By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
One of the most striking things about Pierre Laporte's eau-de-vie is the incredible diversity in flavors the various vintages offer. This special brandy, bottled at an astonishing 56.2% abv, is in a completely different range than it's older sibling. It's a few shades lighter and the aromatics follow suit. Much fresher than the '80, with gorgeous ripe apricot, tropical spices, lacquer box, Seville orange peel, grated ginger. On the palate, the heat, big spice and strong vanilla are in full force. The bold citrus adds and almost acidic tone, which I don't mind, but gave me an idea. I almost never recommend adding water to brandy. It doesn't have the same opening affect that you'd experience on a single malt, but I highly recommend the tiniest dab of water here. If you want to be precise, maybe 6 drops to an oz. The effect is a spirit so much more complex and balanced than the full strength offering and the oily rich texture remains without "breaking" as they sometimes do. Careful as we're really trying not to dilute, as soon as you see the oils reacting stop. After water, the sweet fruit explodes from the glass tempered by a savory almost gamey spice. On the palate the acidity has developed into structure and actually much more spice comes through. If the '80 was an ultra sherried speyside monster, this '95 would be an a sublimely elegant yet totally out there Islander - a totally different story but no less exciting!