Gran Legacy. This is often times the brand that is found only, it would appear, exclusively in CVS pharmacy drugstores but then again, I live in Los Angeles and many of the Midwestern or East Coast retail chains aren’t found on this side of the coast that may potentially carry this brand. For all intents and purposes though, as far as I care to know, Gran Legacy is a CVS store brand. Just this past Saturday weekend, I decided to try out Gran Legacy Brandy XO. It was “on sale” apparently. It was priced at $6.49 a bottle, albeit, a plastic bottle, which if I recall correctly, regular price is $7.99? Don’t quote me on the price tag. Point being, it’s under $10 for a bottle of liquid courage.
Now, I vaguely remember LA Times writing an article about these bottom shelf liquors in the Business section and that particular writer of the article implicitly urged people to spend a bit more money for a name brand liquor like Jim Beam or Evan Williams, for instance, because the quality isn’t as good. And the writer of that article would be correct to say that. However, for those curious folks who want to save every buck that they can, these bottom shelf liquors serve a purpose.
It must be noted right from the get-go that I’m not usually a brandy drinker. In fact, I have never sipped or drank brandy, ever, in my life. Not even a smidgen. And that’s mainly because the word “brandy” invokes a certain imagery in my head. Namely, rich white folks who like drinking stuff that are more sophisticated than, say, whiskey. (I can thank western media for instilling that image in my head). Now me personally? I’m a whiskey drinker. And the funny thing about how I came to know whiskey is actually through a well known and really, rather clever, comedian, Ron White. In his skits, he would often times talk about getting drunk off of Scotch. I didn’t know anything about Scotch back in high school. I thought that was the only type of whiskey there is and that there ever was. Scotch whiskey. It wasn’t until later well past college that I discovered that there’s all sorts of whiskeys: Bourbon, Canadian, Irish, Single Malts, Blended, etc. There are whiskeys that are aged for X amount of years. There are whiskeys that are infused with cinnamon flavors, or honey, or fruity flavors. The list is practically endless.
Having said that, like my other post about whiskey, I don’t know anything about the proper way of drinking brandy. I just poured it into a shot glass and sipped it as if I was drinking a cup of coffee. Namely, sip, spread it around on my palate and taking note of the flavor in and around my palate before swallowing. And let me tell you, it’s terrible. On entry, there was this really strong, sharp pungent taste. It’s like drinking a really unripened bottle of red wine. Like they didn’t put it through any kind of aging process. (For those wine snobs out there, I believe they would call the wine “really young” if it has that sharp taste that hits you like a train wreck as soon as the liquid touches your palate). But this isn’t a wine. At least not from the conventional standpoint. It’s a type of spirit that is distilled from wine. Fancy that, huh? I personally can’t make sense of that. Whatever the case, imagine drinking this Gran Legacy Brandy XO like you’re drinking a really bad bottle of red table wine but for half the cost and about the same terrible flavor. Plus, you’ll also get that same terrible headache the very next day just like a chugging a bottle of table wine.
Now, for what it’s worth when it’s on sale for $6.49 a bottle plus CRV and tax, it comes to be about $7 and some change. Not bad at all, if your main goal of buying something that is priced this low is just for a good buzz for the day but then again, there are vodkas that are virtually tasteless that would also do the job for about the same price tag minus the terrible red wine taste and harshness so I’d say choose your poison. I would personally recommend those bottom shelf “flavored” vodkas, which I’ll get around to writing about in future entries. So stay tuned.