...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Randy Brandy and Michael Kravitz drink five 30+ year old French brandies

MK: Randy, I apologize.

RB: Good.

MK: I had thought Malört had a brandy base.

RB: I'm glad you're comfortable with saying that out loud.

MK: We should probably start this thing. Hi everybody!

RB: Kravitz and I are tasting some properly aged brandies today.

MK: Via Zoom.

RB: I can't believe adults walk around saying words like zoom, tweet, tiktok and google. We're a nation of children.

MK: So says the pro wrestling expert.


MK: I'm just saying--

RB: YOU DO NOT BESMIRCH THE SPORT. Pro Wrestling is America's opera.



MK: Today we're drinking three cognacs, one armagnac and a mystery pour.

RB: "We"? The fifth one clearly spells out who it's for. So you can sit and watch, Cucky.

MK: Today's three cognacs were all from Vallein Tercinier, the highly esteemed producer located in Saintonge, right on the edges of the Fins Bois and...Bon...Bois...règions......What's that face?

RB: Listening to your French is worse than reading your notes. Your French "R"s sounds like someone force-feeding a Japanese "L" to a suffocating cat.

MK: Isn't that how they say "R"s in France?

RB: Yeah, sure. Make sure you say them just like that to the locals.

MK: Behold the first cognac:

Vallein Tercinier 33 year old Lot 86 (1986-2019), Maltbarn #120, 49%abv

Per your request, Barracuda, start it off.


Here are my notes: Old leather shoes, new American car, pineapples and mothballs.

I get lime peel, hazelnuts and toasted oak up front. Then white peaches and roses, with tar and leather in the background.

You're wrong about all of those except the leather part.


I like the heat. Cognac at 49% has some hair on it. It's also sweet. Fresh ginger, some oranges, leaves.

Are they fresh leaves or dead leaves or--


Mmmm, it's very fruity. I'm thinking guavas and grapefruits. Some whole grain crackers. And it is sweet, Randy's right.

Always am.


Strong finish. Leaves. Leaves. Menthol and fruit.

It's less sweet than the palate. Earthy and tangy. And yeah, menthol.

RANDY RATING: It's good. B
Michael Rating: Yeah, B.

RB: Good let's keep it moving. Your readers shouldn't have to scroll for the content. This isn't some cooking blog where the author overshares about her 13 ex-boyfriends, two abortions, and persistent asphyxiation night terrors before listing Five Ways to Spice Up Your Mac 'n Cheese.

MK: Okay. Next we--

RB: Actually I'd read the shit out of that.

Vallein Tercinier 32 year old Lot 86 (1986-2018), Maltbarn #137, 44.5%abv


You first.

It's fruitier than the 33, especially grape skins and figs. Honeyed confections [What does that mean] and leather.

Mothballs, candy canes, dryer sheets and raspberry fig newtons.


I like the bitterness [good for you]. Like a bitter aperitif. Some papaya and menthol too.

Not sweet, some tannins. I haven't had all the tropical fruits that this guy claims to have had. So "tropical fruits".


There's the menthol again. And the aperitif. Tangy fruit too, maybe guava.

It finishes like it starts.

Michael Rating:  B+

RB: Your score makes no sense. I'll start the next one.

Vallein Tercinier 30 year old 1989 Grande Champagne, 48.4%abv


Mango, toffee, Chips Ahoy, dirt and romano cheese.

First up: lemon zest, the beach and a good dose of milk chocolate. Then a little bit of toffee and, yeah, mango.

That is correct.


Tropical fruit gummy bears, some flowers and bitterness.

Holy moley, it's over-the-top fruity. Mangoes and papayas, white stone fruits and kabosu juice [what]. Something nice and sharp underneath.


Fruit and flowers.

Those tropical fruits and just the right amount of salt.

Michael Rating:  A-

MK: Wow.

RB: A little short on words there, Fruitcake?

MK: That was...

RB: Bet you wish you got that MFA degree now dontcha?

MK: Actually I don't--

RB: Good. Universities are a scam.

MK: So you approve of one of my life choices?

RB: **Chokes**

RB: **Falls out of his chair**

RB: **Struggles back into his seat, gasping for air**

RB: Are you trying to kill me?

MK: Gradually.

L'Encantada (Domain de Laoue) 34 year old 1985-2019 for Antioch Fine Wines, 48.1%abv

RB: You couldn't resist bringing out The Orange Wax, you big Bater. That's a portmanteau for brandy and tater--

MK: Yes, I know--

RB: --because you take away the "t" and replace it with the "b"--

MK: I know--

RB: --and that makes "bater"--

MK: I know--

RB: --which makes you a jerkoff.

MK: It's not my bottle.

RB: Bater.


Dark chocolate, dijon mustard and a red from Burgundy. Change my mind.

I see the red wine, but it's more like a California syrah. [You're making that up.] It's oaky, slightly gluey. Very dark chocolatey, yes, but there are also hints of applejack and flowers.


It's sweeter than I thought. Grapes, berries and bourbon.

It's such a different creature than the cognacs. There's the silky old bourbon thing, but without bitter oak. So it keeps the good stuff and loses the bad stuff. Lots of tangy citrus in the back.


Tangy and sweet and bourbon.

Citrus and bourbon, yeah.

RANDY RATING: It's whiskey brandy.  B-/B
Michael Rating:  B

Mystery Brandy, courtesy of LV33 (thank you!)

MK: Finally the mystery brandy!

RB: How do YOU have a pour?

MK: I kept ten milliliters for me.

RB: That your name on the bottle, Monsieur ʁ?

MK: So glad we're stopping at five drinks.

RB: Why?

MK: Because you're this close to slurring your words.

RB: But I like slurs.


It's fancy. Tropical fruit, rye seeds, brownies and bananas with caramel.

I'm getting guavas, grapefruits and pears. Some milk chocolate and roses, maybe.


I dunno, it's NOT BOURBON. Fruits and flowers and no tannins.

I still get that whiskey thing, but also tart citrus, green plums and Christmas pudding.


It's long. Flowers and grapefruits.

Christmas pudding with lots of tart dried fruit.

RANDY RATING: My favorite of the bunch.  B+
Michael Rating:  B+

MK: How are you feeling?

RB: When are we going to start the tasting already ever'body?

MK: Need a moment or do you want to guess what the mystery brandy is?

RB: Huh? I dunno, sure. It's armagnac.

MK: Correct.

RB: It's dark like Orange Wax, but ain't no orange wax.

MK: Correct again.

RB: I'd say it's 40 years old.

MK: Um. Yes.

RB: From a 1981 harvest.

MK: ...uh....

RB: A dry cellar.

MK: How on earth--

RB: I mean, I'm just guessing here, but it's Dartigalongue's 40 year old 1981, bottled at 42%abv in 2021.

MK: What the f--

RB: There were my notes. Good night, kiddo. Ah yes, the Leave button--

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