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Thread: Neil's Ongoing Liquor Review - Brandy

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    Join Date
    May 2000
    Seattle WA
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    Default Neil's Ongoing Liquor Review - Brandy

    White Stork and Black Stork Brandy

    So Im in the Washington State Liquor Monopoly, err, I mean store and Im shopping for a cheap brandy for cooking. Im debating purchase of Raynal or Stock 84 my usual cheap brands of booze for cooking use - and notice a bottle with Cyrilic lettering. Intrigued, I pick up a bottle of White Stork Brandy, which Ive never seen before.

    White Stork is from the KVINT Company, which manufactures wine and brandy in Tiraspol, Moldova. According to what I can find this is the biggest brandy and wine manufacturer in the region. The company traces its history back to 1897. From what I read, the company is highly regarded for the quality of the products they make. This review is on the two brandies from the company I was able to sample.

    White Stork VSOP
    Color: Light gold, amber
    Nose: Light, a bit sharp, dried fruit, oak, vanilla, floral notes
    Mouth: Medium body
    Taste: Light but well balanced. Good balance of dried fruit - raisins, pear and citrus with oak, vanilla emerging to balance.
    Finish: Warm, a bit short, more dried fruit, some floral overtones.
    Notes: This VSOP brandy is made from spirits aged a minimum of 5 years in oak barrels to meet the standards set for calling a brandy VSOP. This is a very good but light in character brandy. It lacks the depth of aroma and taste of an older brandy, but has very good flavor balance and smoothness. From reading more about the company, White Stork is very popular in Europe and has won numerous awards at International tasting competitions.

    Black Stork XO
    Color: Dark golden brown
    Nose: Big, deep complexity, lots of dried fruit, raisins, figs, citrus, lots of oak and vanilla.
    Mouth: Full bodied
    Taste: Slightly sharp bite, smoothes quickly, has a resinous woody flavor, with vanilla and dried fruit emerging to balance out the taste.
    Finish: Smooth, warm, long with more sweetness, resinous oakyness, vanilla
    Notes: This meets the standards set by the French for aging to be XO. This is aged a minimum of 15 years in oak barrels. The depth of aroma and flavor is well balanced, with good complexity of flavors. Im a bit surprised at the bite since the younger White Stork didnt have that bite present at all. But that is a minor quibble when compared to the overall quality of this brandy.

    Sound good? It gets better. It was only $15 for the White Stork, $20 for the Black Stork, Im highly impressed with the quality of these. What do you get for the price? A quality brandy without any overly fancy packaging. At this price, buy a bottle of each and keep them around for guests and your own sipping.

    The bottling lacks the stylish designs and attractiveness of the popular brands like Remy Martin, Hennessy, Hine, or Courvoisier. So what? I would happily buy these and not miss the fancy packaging at all. The sad part here is the fancy packaging is probably needed to make this take off in the United States, which will drive up the cost.

    Meukow cognac, a pretty good cognac, when it first arrived in the USA was at a lower cost with an OK bottling design. A change of bottle design to appear more attractive on shelf, a cost increase as a result of packaging changes, and sales increased.

    If you are a brandy, cognac, or armagnac fan, I highly suggest you try the White Stork or Black Stork.
    Last edited by Neil Yamamoto; 13th January 2009 at 17:00.

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