Any Love for Armagnac??

Here you can talk about the experiences with the different brands and/or types of Armagnac.
numen
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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby numen » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:38 pm

You're definitely right about the additives and cocktail quality of a lot of cognac these days. I guess, it depends what you'd like from Germain-Robin. I used to really love the stuff, but I've grown wary of it. I've had, I think, everything that they produce. The Anno Domini is superb, but it's pricey and suffers from the general G-R symptom: limpid palate syndrome. In terms of what's unique, I really enjoyed the tropical fruitiness of the Muscat varietal, and the Pinot is intriguing, but pricey. Some of the stuff seems more like slightly sweetened and flavored condensed water. I think that you can get the Muscat for under $100. In terms of the XO and younger stuff, it's ok, but not spectacular. I've got notes on everything somewhere or another, if you're interested

Now, as I say this, the flavors are excellent, but just very... weak. Semillon and Colombard were also very good - I can't recall which is younger, but I preferred the younger to the older one (it had a bit more 'verve'). The Small Batch was also very tasty, but just painfully soft and quiet.

I'm looking forward to your take on the Tariquet!

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby sailor22 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:51 am

No problem, I'll be happy to post my impressions on the Tariquet and thanks for the round up of the GR line. I was afraid that would be the case.

We have been talking about Cognac and Armagnac that has Bourbonesque qualities, I'm wondering if you have any pours in mind from the Bourbon side that have something in common with Brandy?
Have you had a chance to try the Vintage 23 Rye bottled by KBD? It has a surprising amount of of dark fruit flavors and a supple mouth that reminds me of a well aged brandy. Plenty of flavor, complexity and depth - bottled at 46.5% if I recall..

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby numen » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:35 am

Interesting question! The closest that I can think from the bourbon side would be Pappy Van Winkle 20 (older bottles were better, I think). It's smooth, pleasant, a little sweet, but not too much, some wood, and a little silken heft to it. I love how Bouju Royal reminds me of W.L. Weller and George T. Stagg, my favorite bourbons. I recently had an 18 year old Willett that reminded me a bit of rum, but also has some of the same elements as an old cognac (some of the wood, chocolate, tobacco, etc).

There are still a bunch of offenders in bourbon for being weak or not-much-there. We benefit from it being an American spirit, so we relatively easily can get the more artisanal products that put them to shame (such as the exceptionally small allocation of the BTAC). I've heard that there are tons of smaller cognac producers in France, most of whom cannot get their stuff to the US -- or it's not financially viable for them to do so without somebody from the US reaching out to them. So, for cognac, we're at a severe disadvantage.

If you can get samples of G-R, I recommend it; they're worth trying. I'm glad that I got them, but I do regret stocking up as much on them as I did! For bourbon, are you more of a Rye or Wheat person?

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby sailor22 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:12 pm

This forum doesn't like my browser apparently as it deletes my posts a couple of times before it lets me post and I'm getting tired of it - also have to re log on after a post or a revisit - beyond clumsy. It just deleted a very long detailed answer that I am not going to re-do. The short version.

Both High Rye and high wheat Bourbons are great and have their time and place---

Good Rye for Cognac drinkers - Vintage 23, Sazerac 18, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, High West 21yr and Old Potrero Hotalings.

Do Cognac makers really use wild yeast?

Where barrels are aged has a big impact on flavor - I'm currious if any Cognac is still "early landed"?

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby BSinTX » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Great discussion!



I've been through two bottles of the Tariquet Folle Blanche. At $65 a bottle, it is well within reach without breaking the bank. On the bottle is says, "Cask Strength." It's bottled at 46% abv; cask strength is stretching it a bit, though it may be CS for Armagnac. The taste is a bit young (15 years old according to the bottle) but the additional alcohol does what you'd expect it to do; prevent it from being lacking. I have added a splash of water to it on occasion, but it doesn't need it for the most part.

As it is still summer here, I haven't been drinking too many spirits (it's beer with lime season.) I went ahead and did a little more experimenting on the Rieston. After about 5 or 6 sips, I find a tiny splash of water eases the taste (at 51%, this is not a bad thing.) Oddly enough the additional water really doesn't do much for the nose. Not nearly as oaked as my first impression; this is why I like to get into a bottle a few times before making any tasting notes. Some things are just complex beyond my abilities and it is I who must learn what is going on. Oak and vanilla are the first smells. Toffee, butterscotch and I would have sworn nougat (or whatever you call the center of a 3 musketeers bar) along with the dried fruits (figs and dates), licorice, and ......bourbon. That high alcohol content masks a lot of the aromas and I am sure someone with a more developed nose will pick up more more than I could.

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby numen » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:39 pm

Awesome on the Tariquet! What did it smell and taste like? Folle Blanche intrigues me - especially for armagnac! Most of what I've had has been Ugni Blanc and Baco.

The Rieston sounds top notch! Congrats on the bottle and thanks for the tasting notes :) Some bottles do need some time after being opened before they reach their potential.

Preference for any beer with the lime?

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby sailor22 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:00 pm

This thread has certainly wandered off topic --- but in a very interesting way. In that spirit.......

BSinKY - I'm enjoying Oskar Blues Little Yella Pills, Cigar City Maduro and Founders Dirty Bastard for my hot weather beers. No lime for me. The Founders is an evening desert pour as it's a little heavy for an after yard work beer.

I'm wondering if either of you gentlemen have had an opportunity to try the Parkers Heritage Cognac barrel finished Bourbon? Perhaps Angel Envy? Envy is a Port barrel finished Bourbon. I find it interesting that we seem to want Brandy to tilt a bit more to a bigger Bourbon like character and some Bourbons are experimenting with more Brandy softness.

BTW - I thought the Angels Envy was almost a Manhattan Cocktail in a bottle. It seems to be very popular however.

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby BSinTX » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:09 am

I am also being logged off when I complete a long post...just happened to me when I submitted a response to the above.



Let the thread go off topic. It's refreshing to have people want to discuss thngs other than Amerikan politics and Amerikan Idle.


I have not had those bourbons you have named but I have tried Devil's Cut Jim Beam; it is surprisingly good. I am happy to see bourbon makers try new things; maple cask finish, sherry cask, cognac cask. I understand the laws bourbon makers must follow, but clearly labeling what the additional step or ingredient is isn't hurting anything (Maple wood finished bourbon....bourbon finished in a maple barrel.) Nothing wrong with softening up that stringent bourbon flavor of wood. At least I know they aren't adding any artificial colorant or sugar.

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby numen » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:21 am

Nope, I haven't tried any of those bourbons, though I'm intrigued. How have the various wood finishes affected the traditional flavors or mouthfeel?

I've heard some extremely good things about some of the Parker's line, but have never tried it, either. I generally have hewed pretty closely to BT's various offerings (as well as S-W), but am loving this old Willett at the moment.

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Re: Any Love for Armagnac??

Postby sailor22 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:33 pm

The barrel finish adds to and perhaps mutes rather than modifies the traditional Bourbon flavors. The Angel Envy is, to my palate, overdone with the finish modifying the character of the Bourbon too much. The Parkers is a more elegant product.

Everyones palate is different so I hesitate to make any broad judgements after just a taste or two. But it says a lot that I didn't feel compelled to buy either of them after tasting and that's the only expression of Parkers I haven't bought. It didn't make the Bourbon any better but it did make it different. Perhaps some would prefer it. As they say... Your Milage May Vary


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