposado. Yet, as I like the Patron Blanco, I suspect I would also prefer the Patron Reposado. That's my next test.

No, I did not say that the Centenario Reposado was bad. Perhaps because we all had a Blanco first, we preferred that there would be no oak flavor in a Tequila. One of my brothers said it made it taste like whisky, which he thought it should not be. Perhaps we will not like any Reposado or Anejo for that reason.

PS. Another test I can do, and one that may be more useful, is to try the Gran Centenario Blanco or Plata. It also has a higher score than the Patron. And its lower price due to its lesser popularity should be a plus.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #42
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the scores may not agree with one's personal preference. For example, I saw that the Patron Reposado ranks lower than the Centenario Reposado.
That was the point I was trying to make. The benefit to this system is that everyone gives specific reasons for their rating (well... most do). If you read enough of them you will find those people with similar taste buds to your own. Then all you have to do is follow them to Nirvana.

The other side of the coin is that after all your research you will have a place to "spread that knowledge around" -- I suspect the audience here is rather diminutive. In any event, it is always good to be around those sharing one's passions. (Yeah, passion is probably not the correct word but...)
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #43
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I like to try all different spirits. There are some I like more than others. For example, there is a reason why pear brandy and apple brandy (Calvados) are more popular than plum or cherry brandies; the fruit flavor comes through stronger in the first two.
Mmmmmm! I really need to get me some pear and apple brandy. I ran out of Calvados a few years ago and never did find another small bottle - just huge ones for mucho $$$.

Any recommendations on the pear brandy brands?
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #44
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I like to try all different spirits. There are some I like more than others. For example, there is a reason why pear brandy and apple brandy (Calvados) are more popular than plum or cherry brandies; the fruit flavor comes through stronger in the first two.

Yet, I have had a few bottles of pear brandy, and found I like some more than others. It's difficult to say why.
I personally think that the distillation process has a lot to do with the flavor of the final product. Some distillers crank the heat up to shorten the distillation time. I think that makes for an inferior product.

I like my dad's raspberry brandy best. Very flavorful, even more so than his pear brandy.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #45
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Any recommendations on the pear brandy brands?
My first and favorite bottle of pear brandy is by Jean Danflou, with a captive pear inside the bottle. I acquired it in a travel trip a few years ago.

I searched on the Web, and found that new bottles are labeled "La Captive" instead of "La Prisonnière" like what's on my bottle.

And no, I did not bring back that bottle from France. I spotted that bottle at a back shelf of a liquor store in Boston, and my wife highly recommended that I bought it as a souvenir of the trip.

PS. In order to keep the captive pear from deteriorating, one must keep the fruit submerged in the brandy all the time. Hence, I have been topping it with another pear brandy. It has diluted out the original flavor. It's a tragedy!
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #46
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I personally think that the distillation process has a lot to do with the flavor of the final product. Some distillers crank the heat up to shorten the distillation time. I think that makes for an inferior product.

I like my dad's raspberry brandy best. Very flavorful, even more so than his pear brandy.
As reported in this forum and on a similar thread, I visited a distillery called Koenig in Idaho, not too far from Boise, and in the Idahoan wine country. They make a very affordable and good huckleberry flavored vodka, and also several fruit brandies like pear, cherry, plum, etc... Needless to say, I spent several hundred dollars there. Need to visit again to restock!

A visit to this distillery and nearby wineries is highly recommended to travelers crossing this region.

The huckleberry aroma is so strong that one does not need to make the liquor from 100% fruit. It would be also extremely expensive. Instead, huckleberry was mashed in with the potato to make the vodka. That was enough for a very strong and sweet flavor. In addition to sipping straight, it's excellent to pour on a vanilla ice cream.
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