Gorgeous or Ghastly? Aldi Napolean Brandy Review
I’m not a huge alcohol drinker because I find most have unpleasant flavours and as such, they are not a great experience. I can tell when I’m drinking a bad vodka, a poor wine, a sub-par whisky, a trashy rum and as such I have tended to shy away from them unless in mixed drinks. There is, however, nothing so dramatic as a delightful rum, straight up, savoured and then followed at the end by a mouthful of water which then turns sugar syrupy sweet on the palette.
You can imagine, therefore, my reticence at trying the Aldi Napoleon brandy. Not only have I found brandy to be often a flavourless mess of disgustingness but the high alcohol content has made it less pleasant still. However, I have been surprised, and pleasantly, with the new range of Aldi spirits brought on by their new buyer. Trusting my palette to their careful hands, I acquiesced to trying a small amount with another reviewer beside me lauding the glass before him.
The first thing I noticed was the nose. Gone were the nose-scorching fumes of other brandies of my mis-spent youth (quite probably where my dislike of the stuff sprang from), replaced with something almost akin to a highly alcoholic wine. There were notes in there that I thought impossible. Clearly the expensive brandy my youthful friends shared with a cigar was less refined than they had been led to believe.
The mouth experience of the brandy was a revelation. It was smoother than I could ever believe a spirit had the potential for. The flavours, while subtle, gently unfolded into a light hint of fruity wonder. Much like the whisky with its surprising notes of caramel and fruits, this brandy has a shocking complexity for something at this price point.
Clearly Aldi has stepped up its game even further this year with the new spirits buyer passionately leading the way. Given this should be available worldwide, people in the US as well as the UK and anywhere there is an Aldi can enjoy a brandy that requires no mixer to be palatable. Go on – shock your socks off too and buy a bottle to keep for the holidays.