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A New Spirit

A New Spirit
September 16, 2016 Jackie Teo

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FIVE X.P. sounds like something from a role playing game but in this context, we’re talking about a premium brandy.

Local wine merchant Richfield Brands & Services took a brave foray into the world of fine spirits by introducing FIVE X.P., the first “Xtra Pure” (hence its name) brandy in the world.

FIVE X.P. was conceptualised in Singapore and made in Germany. Leading the team is Mr Alan Wong, Managing Director at Richfield Brands & Services.

Regarding the project, he said: “For the past six years, the last three in earnest, I have been working to create a new digestif. It is so different a spirit that there is no description for it so we are obliged to describe it firstly as a digestif, and then a brandy. My fellow collaborators and I believe it is the first true innovation in several centuries. Needless to say with the combined knowledge, skills and experience we have created something not only daringly different, it is also superb with all the attributes of a fine drink without any hint of roughness.”

On the production of FIVE X.P., Alan didn’t reveal more than what is stated in press release.

In essence, after six years of discussion and planning, the team put to market a brandy made from Riesling grapes, using a vacuum distillation process. The distillate was matured in oak casks for six years.

According to the press release, vacuum distillation is a process that is done at a “gentle” 28 degrees Celsius instead of the usual, much harsher 74 degrees Celsius thus “preserving the purity and taste of the Riesling wine distillate.”

Some experts gave favourable reviews of this distillation process, especially when it comes to gins. According to an article on zesteronline.com, Oxley Gin, vacuum distilled at -5 degrees Celsius, tasted “not of cooked botanicals, but of fresh citrus peels.” The author also wrote that the process produced a different, not better distillate compared to typical gins.

We weren’t able to compare another Riesling-distilled brandy that is distilled the normal way with the FIVE X.P., so we can’t really tell if the latter tastes “purer”.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The nose of the FIVE X.P. offers a light aroma of apricot and honey. It’s quite pleasant actually, and it reminded us of whiskies. Perhaps, one from the lowlands. On the palate, it is rather fruity; raisins, caramel with a hint of oak. For the finish, we had some honey and a bit of toffee. It was smooth, for lack of a better word. This may be due to the relatively light 38% ABV.

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We felt that the FIVE X.P. is able to stand on its own and it may appeal to “elegant ladies and dapper gentlemen” as stated in its press release. We like the VinoLok glass closure, “which eliminates the risk of cork taint, eases opening and re-closing, and is trusted by producers of premium Riesling wines.”

Although, this may go down a little too easy for seasoned whisky drinkers (we love our cask strength stuff). We hope to see a little more character and less restraint in the version two of FIVE X.P., if that’s ever going to be produced. 

And at S$450 for a 500ml bottle of FIVE X.P.,  a new entrant to the brandy market, well…you make your own conclusions.

If you’re curious and want to purchase a bottle or two, call +65 6764 9463 or drop an email to sales@richfieldbrands.com.

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