Armagnac is a particular type of brandy created in the Armagnac region of Gascony, located in Southwest France.
What makes Armagnac unique is that it is distilled only once, unlike other types of brandy, which are typically distilled multiple times. This results in a final product that has more aroma and flavor.
The bold and distinct aroma and flavor make Armagnac a choice drink for an after-dinner sip — but which one should you choose? Here is a brief yet helpful list of the best Armagnac.
Castarède Armagnac VSOP
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.
8-10 years aged
Chateau de Laubade Armagnac XO
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.
15-25 years aged
Delord 25 Year Bas Armagnac
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.
Minimum 25 years aged
Château de Lacquy
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.
30 years aged
Domaine Tariquet, Bas-Armagnac
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.
7 years aged
Larressingle Armagnac VSOP
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.
Minimum 8 years aged
Marie Duffau Napoléon
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.
6 years aged
Armagnacs aren’t as common as cognacs, but that doesn’t make them any less delicious. As you can see, there’s an Armagnac for every palate out there.
The best Armagnac typically has a complex flavor that takes you through a journey with every sip.
What’s your favorite Armagnac? Let me know in the comments below!
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