Of the Spanish brands, Torres and Soberano are probably the most famous, but there are several other producers also in the country. Alvisa works more with bulk wines and distillates. They produce large quantities of wine and distillates, which are being sold to several different alcohol producers. Alvisa was founded by Adolfo Fernández in 1969. He was the first alcohol producer in the Castilla la Mancha region to set up a continuous distillery. Adolfo’s business grew rapidly and was so profitable that twenty years later it was sold to the Japanese giant Suntory. Alvisa has several different distillation lines, ranging from traditional copper pans to efficient continuous column distilleries. The company also has maturing cellars where a variety of distillates are matured in 15,000 French oak barrels from 6 months up to 30 years.
Alvisa 5 is made from organically grown grapes. The wine is distilled twice with Charentais still, which is also used in cognac production. After distillation, the distillate has matured for 5 years. However, the manufacturer does not say whether it was made using the Solera method or whether the brandy was really matured in oak for 5 years. Despite the Organic brandy -status, the Alvisa 5 is for sale at a relatively low price, the 50 cl bottle cost only € 11.50.
Alvisa 5 has a light and smooth smell. The main aromas come from oak, vanilla and a little walnut. The taste is lean and quite sharp. The taste has plenty of woody oak aroma, dried fruit and a bit of coconut-like, nutty aroma. The taste is so thin that talking about Charentais distillery feels like a marketing talk. Without reading the info in the producer homepage, I could assume it has been distilled with an efficient column still, so that the aromas of the raw material have mostly disappeared. The taste reminds of oak-matured vodka, which some vodka makers have brought to the market. The aroma of the wine or grapes are no longer noticeable, the taste is more influenced by oak maturing. The taste is young and crisp, but not very sweet, so very little if any added sugar has been used. Alvisa 5 resembles a cheap VS cognac, although it lacks the fruity aromas commonly found on them. Organic in the product is probably the fact that nothing has been added to it after maturing. Which is a good thing of course, but on the other hand, Alvisa 5 isn’t very enjoyable to sip. It works better for cocktails and other mixed drinks.