Stock ’84 Brandy Made in Israel
Some notes now on Stock ’84 VSOP, the Israel-made version as purchased in Toronto. This is brandy, not the brandy-based version of Stock ’84, made in Czech Republic, also sold in Ontario.
I thought the VSOP very good, with a signature quality brandy taste. It has notes of ripe fruit, is not woody, and does not tend to neutrality in character. It reminded me of good quality non-Cognac brandies from southern Europe.
The fruit notes are not citrus or tropical-type, which I mention since many India Pale Ales today feature these tastes, and we have many beer readers here. More like apricot or peach perhaps, but it is hard to convey in words the actual flavour.
The finish is somewhat spiky, and while it can be drunk neat, I doubt it is taken very often that way by its fans. More usually it would be mixed with sparkling water – the traditional brandy-and-soda – or a soft drink, with coffee, in cocktails, and so forth.
To the extent it is consumed straight, probably almost always ice is added. I liked it this way and thought the dilution assisted the drink, brought it into its own.
In a hot country it makes sense usually it would be served cold or iced.
I’d like to try a premium version issued by Stock Spirits, the XO say, but this is not currently available here.
All in all, one can see the long tradition behind the brand; the heritage shows. I should add, I have nothing against the brandy-based version, in fact I regularly make an Old Fashioned at home (whiskey cocktail), Manhattan, and similar.
But for the purpose of scoping the brandy palate of the house so to speak, it seemed best to stick with the all-brandy version.
Brandy is a drink I encounter off and on over the years. When it comes to spirits, whiskey, in one of the international styles, usually has my attention. In latter years it tends to be Canadian or American whiskey.
But brandy, and Cognac when I can try it, are always interesting to sample, a kind of “parent” drink viewed in historical terms.
For example, in the Anglosphere but beyond as well due to its influence, I think it is fair to say the whisky and soda and its variants (with ice, etc.) largely replaced the original brandy versions.
But the brandy and soda has much to recommend itself, still, as I found out recently with Stock ’84.