I was coming in for my 100th post, which, on most boards, isn't too much, but I wanted to do something special. I don't have this often, but I also go nuts when I do. I also hadn't done proper tasting of it for a while, so it was also a decent time to return to it. I really went through a lot of trouble to get it, having to fly to another state just to get the bottle, but it was worth it. Totally worth it. The bottle is classic, though I'm not really quite the fan of the style both because it seems to allow in more oxygen (or at least more oxygen contact with the spirit) and it fits oddly in my cabinet relative to the more normal bottles. Still, it usually sits in the back until I'm ready for a treat. It's a bit of an oddity for Armagnac as a non-vintage high-end concoction, but it certainly seems to have a bit of age on it.
Nose: Surprisingly vivid for 40%. This is all dark, with bitter chocolate, nuts ('ripe' almonds), marshmallow, marzipan, tobacco leaf (maduro), and chocolate rum cake really hit the mark, along with rich and creamy vanilla. There some plum and maybe grape, but it's all rather subtle and tucked in the back, still a reminder that this is Armagnac and made of fruit. Coconut. Frosting. It's got an intoxicatingly rich vanilla extract perfume.
Palate: A little light on entry, sadly. It reminds me rather of the Tesseron Lot 29 for the light almost 'sugar-water' feel. This has definitely been reduced with water, which is a real shame. Some sort of flower petal and apricot are thrown into the mix, with the latter coming from the wood tannins, which quickly fade, but just after the perfect reminder of its time in barrel. More on frosting, coconut, marzipan, vanilla, and cocoa (unsweetened).
Finish: Superb. Dark chocolate and the absolutely finest and perfectly aged (supple) maduro cigar wrapper that you've ever discovered. Fat marzipan, not overly sweet. Coconut/frosting/vanilla as usual. It's that absolutely perfect set of 'dark' flavors that only the very best rums, whiskies, and bourbons even dream of achieving. A+
This is really just superb, and it has that profile that I wish that I could find in more dark spirits (e.g. rum), but can't find elsewhere - either in depth or quality. The only ding on this is the palate. If it were any richer and not so watered down, it would be perfect. Clearly and sublimely perfect. I would buy a case of it if it were closer to 45/6%. As it stands, I still keep wanting to get a second bottle. I certainly hope that the Lesgourgues happen to see this and decide to try adding less water to this. It stands, in terms of mouthfeel, like a fine Cognac, and almost forgets that it's Armagnac, a typically heartier spirit. That is the only thing keeping it from perfection.