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Drink Review: Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy

The most popular bottle from the Armenian Yerevan brandy company, originally founded in 1887. This five year old grape brandy has rich aromas of ripe plums and sweet peaches, which are joined by hints of blackcurrant on the palate.

Ararat Brandy Review:

Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy Color

Deep and rich, the hue suggests this isn’t a young brandy.

Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy Aroma

The aroma suggests a very fruity scent, but it is not as strong as I would initially imagine when I first took a whiff. This brandy smells of ripe plums, sweet peaches and blackcurrants.

Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy Taste

The taste of this brandy is very similar to the aroma. The fruitiness is still very subtly intact, but it’s a little stronger than the aroma. The fruitiness is joined by hints of blackcurrant, which at first seem very bitter, but as I swallowed, I could taste the natural sweetness. A subtle warmth seeps into my nose, which seems to originate from a combination of the smooth, fruity taste, delightfully sharp orchard fruit aftertaste and the moderate burn of the alcohol.

Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy Afterburn

I am left with an afterburn that is relatively warm and slightly bitter. It doesn’t last very long, and instead leaves me with a mildly strong sensation in the back of my throat. It is very similar to the feeling you get at the back of your throat when eating dark chocolate. This brandy is very pleasant to drink on its own. If you are looking for a versatile spirit, Ararat brandy is absolutely ideal.

Ararat 5 Year Old Brandy Mixability

This brandy features a very delicate, thin flavour profile. The blackcurrant aftertaste hinders it from being mixed with most beverages. For instance, I liked the brandy black, but when I tried this Ararat Brandy and cola cocktail, I didn’t really enjoy it. The slightly bitter aftertaste clashed with the cola. The smokiness of traditional bitters could compliment the fruity aftertaste, but in my experience, most bitters have a slightly bitter and woody flavour, which could be iether a good or bad thing depending on how you like your bitters. This delicate flavour is actually very similar to Otard VSOP.

There are a few cocktails that can work well with this brandy. The two classic choices are the Brandy Alexander or a brandy old fashioned. I would say go for the old fashioned, because it is more subtle and smoother. I found the Brandy Alexander was very strong and slightly overpowering. I know it’s not the main spirit, but the addition of crème de cacao in a Brandy Alexander cocktail is too sweet for this brandy. I found that a brandy old fashioned with a hint of Angostura bitters was the perfect choice to compliment this delicate spirit.

Buying a Bottle of Armen Ararat Brandy

The most popular bottle from the Armenian Yerevan brandy company, originally founded in 1887. This five year old grape brandy has rich aromas of ripe plums and sweet peaches, which are joined by hints of blackcurrant on the palate.

Written by Mark Adams

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