Corporate Brandy Tasting: Platinum Seed

Had another great corporate brandy tasting last night with the guys and gals from Platinum Seed Digital Marketing. The tasting was held at Platinum Seed’s offices in the Old Castle Brewery, Woodstock. Quite a few people in the crew had not really experienced premium brandy, with exposure being limited to the classic South African favourite, Brandy and coke! A perfect setting to show folks the more premium side of our local brandy champions.

Corporate Brandy Tasting: Its also about the snacks!

Some yummy snacks to start!

Always a good idea to get a few snacks on board before a tasting event, and Nadia mixed up a few yummy nibbles before hand. Salticrax with cream cheese, biltong and peppadews, and cheesy Doritos, cottage cheese and sliced Jalapeno peppers!

A few other dippy and snacky bits, all went down very well while sipping on a classic Collisons White Gold Brandy cocktail, mixed up with some Fresh Cherry and Cranberry and served over crushed ice. Always a winner!

Brandy Tasting: Working through the ages

The brandies for this particular corporate brandy tasting were Flight of the Fish Eagle, Joseph Barry Traditional 5 year old, KWV 10 year old and Oude Meester 12 year old.

The crew and line up

We chatted a bit about brandy making techniques, maturation, blending and the craft that goes into making premium brandy.

Then it was on to the tastings, and the fun of seeing what individual characteristics everyone got out of each brandy.

For folks who hadn’t tasted neat brandy before, this was great as a lot of people could pick up attributes and in this group weren’t afraid to shout them out and see what the others thought.

Also evident was the palate acclimatisation process too, as the first brandies were a bit sharp and powerful, but after reaching the end of the list and going back to the beginning, acclimatised palates were releasing totally new attributes on the brandies already tasted!

Brandy tasting: Throw in some chocolate too!

The great thing about brandy is how versatile it is to pair with different food types. One perfect match is chocolate, and lets be honest here, who doesn’t love Chocolate. The Chocolate pairing line up was dark chocolate Sally Willams with nougat for the Fish Eagle to try and bring out the nuts and honey, rum and raisin milk chocolate with the Joseph Barry to try and emphasise the raisin notes, Lindt white chocolate with the KWV 10 year old, and Dark Lindt with sea salt with the Oude Meester 12 year old.

Brandy and chocolate pairs so well

All pairings worked really well, apart from the rum and raisin with the Joseph Barry, which really brought out the extra alcohol in the 40% bottling strength. So its back to the drawing board for a pairing with that one, but we will get it! Also a good match with Flight of the Fish Eagle is the Sally Williams honey and almond nougat, really brings out the almond nuttinesss in the brandy.

What also helped after the chocolate pairing was to drop a cube or two of ice into the remaining brandy snifters and seeing the effect the ice had on them. For folks who don’t often drink neat spirits, or do drink whisky with ice, this is a great way of exploring brandy. It really does help release flavours on the nose and the chilled spirit is just that much easier to swallow when not used to sipping them neat.

Brandy tasting: The results…

Summing it all up

What is interesting to see at the end of a corporate brandy tasting like this is the general consensus on which brandies people preferred. KWV 10 year old did run away with top honours this time, and not surprisingly given its 2011 Worlds best brandy title.

Coming in second place was definitely Oude Meester 12 year old, with Fish Eagle and Joseph Barry running in pretty much even odds for 3rd and 4th, which you would expect given there relatively lighter maturation.

All in all a top night, and I asked the question at the end if perceptions had been changed. Very much so was the general opinion, and I think its safe for me to say that there are a few more brandy fans out there today! Great stuff.

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