Never heard of Monteru French Brandy before Ries Michael of the So Cal Whiskey Club invited me to this particular class and I did some research on them ahead of time. They’ve won their fair share of medals in worldwide spirits competitions, received high ratings from respected critics, besides the styles listed in our tasting below they also have a brandy in Japanese Mizunura and other rare casks, then they double distil, triple toast and double cask…see their website for all of the details!
For this tasting I asked Vashti and Steve Roebuck, of the popular Facebook group “Friends Who Like Wine In The Glass” to join me. Our notes are a combination from Steve (SR) and me (EB).
From the Southern California Whiskey Club:
This is a convergence of the world of wine meeting the world of whiskey in an informative tasting of single grape varietals, all aged in oak. If you are a wine connoisseur who is curious about amplified wine or a whiskey drinker who wants to learn the subtle nuances of grapes this is meant for you. We will taste five grape varietals, a sherry cask, and then a bourbon drinkers’ brandy for an in-depth and unique tasting.
- Single Grape Brandy, Riesling, 40% ABV
SR and EB: Pineapple, salted vanilla, lemon, floral, mango, light acidity, dill/herb, dried peach, some salinity.
- Single Grape Brandy, Merlot, 40% ABV
SR and EB: Milk chocolate, almonds, Marzipan, white chocolate on palate, cream, char, oak, smoke, yellow corn, corn syrup. Vashti really liked this one, as did I.
- Single Grape Brandy, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014/2016, CS002-16, 41.3% ABV
SR and EB: Caramel, dark chocolate dust, some almond, creamy soft palate, hints of caramel, maple syrup, super long finish. One of my favorites.
- Single Grape Brandy, Chardonnay, 2014/2016, Batch CH002-16, 41.3% ABV
SR and EB: Chocolate, caramel, orange blossom, pine sap, brine, orange chocolate candy, honey, candied ginger, pine needles, maple, honey, jasmine tea, ginger, dried botanicals, sweet finish. Another favorite for Vashti and me.
- Single Grape Brandy, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014/2016, Batch SB002-16, 41.3% ABV
SR and EB: Light lemon, ginger, salted caramel, savory honey notes, oak on the palate, an herbal quality, sandalwood incense, counting mouthfeel of clover honey yet savory, the sweetest and lightest in color from the tasting. This was another one I wanted again.
- Rare Cask Finish, French Oak, Finished in Sherry Oak, 2012/2016, Batch 001, 41.7% ABV
SR and EB: Caramel, orange blossom, vanilla, honey, brine, salt on palate that overtook some aromas for Steve, while I noted the whisky-like aroma and salted nuts.
- Double Wood Triple Toast, 2012/2016, Batch 003, 42.7% ABV
SR and EB: Sweet corn, caramel, brine, maple, dill/herb, almonds, vanilla, oak notes, honey, mango, freshly husked corn, simple syrup.
Want to get your hands on some Monteru of your own? Email Davidd@MissionLiquor.com
About the brand:
The origins of Monteru date back to the late 1700’s and has remained closely tied to the tradition of brown spirits distillation and has become a leading innovator by combining authenticity and tradition to create a product somewhere between traditional brandy and single malt whisky. Maison Monteru produces small batches with intricate differences that are aged in a stone cellar on the Atlantic coast where the temperature and the humidity levels remain stable. Another significant characteristic of their process is to age the brandies in different types of oak casks: French first, imparting delicate nut flavors, then American oak which conveys subtle spice and brioche aromas.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.