Google Time for more Armagnac

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 18, 2018


Time for more Armagnac

Watch it, Armagnac could really grow on you whisky lovers, assuming you manage to separate the wheat from the chaff (or, yeah, the juice from the lees)… Let’s see what we have today…

Darroze 30 yo ‘Les Grands Assemblages’ (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2015)

Darroze 30 yo ‘Les Grands Assemblages’ (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2015) Four stars and a half
We had the whole series, but for some forgotten reasons, never tried the 30 and the 40. The 50 had been utterly stellar, having said that (and totally a steal…) Colour: dark amber. Nose: ooh, reseda, figs, honey cake, oriental pastries, juicy blond sultanas, tangerines, apricots… In truth I’d say we’re rather close to Cognac here. Some lovely Cognac… Mouth: we’re finding menthol, orange cake, pistachios, honeydew, mead, figs about to ferment, arrak, stuff like that… Love the tiny herbs that pop out, parsley, watercress, lovage… Tends to become pretty bouillony, which is just great. There is some oak, but we’re fine. Finish: medium, rather fresh, on some kind of peach/parsley combination. Plus Thai basil. Comments: it’s a great series by Darroze, for sure, and a perfect introduction to Armagnac from a whisky lover’s POV. Just saying.
SGP:551 - 88 points.

And naturally…

Darroze 40 yo ‘Les Grands Assemblages’ (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2015)

Darroze 40 yo ‘Les Grands Assemblages’ (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2015) Four stars and a half
Colour: deep amber. Nose: what, rum? We’re approaching sugarcane-y cake-iness, so to speak. Sponge finger cakes, then litchi syrup, heather honey, zucchini flowers, Havana Club’s oldest (just better than that), dried flower petals, patchouli… This one’s really very floral and cake-y, really curious about the palate I have to say… Mouth: this one has more knack, zing and oomph that I had expected, and frankly, 1950s Macallan isn’t too far away. I mean, Macallan from the times when they were mimicking brandies… Figs, raisins, orange liqueurs, a wee hint of coal smoke, a drop of brine, a spoonful of chestnut honey (by the way, our close friends at Domaine Apicole de Chezelles have just won Silver in Paris for their Chestnut Honey!) Finish: medium, a tad more herbal and bouillony. Honey and olive oil, a winning combo. The aftertaste is a tad tannic, sadly. Comments: too close to call.
SGP:561 - 88 points.

Delord 1976 (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2016)

Delord 1976 (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2016) Three stars and a half
This baby comes in one of these traditional flat bottles called basquaises that really look like tennis rackets. No, do not try that. Delord’s one of the most famous houses in Armagnac. Colour: amber. Nose: oh pretty perfect! It’s a rather fat Armagnac, and it’s even got something phenolic, almost high-ester. Quite. Rotting bananas, black olives, then figs and dates plus prunes, as usual. Almost forgot the raisins. Mouth: a tad more ‘vague’, with some earth, leaves, prunes, black raisins, PX, rancio, stewed peaches… It’s more an Armagnac like the ones my grandpas used to quaff on Sundays. A little earthy mint coming through, that is nice. Finish: medium, drier. Unsweetened black tea and half an olive, plus one prune. After all, this is Armagnac. Some mint in the aftertaste. Comments: all very fine in this rather rustic Arrmagnac. 1976, that was the year of the great heat wave in France!
SGP:461 - 83 points.

Perhaps an older bottle of a young folle blanche?...

Domaine de Boignières 1985/1997 (49%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, for Italy)

Domaine de Boignières 1985/1997 (49%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, for Italy) Five stars
This is pure folle blanche again, and folle blanche’s one of the things in Armagnac. As for the strength, it seems that some people were already quite smart back in 1997… Colour: amber. Nose: lovely orange cake, figs galore, pecan pie, earthy/sweet mushrooms (boletus), pu-erh tea, more earth, oak smoke, proper coffee, oxtail soup… It’s actually becaming soupier and soupier. Mouth: superb. Sharp oranges and grapefruits, plus green olives, plus a touch of vanillin, plus quite some honeydew, plus a little cane juice, plus a salty touch. You can’t fight this, and indeed the strength is perfect. Finish: rather long, and rather malty, salty and smoky. You could believe this is Glen Garioch, really. Comments: totally impressed – sadly I had never heard of the Domaine de Boignières before, neither have I heard of owners Léon Laffite. Great people, obviously.
SGP:562 - 90 points.

Perhaps another 1985?...

Domaine de Baraillon 1985/2012 (42%, OB, Bas-Armagnac)

Domaine de Baraillon 1985/2012 (42%, OB, Bas-Armagnac) Five stars
I did try a 1988 by Domaine de Baraillon, and it was great (WF 87). Colour: deep amber. Nose: please have a seat, this is great. Imagine some kind of cocktail made by the maddest mixologist (they’re all mad anyway, aren’t they), with puréed roasted chestnuts, lapsang souchong, cigar ashes, Grisons meat, the driest manzanilla, garden peat, black volcanic earth, bits of grilled cured ham (what our Anglo-Saxon friends call bacon, I suppose), very old muscat wine that went bone dry, fern… All this is just wonderful, and utterly and plainly malternative, I have to say. Mouth: s’il vous plaît appelez la brigade anti-maltopornographique, merci beaucoup. Shouldn’t I rather review my Cognacs and Armagnacs in French? What do you say? Okay, okay… But this is stunning, tarry, dry, avoiding any possible pitfalls, including any excessive prunes or raisins. Wonderful smoky earthiness, and a palate that is wholly tertiary. Tiny herbs, fern, mushrooms, cocoa, moss, bacon, and a funny lactic side that’s anything but embarrassing. Finish: long, with the oranges chiming in, right on time. And cocoa in the aftertaste. Comments: I adored this one. Same category as that of the greatest Springbanks or Clynelishes. Indeed, proper spirits.
SGP:462 - 92 points.

Extremely happy with this session, but stay tuned, we’ve still got many great Armagnacs to taste…

(Thanks a lot again, Francesco)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Armagnacs I've tasted so far






Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed