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Argonaut Fat Thumb Brandy
About Argonaut Fat Thumb Brandy
Argonaut Fat Thumb Brandy is produced by Argonaut Distilling Company in Sanger, CA. Striving to make great brandy, Argonaut takes pride in the fact that they produce everything from start to finish. This includes growing the California grapes, as well as winemaking, distilling, and blending. As a brand, Argonaut focuses on the gold rush spirit, with the names of each blend clearly inspired by this aspect of California history.
This particular bottle of Fat Thumb Brandy is named after the concept of “fat thumb” – a term used for merchants who took a generous pinch of gold dust in exchange for goods. Fat Thumb features a blend of Coffey and Alembic Pot Still brandies that have been aged for a range of 4, 7, 9, 11, and 16 years in Oak barrels. According to Argonaut, there are zero additions such as caramel coloring or other added flavors in the Brandy.
❖ ABV: 43%
❖ Distillery: Argonaut Distilling Company, McCall Distillery
❖ Aging: blend ranging from 4-16 years
❖ Price Point: low price
❖ baked apple cobbler
❖ caramelized pear
❖ toasted oak
❖ red apple
❖ overripe pear
❖ caramelized banana
My Tasting notes
I began to pick out the nose notes of this brandy, and it took a few sniffs before I was able to really pick out the aromas. At first, the alcohol came out strong, although it wasn’t super harsh. By my third whiff, the aroma was vaguely fruity. As I continued, notes of apple became prominent.
I took my first sip, and there were nice apple notes. The alcohol taste was strong, but without too much bite. This brandy really tingled on my tongue throughout my tasting. After several sips, a slight toasted flavor came out. Overall, it was difficult to pick out the spice notes that are claimed in the advertising. However, it does seem that the spices worked together to add depth to the fruity flavor.
For my cocktail, I wanted to try a drink called the Stinger. Although this cocktail is usually made with Cognac brandy, I thought it would still be a nice way to put Argonaut to the test. I was also excited to utilize our thriving mint plant as a garnish!
❖ 2oz Brandy
❖ 1oz crème de menthe
- Add ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass.
Overall, this cocktail was nice, but lacking a little balance. I found that the crème de menthe really overpowered the brandy flavor. While I love the taste of mint, it made it very difficult to taste any of the Argonaut flavor notes.
Towards the end of my drink, I began to taste very subtle fruit notes – especially apple. Still, the crème de menthe was most prominent.
Overall, my experience with Argonaut was a little lackluster. While I fully admit I have a bias against brandy, I did try really hard to focus and appreciate the flavors. However, I don’t feel there were many flavors for my taste buds to work with – especially compared to the lofty claims implied by Argonaut‘s listed tasting notes.
That said, I did have a good experience after-the-fact, as I found the alcohol effects of this brandy to be pleasant and mellow. Despite the high proof, I did not have any hints of a hangover following my tasting. In this regard, Argonaut Fat Thumb seems to be a good quality spirit.
At the end of the day, Argonaut Fat Thumb Brandy is a decent choice for the price, but not something that I can get particularly excited about.
As always, drink responsibly.