Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Whiskies (of the bourbon or scotch variety) are clearly having their time in the spotlight. In fact, Marvel Bar, under The Bachelor Farmer, has every whiskey one could possibly get or fit in the bar. So it makes sense that upstairs, the fancy should turn to something different, the other brown: brandy. Pip Hanson has created a wide-ranging, complex list of brandies, 20 bottles strong, in the Norsten Bar, featuring spirits that will please first-time sippers and the hardcore whiskey lovers. I sampled a few just to make sure.
Sempé Armagnac VSOP: Made in southwest France, Armagnacs come from mostly small producers and are distilled from grapes in column stills before aging in oak barrels. VSOP means very special old pale, and this one was delightful.
Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge: From lower Normandy, this brandy is distilled from apples. There’s only a slight sweetness, with more of an earthy cider side to it. Hanson said, “This is as much of a Jolly Rancher that I’d ever want to drink.”
Miguel Torres Spanish Brandy: Cognac comes from France, but this 20-year-old Spanish brandy is just as fine. It’s complex but light with a bit of apricot and tobacco on the finish.
The bartenders of TBF are beyond knowledgeable about these spirits and will happily guide you through an after-dinner course on brandies.
50 2nd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, thebachelorfarmer.com