Spirits from Spain, Nicaragua, and Taiwan to celebrate the holidays.
By J.M. Towers
One of the best moments we’ll experience during the holiday evenings with relatives and friends will be the traditional celebratory toast. For thatt special moments—and if you want to break the routine--we recommend three unique distillates that are some of the finest spirits on the market.
CONDE DE OSBORNE DALÍ
Sophisticated Spanish brandy
Since 1772, Bodegas Osborne, located in the beautiful town of Jerez de la Frontera, produces a broad range of spirits and sherry wines. One of its most original and interesting contributions is an excellent brandy, which comes in a white porcelain bottle designed, in 1964, by renowned surrealist painter Salvador Dali. This remarkable brandy of unmistakable aroma and flavor is aged for ten years in American oak barrels, which previously contained sherry. With a dark mahogany color, it delivers elegant aromas of vanilla and ripe fruits such as prunes and dates. In the mouth, it is smooth with velvety hints of dried fruit and black chocolate and a spicy finish. In short, it is a balanced and incredibly delicious brandy.
KAVALAN SOLIST VINHO BARRIQUE
Surprising Taiwanese whiskey
The County of Yilan is surrounded by mountains in northeast Taiwan. Its water is famous for its purity and quality. On this privileged terrain, the Kavalan Distillery produces notable malt whiskies that captivate for their mild and delicious taste. One of their best products is the Kavalan Solis Vinho Barrique, aged in American oak barrels previously used to mature white and red wines—unlike other whiskeys that usually are aged in barrels that previously contained sherry. The result is perceived in its fruity aromas reminiscent of ripe melon, kiwi and mango, together with caramel, praline and a hint of citrus. Its flavor is light, yet delightful, clean, different and complex, with a lingering fruity finish. It was named Best Asian Single Malt 2015, and World's Best Single Malt Whisky in the World Whiskies Awards.
FLOR DE CAÑA CENTENARIO 25
A Nicaraguan masterpiece
Experts say that Nicaraguan rums are some of the finest in the world, probably because of the craftsmanship used in their production. Also, the rums are aged in American white oak barrels, which give them unique properties. From the sugar cane plantations of Chichíguala—a city in the Chinandega municipality—Nicaragua's Liquor Company Flor de Caña produces its ultra-premium rum Flor de Caña Centenario 25, which is distilled five times and aged for twenty-five years in white oak barrels that previously contained American bourbon. With an intense amber color, it has aromas of oak and dark chocolate. In the mouth, it brings notes of ripe red fruits, almonds and caramel. The finish is balanced, elegant with a right touch of sweetness, lingering and persistent. Its unique quality has earned it several prizes in 2015: Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Gold Medal International at the Rum Conference in Madrid. ■
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