Google A short flight over Bas-armagnac

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


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2022


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

June 12, 2022


A short flight over Bas-armagnac, with hugs to all houses

Very sadly, Armagnac's vineyards have been hit by heavy storms and a lot of grail only a few days ago, with some vines almost destroyed, especially in some parts of the Gers and the Landes. Around 5,000 hectares have been heavily struck, with hailstones the sizes of golf balls!


These notes are for the Armagnacaises and Armagnacais, their immense courage and their incredible resilience. There's a heavy price to pay when you cannot, by law, source your raw ingredients from another region or from just anywhere else in the whole goddam world. See what I mean? (photograph



Domaine Clotte de Manon 14 yo 2007/2021 (46.5%, Darroze, Collection Unique, Bas-Armagnac)

Domaine Clotte de Manon 14 yo 2007/2021 (46.5%, Darroze, Collection Unique, Bas-Armagnac) Four stars
Darroze are bringing many small estates to the market, working as perfect 'negociants-éleveurs'. I believe I've never tried Clotte de Manon, having said that, while Darroze's website is mute about them. Colour: deep gold. Nose: awesomely rustic, with touches of balsamico and varnish at first (all good), then a little toasted oak, chocolate and black tea, mint tea, then prunes and many orangey things, marmalades, some kind of chutney, pickled kumquats, then big black very dry raisins (Corinthians)… Mouth: same lovely rusticity, same balsamic vinegar and varnish at first, marmalade, dry raisins, 'old' prunes, armagnac (I know, feels like a tautological description but I know what I'm trying to say), old rancio and very old sweet Sauternes – or else - that went dry and toasted oak plus bitter chocolate. Finish: long, more on strong black tea and heavy-fermented tobacco. Comments: you're just there with this rural, almost bucolic young one. This starts well.
SGP:461 - 86 points.

Lous Pibous 2002 (57.4%, L'Encantada, For the USA, 10th Anniversary, Bas-armagnac, +/-2021)

Lous Pibous 2002 (57.4%, L'Encantada, For the USA, 10th Anniversary, Bas-armagnac, +/-2021) Four stars
No literature needed here. Comes with a different label than the usual orange one that always makes me think of Johan Cruyff and Johnny Rep. Colour: amber. Nose: punchy drop, still young, so still with its consubstantial varnish, a touch of Bulldog sauce, sweet gravy, molasses and heavier honeys, quince paste, honey-glazed ham… With water: sweet bread (yes) and lighter fruit cake, with apricots, citrus and pears. First appearance of quinces in this one. Mouth (neat): fights you right from the start, with a little spicy oak and concentrated miso, as well as rather a lot of pepper. A little unbalanced, but we know water will put things right. That's one of the advantages of whisky, it stands very high strengths better than 'brandies' do, in my humble opinion. With water: not that easy to handle, even with the most technologically-advanced pipette. Right, right. Spicy oranges, a little ginger, that miso, bitter herbal teas… Finish: long, pretty resinous at this point. Marmalade and coffee in the aftertaste. Comments: so, the proceedings. You buy a bottle, you spoil a good half trying to come up with the best proportions with water and your pipette, you do not forget to write it down once you've found it, and you may now enjoy the other half of your bottle. Naturally, you could as well buy several bottles. Anyway, very good, as expected.

SGP:561 - 85 points.

Château de Laubade 1985/2020 'Brut de Fût' (48.4%, OB, Bas-armagnac, bonbonne #89061)

Château de Laubade 1985/2020 'Brut de Fût' (48.4%, OB, Bas-armagnac, bonbonne #89061) Three stars and a half
Boy does this little series by Laubade rock! They're cask strength, but they're reasonably cask strength. This is ex-demijohn, so it was already out of the wood when it was bottled, most certainly for good reasons. Imagine they would have done this at Stromness, Malt Mill or Old Clynelish! Colour: reddish amber. Nose: indeed, you do feel some spicy cellulose at first, but various honeys and jams are extremely quick to arrive, especially heather and apricots. Also this feeling of opening an old soft-pack of untipped Camels, or Craven A. In the background, marrow bouillon and even a little garlic butter. Mouth: rather dry, on ground coffee and cocoa powder at first, then tobacco, chen-pi and the blackest black tea. Peppered brownies, should anyone ever bake that. Inadvertently, perhaps? Finish: rather long but really rather dry. Old oak in the aftertaste. Comments: feels like an old-school Ténarèze, I would humbly add. Indeed, I've seen this was not a Ténarèze. Absolutely excellent, but I think I liked all the other Bruts de Fût I could already try either rather, or much better.

SGP:461 - 83 points.

Speaking of old school…

Dupeyron 1967 (40%, OB, armagnac, +/-2020)

Dupeyron 1967 (40%, OB, armagnac, +/-2020) Three stars and a half
1967? Let's see if this will be an armagnac of love. Approx. 150€ for an armagnac that was distilled while Jimi Hendrix was composing The Wind Cries Mary, how does that sound? Oh and never underestimate those vintage armagnacs that are primarily sold as birthday presents, we've already tried some glorious ones. Colour: gold. Nose: old school indeed, that is to say rather dry, on tobacco and coffee indeed, tea as well, but in this very case I'm also finding patchouli and bidis (1967 indeed). Indeed, indeed. Rather stewed apples and pears at the fruit section, plus fermenting plums, or plum wine, Korean style. Mouth: yes, it's good, certainly more vinous than the others (old pinot noir, old barrel), but with also more Seville oranges, marmalade, fresh walnuts, oloroso-like notes, a small mustiness… Finish: not very long but balanced, soft, vinous, with prunes. Prunes in armagnac (more tautological descriptions, I'm afraid). Comments: not much oomph here but frankly, it's a good old winey drop, a style that's becoming really out of fashion these days.
SGP:551 - 84 points.

Baron de Lustrac 40 yo (49.9%, OB, for Wine4You, Bas-armagnac, 4000 bottles, +/-2021)

Baron de Lustrac 40 yo (49.9%, OB, for Wine4You, Bas-armagnac, 4000 bottles, +/-2021) Five stars
This one was sourced from Domaine de Mandillet in the Gers, just south-east of Eauze. Age-stated armagnacs remain quite uncommon to these days. I believe the price was pornographically low when this baby came out, last year. I think it was last year. Colour: bronze amber. Nose: I'm finding a lot of chestnuts, glazed, puréed, roasted, as liqueur… Also honeydew, fir, also pipe tobacco, bouillons, our beloved marrow, onion soup, even some malt extracts, Marmite, brown sauce… I would say you could pour this over some very-deluxe burgers. Why not call that an Arma-Mac? (that's not diving to new lows, S., that's speleology). Mouth: yes. Old school again, meaty, tobacco-y, earthy, very bouillony and even salty, with rather a lot of old wood, old wines, cured hams, peppers, also calvados, cider, liquorice wood, celeriac… And even gentian. Finish: long. Old pu-her tea, chewing cigars, snuff, salty bouillons and broths… Comments: loved the earthiness in this one. The old-woodiness is also an obvious asset here. Well if you hate old oak, this may not be for you – but that's more for us then. Oh well, I just love this quasi-antique.
SGP:562 - 90 points.

A last one, since we hadn't planned to do armagnac today…

Domaine de Baraillon 1944/2021 (43%, OB, Bas-armagnac) Imagine, harvest 1944!

Domaine de Baraillon 1944/2021 (43%, OB, Bas-armagnac) Five stars
Imagine, harvest 1944! To give you an idea, the city of Auch, capital of the Gers, was liberated just one month earlier, on August 19, 1944. So this is truly historical and we hope Ukraine will soon follow the same path, upon the right of self-determination. Same with strictly all the other countries currently at war with any invaders, of course. We believe there are no good and no right invaders. Colour: deep amber. Nose: I don't quite know what to say. Natural syrups (agave, barley, sugarcane), sweet wines from the south of France (Monbazillac and brothers), or Italy (vinsanto, Pantelleria…), earths and mints, humidor, sweeter reductions… Indeed, I don't quite know what to say. Mouth: so moving. It's probably not a shining star, I mean, organoleptically speaking, but there are flavours in there that we may well have forgotten about. Such as truly forgotten root vegetables. I mean, everyone's talking about those forgotten vegetables these days, even the greatest chefs, which does not make any sense. Either they are forgotten, or they are not. Salty soups, jams, chutneys, thick beers, broths, tobaccos… Plus some kind of salted toffee. Truly a journey through time. Finish: medium, simply going on with the same moving flavours of yesteryears, plus the sounds of cannons and firing squads. To a free Ukraine (and all other countries). Comments: if you believe spirits and politics don't ging together, be my guest, just go to a pub or a bistro and listen to the people there. Spirits have always been eminently political.
SGP:452 - (unapplicable) points.

(Gracias Boris and other friends)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all armagnacs we've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home