It’s been a pleasure drinking two top brandies over the last while, namely Carel Nel 15 Years Reserve from Boplaas (R390 a bottle) and KWV 15 Year Old Alambic (R540). The rapier versus the broad sword, if you will.
The Carel Nel 15 Years Reserve appears light, very pure and clean with a floral top-note plus pear, white peach and delicate spice. An abv of 43% produces a pleasant burn at the back of the throat.
The KWV 15 Year Old is super-intense showing apricot, caramel and a hint of spice. More overtly fruity and with an abv of 38%, less fiery – opulent in the best way.
Curious to compare ratings for the two – the Carel Nel won double gold at Veritas last year and was rated 4½ Stars in Platter’s while the KWV won silver at Veritas and was rated 5 Stars in Platter’s. Suffice to say, I don’t think either should be mixed with cola.