New Yorkers love being first adopters, even when it comes to fine spirits. With new brands debuting almost weekly across the spirits spectrum, true booze aficionados are not fooled by the words hand-made, hand-crafted or artisanal, because the beverages they embrace ultimately need to impress when it comes to taste profile, quality and finish, among other areas.
OMAGE is a California-produced brandy that’s been living up to the hype since its debut in late 2021. With stellar media reviews and steady retail growth, OMAGE is at the forefront of a growing US brandy trend, paying homage to French Cognac but with a more approachable flavor profile that’s been increasingly attracting consumer interest.
According to Julious Grant, creator of OMAGE and an alcohol industry executive with a resume spanning three decades holding C-Suite roles for some of the most prestigious wine and spirits companies in the world (Beam Suntory, Bacardi, Moët Hennessy and Diageo, to name a few), “OMAGE pays homage to Cognac’s history and artistry, while showing what’s possible with American grapes. Unlike Cognac, which places the emphasis on the oak, OMAGE brandy places emphasis on the vineyard and its grapes to produce a beautifully-balanced spirit to be enjoyed not only by Cognac and brandy lovers, but also enthusiasts of bourbon, whiskey and scotch. No other US brandy fits that mold.”
Produced in California using varietals selected for their prime ripeness, OMAGE integrates advanced distillation in both pot and column stills with aging in charred and toasted American bourbon and French oak barrels, depending on style. The result is a refined, approachable, super premium brandy that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or used as a modern twist in classic cocktails.
OMAGE VS is aged two plus years and is dominated by juicy apple aromas giving way to a nutty, vanilla finish; OMAGE VSOP is aged four plus years and has inviting, bright aromas of fresh citrus and stone fruit complemented by a floral, toasty vanilla oak finish; OMAGE XO is aged six plus years and has a distinct aged character marked by a dried apricot aroma with hints of jasmine and honeysuckle balanced by tempered oak and a smooth caramel finish.
Impress your guests this holiday season by serving up OMAGE neat, on the rocks or as part of classic cocktails. Grant recommends what he calls an American 75, which he makes with OMAGE and sparkling wine (as opposed to the French version made with Cognac and champagne) as well as an Old Fashioned replacing bourbon with OMAGE VSOP.
New Yorkers can purchase OMAGE at over 200 independent wine and spirits retailers around the city as well as at www.shop.omagebrandy.com, Drizly, Instacart and Wine.com. OMAGE VS, VSOP and XO retail for around $25.99, $35.99 and $89.99 respectively.