And for the venturesome neophyte? According to Leibbrandt, that depends on where you’ve grown up drinking. “We had this gigantic brandy industry for a time, so South Africans are quite comfortable drinking spirits. The (South African) palette is quite sophisticated, so people can handle bigger, bolder flavours – which typically means older stuff. So if you’d asked me that question in Brazil I would say, try the VS, which is a three-year-old VS, and that would be fine.”
For the South African tenderfoot, he endorses the Godet Gastronome, which, as its epithet suggests, is a fit match for bold South African menus. The Gastronome is a very dry, “floral-driven” fourteen-year-old cuvée, replete with intimations of violet, walnut and ginger.
Frankly, though, it little matters which iteration of Godet you elect to sample first. This small cognac house is widely lauded for its characteristic attention to detail, which renders each of its delineations reliably wonderful. You needn’t take my word for it, either – Godet is widely available, at Macros countrywide, and at most well-stocked liquor outlets.