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Rare Spirits from Germain-Robin and St. George - 09/03/2009 - Other Distilled Spirits

Both Germain-Robin & St. George are distillers who make some of the most incredible spirits in the country, if not the world. Already renowned for their brandies and vodkas, both producers are now making some of their small batch, ultra-rare spirits available to a small number of retail stores. Luckily, K&L is one of them.

Germain-Robin Absinthe Superieure 375ml - 5 available ($35.99)

Some super craft distillers have come up with interesting and delicious takes on what absinthe should be. None has been more impressive to me than the Germain Robin Absinthe Superieure. While the base spirit for absinthe is traditionally brandy distilled from wine, Crispin Cain used the Ukiah-based alambic still where he learned to make the renowned Germain Robin brandy line-up (arguably the best brandy produced in the US, if not the world), and used it to distill an apple-honey mead instead. He then threw in the traditional wormwood, but also included rose geranium and a few other aromatic devices, and then he distilled it to an untraditionally low 90 proof-far less than the 120 proof most absinthe sees. The result is a softer, more mild-drinking spirit that still packs a ton of flavor. While most absinthe is greenish, the Germain Robin is almost clear. Not being a traditionalist, I'm not bothered by that, but the spirit does cloud up like a true absinthe should when water is added. Best of all, it comes in a half bottle, so if you're looking for the most economical choice for your home bar, this is it. So far I haven't found very many places carrying it, so I'm happy to be leading the charge. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer) 5 stars - Spirits Journal

Germain-Robin Grappa Of Zinfandel 375ml - 6 available ($55.99)

One of the most amazing spirits of any kind I have yet tasted. This is not Italian-styled grappa with the heat and the power, in fact, I'm hard pressed to believe that this grappa even has alcohol in it! The flavors of the Zinfandel grape are so fragrant and apparant on the nose that it seems as if the glass is full of red Zinfandel wine and not its distillate. The grappa is so soft, smooth, delicate and flavorful that I find it difficult to even call it grappa. This is not just for spirits enthusiasts. This is a beautiful work of art that everyone must try at least once. Very much worth every penny of its price tag. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer)

Germain-Robin Liqueur de Poète 375ml - 2 available ($39.99)

Yet another in the Germain Robin line-up of small batch, craft distillations that absolutely blows my mind. A wonderfully interesting, intriguing and delicious spirit distilled from pears and aged over seven years in barrel. A true labor of love for Hubert Germain-Robin who worked on this eau-de-vie for 16 years! The result is an exotic and stunningly complex spirit that shows barrel spice, port-like caramel and toffee notes, pear sweetness, and a sherry-like finish. One of the more amazing spirits I have tasted and one I am so proud to be carrying and recommending for our customers. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer)

Germain-Robin Single Barrel Pinot Noir Brandy 750ml - 4 available ($139.99)

This is a younger 13 year old cask from 2001, but it is off the chain delicious. Vinous grappa notes on the nose that are completely airbrushed and blended out on the palate. The acidity of the pinot noir is immediately obvious, especially having tasting the other two single barrels first. This is entirely different than the three other selections. There's weight, and boldness, and more depth. It's not just fruit and oak, but also earthy elements that pop in and out through the finish. Tremendous.

Germain-Robin Single Barrel Viogner Brandy 750ml - 4 available ($139.99)

Germain Robin's brandies are California's, if not the nation's, premiere craft-distilled brandies. This Single Barrel brandy made 100% from Viognier is in a class all its own. Very rare and very difficult to get, this spirit shows the floral and fruity character of the Viognier grape on both the nose and the palate. The zesty peach flavors are very soft as is the texture of the brandy itself. It is a major accomplishment for Germain Robin in their quest to produce the very best spirits possible from their Ukiah Alambic pot still. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer)

St. George Aqua Perfecta Basil Eau-de-Vie - 3 available ($36.99)

Special Order Only! Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Will take 3-7 days to receive this product before it can be shipped. I can't tell you all how excited I was after getting a taste of Lance Winters's Basil Eau-De-Vie. It is very, very, very good...as long as you like basil. The Aqua Perfecta is an extraordinary feat of distillation artistry and showcases yet another stong offering in the St. George portfolio. Distilled from several types of basil, including Thai basil (which is very apparant in the nose), the palate shows a peppery spice and subtle hints of anise to acompany the graceful basil notes. I'm dying to get my hands on a whole bottle so I can try it in a Bloody Mary! This is a tough sell, I know (who is looking for basil-flavored brandy?), but rest assured people, this is worth every penny! A real adventure in alcohol artistry.

Domestic spirits have come along way in the last few years. Explore our entire selection of craft distilled spirits at KLWines.com