There is something magical that happens when one master’s a craft. The mastery seems to have a power that transcends and can seemingly stop time in the tracks. The 41st Symphony by Mozart, Guernica by Picasso, The Pantheon, or just a perfectly fit sundress floating down the street on a spring day worn by a freckled reflection of youth. I guess what we are saying is that beauty and the execution of it allows for the viewer to freeze time or rather spend that time wrapped up in perfect appreciation that rises just above our understanding. In the world of spirits only one drink can do that and it is Armagnac.
Armagnac is a French grape Brandy from the Gascogne region of France. It predates Cognac and unlike Cognac which can be categorized as a product of Blendier’s art, Armagnac can be categorized as being born of earth and time. Good Armagnac has a unique ability to take excessive age, in fact it could be argued that they really aren’t at maturity till at least 20 years in cask. They oftentimes are sold as single barrel releases, single estate, and sometimes single varietal. These brandies have a more rustic feel to them versus the finessed elegance of Cognac, and some even carry a higher ABV.
To understand Armagnac requires time and respect, it will not show itself easily, it won’t hide its flaws or even pretend to be a drink for just anyone. It demands more of the drinker, and in turn will give back in ways no other spirit can.
In these days where we whittle away the minutes trapped inside our homes, take this opportunity to spend a few hours getting to know this spirit, and with a little luck, you too can learn to master time.
Laubade Intemporal #5
Boston cream and fresh summer berries dance all over and show some lavender and graham crackers. The entry is decadent and rich with refined chocolate truffles, cloves and nutmeg mix with warm apple butter and vanilla ice cream. The finish is a luxurious encore of rich chocolate, espresso grounds, and candied orange peel.
Delord 25 years
Vienna cookies abound with hints of rancio that present polished wood, saddle leather and forest humus. The entry bursts with baker’s chocolate, raisins, dried cranberries, and potpourri. The coating mouthfeel reveals gooey creamed honey and slight spice. The finish is flawless caramel, clove, pepper, and a waft of violet perfume.
Gelas 50 year 100% Baco
Caramel cream candies, peach cobbler, honey with apples, and fig cookies show like a pastry case. The first sip is indulgent and weighty that blankets the palate like a heavy quilt and encompasses deep oak and rancio with playful green apples, strawberry preserves, and a black pepper spice. The finish is never ending and illustrates old oak, spice, balsam incense with caramel.