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Clearing out my father's house, I've found an unopened bottle of brandy that my grandfather brought back from France after the First World War. The liquid is quite clear, the bottle has three stars on the neck and the name Jules Boutier&Co on the label, the bottle is sealed with a "waxy" top. I don't drink brandy, but would be interested to know something about it. Is it drinkable?

Hi Avril,

I'm afraid I can't tell you much about this but as you haven't mentioned 'Cognac' or any other place/regional name my guess is that this was made by a local distiller somewhere in France from whatever grape juice he could obtain. (Perhaps by Jules Boutier, but that may be the name of a merchant; I can't find any record of him in either capacity!)

All spirits last virtually indefinitely if the cork remains sound and prevents evaporation but three-star brandy is the basic grade so I don't think your dad would have paid much for it originally and it's unlikely to give much pleasure if you opened it.

My suggestions would be to keep it on display in memory of your father or to use it in the kitchen to pep-up a sauce or in a flambé as I don't think it would be easy to sell




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David Ling


I have 40 year`s experience tasting, collecting and enjoying wines as an amateur enthusiast. Bordeaux and Port are my particular loves and I regularly buy and sell at auction. I have a good library and frequently participate in on-line discussions. I can only help with valuations, buying or selling if you tell me where you live as there are many variations around the world.


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