Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with butter and flour; set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, and continue beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, letting each mix in fully before adding the next.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Return the mixer to medium-high speed, add molasses and lemon zest, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup of the brandy, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining 1/4 cup brandy, and finally the last 1/3 of the flour. Mix until flour is just incorporated and batter is smooth.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in remaining ingredients. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan. Turn cakes out onto the rack and cool completely before slicing and eating, or aging.
To age, brush each cake with 1/4 cup brandy, and then completely bury each in 4 pounds of powdered sugar for up to 4 months.
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