The Sidecar has an Australian cousin. It’s called a Maiden’s Prayer, and it’s made with award-winning Australian brandy with real heritage.
For nearly a hundred years, five master distillers and five generations, the St Agnes Distillery and Barrel Halls at Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland region have been making champion brandies.
Thomas William Carlyon Angove (1918 –2010) is credited with the wine cask or bag in a box. In 1886, his ancestor Dr. William Angove emigrated to Australia from Cornwall. He established a medical practice at Tea Tree Gully and along with other doctors, like Lindeman and Penfold, he began making wine and cultivating vines.
Having visited Cognac, T.C. “Skipper” Angove ( Carl) decided there was a better way to make a clean, fresh spirit than the very heavy Muscat style brandies that were common at the time. In 1925 he made the first Angove brandy using neutral white grape varieties and the traditional double distilled, pot-still process. The oldest still operating craft distillery in Australia still makes ages and handcrafts a range of brandies in stills made by H.Jennings of Adelaide. “To celebrate the patient rewards of time and craft.”
Its top-end XO Grand Reserve 40-Year-Old brandy ( Australian $750) is deep, dark amber. Its character is made up of Christmas cake, aged barrel range, espresso, cacao, and dark chocolate, dried apricot, and dates. As well as burnt buttered toast with marmalade with a hint of cardamom and walnut.
Golden amber, orange blossom aromas combine with notes of amontillado sherry, roast cashew, cedar shavings with hints of honey, maple syrup, chocolate, caramel, and spice are present in St Agnes XO Imperial 20-Year-Old.
The historic distillery on the River Murray banks, St. Agnes Distillery, has been awarded a Gold Medal and the trophy for Champion Brandy at Australia’s Distilled Spirit Awards. Says Richard Angove: “ “We are fortunate to have such amazing aged XO resources to put these blends together and all credit to our master distiller Ben Horley and his predecessor, the late John Norman, for their care and attention in crafting such age-worthy and unique spirit.
“The St Agnes Distillery has a clear purpose, to do one thing brilliantly and show the world another face of Australian produce excellence by crafting the iconic Australian spirit of world-class standard.”