Beacon Spirits is a new Belgian bottler of apparently not just whisky. This Cherry Spirit is not a typo for sherry, but an actual cherry brandy from Germany. It matured on oak casks for nine years so it’s far beyond the schnapps phase.
I have no real experience whatsoever with fruit distillates like this, since I’ve only dabbled in that sector since this year’s Armagnac bottle share and have not done much else to expand my understanding of any of it. With me trying to spend less money on booze it might also never happen.
Anyway, a fairly random thing to taste and review, and I won’t rate it since I can’t compare it to anything else. Apart from that I am going to give a fair opinion at the end.
On the nose it doesn’t smell like any brandy I’ve had before. The oak is very prominent and it takes a while for the spirit to make itself known. It would be excusable to mistake this for a very young whisky with a virgin oak maturation. Still fruit alcohol after the initial hit of oak, with quite some sharp edges. New oak. I don’t know if the cherry is suggested by the name or whether I’m actually getting it.
The palate starts of on a generic note of fruit alcohol and loads of oak. After a bit of swimming I think I’m getting the cherries more prominently, with some other fruitiness as well. Very dry and a hint of leather. Pepper towards the end.
The finish is a bit more fruity again. It seems it keeps opening up and it needs to do that to be a bit more enjoyable. Far more clear on the cherry hints.
Well. It’s hard to rate this as expected. I’m not a huge fan because I think the oak has been made too prominent on this, or the character of the spirit has been distilled out of it. I would find it interesting to know at how much ABV this came off the still.
Anyway, I read that a bottle of this changes ownership for 85 euros, which I find quite high. I understand that the production and maturation cost money, but I don’t think it’s represented in the end product enough. Harsh, but my money is on the whisky for Beacon Spirits, so far.
Cherry Spirit, 2003-2012, 51.9%, Beacon Spirits. Available there too.
Thanks to Bert Dexters for the sample!