Armagnac is a type of brandy that is made in the Armagnac region of France. It is known for its rich, complex flavors and aromas, which are developed through a unique distillation and aging process. Armagnac is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years, but many of the best Armagnacs are aged for much longer, resulting in a smooth, velvety texture and a deep, complex flavor profile.
Armagnac is a great choice for anyone who enjoys sipping on a fine spirit after a meal or as a nightcap. Its rich, nuanced flavors make it a great option for those who appreciate the finer things in life and enjoy exploring new tastes and aromas. Whether you’re a seasoned brandy connoisseur or just looking to try something new, the best Armagnacs offer a luxurious and indulgent experience that is sure to please.
VSOP stands for “Very Special Old Pale,” and the Castarède Armagnac is just that. This Armagnac features a blend of several different vintages. It has a smooth and complex flavor with notes of vanilla, caramel, nuts, and coconut. The Castarède family has been producing Armagnac since 1832, so you can be sure they know how to distill an excellent Armagnac.
The Chateau de Laubade Armagnac XO is arguably the best Armagnac if you’re hoping for an alluring smoky flavor. It has the tasting notes of smoky oats, nougat, and almond butter for a rich and semi-sweet feel that lasts for a delightfully long time on your tongue.
The Delors 25-year Armagnac is a bright, relatively light, and slightly fruity brandy that tastes refreshing yet still finds a way to stir the senses with a soft caramel flavor. It has some ginger notes, which is perfect if you’re hoping to add a little spice to your nightcap, as well as a citrus orange-peel taste on the finish.
While wine houses and manufacturers that have been running for 100 years might sound impressive, the Château de Lacquy house has been going since 1711 — over 300 years. They are the oldest family-owned Armagnac producer. They have several types of Armagnac, but their 40-year-old one is the most elegant and aromatic of them all, with notes of apricot, dark chocolate, and fig.
The Domaine Tariquet, Bas-Armagnac is another VSOP on the list, comparable to Castarède Armagnac. It also has an oaky taste like the Castarède but incorporates the notes of vanilla, prunes, and even baked bread for a unique tasting journey.
Another VSOP Armagnac on the list is from Larressingle, which emphasizes dried fruit in its notes. That said, their Armagnac is complex yet crisp and balanced, complete with smoky, spicy, and sweet notes that linger on the tongue. If you want an Armagnac with a particularly well-rounded blend, this is it.
Marie Duffau Napoléon is the youngest-aged Armagnac on this list, but it’s by no means an amateur drink. It has hints of apricot, prunes, and raisins, with a spicy and caramel-touched finish. This younger Armagnac is perfect for mixed drinks such as negronis or summer coolers.