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The Cognac / Armagnac / Calvados / Brandy Thread

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Huntsman, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Amazing that we have no thread dedicated to these classic spirits.

    I must confess to having only a small collection and little experience with these spirits, occasionally having a glass of the Tesseron Lot 53 when I felt like a woody spirit, but not for something like George T. Stagg bourbon, or a glass of the Ognas Armagnac if I wanted to savor something a little more aromatic and fruitier. Then I decided to take a little day trip to New York with my father to shop at Astor and then while away the evening at the Brandy Library. We drank well -- my father the Darroze 1971 St. Aubin Armagnac followed by the Ferrand 1970 Grande Champagne Cognac, while I chose to drink a whisky first, and followed with the 1970 Godet Cognac. We traded sips, naturally, and while all the spirits were excellent, the Godet may simply have been the best liquid I have ever tasted. It was incredible! It was revelatory! Now I am most certainly expanding the brandies that I have stocked, and SF is as good a place to educate and be educated as any.

    Anyway, my modest collection : 1996 Darroze, Tesseron Lot 53 XO, Ferrand Reserve, Godet 1970, and center, 1981 Ognoas.

    [​IMG]


    Not in shot are: Ferrand Ambre, a couple of VSOPs, and the Courvoisier VS for my Sidecars not in shot, and my few apple brandies: Laird's bottled in bond, 7yo, and a Busnel Hors d'Age.

    The styles of brandy are so house-dependent, that it seems hard to know what to choose? What are you guys drinking?

    ~ H
     
  2. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    Nice pic to start things off...

    Lately I've been on a Calvados kick as it's been an unexplored category of spirit.

    What are general thoughts on Calvados?

    I've tried 2 Boulard bottles in the last year. I actually prefer Bouldard's younger Pays d'Auge Gran Solage, even more-so than it's older brother... Very crisp an refreshing on its own, real pleasure to drink.

    Armagnac is another spirit I need to do some exploration in and would love to hear recommendations under the $70-$80 price point as a good way to start. Under $50 would be ideal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  3. Amanda Garnham

    Amanda Garnham New Member

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    I was delighted to read about your interest in Armagnac and I just wanted to introduce myself to you as I work for the Armagnac bureau here in Gascony, South West France as PR. There are several different Armagnacs to look out for in the USA including the following that you might like to investigate. I'm afraid that I am unable to tell you prices over there.
    Here are some of the names you might want to look up (most have websites)
    Chateau du Tariquet Bas-Armagnac (specialise in 100% Folle Blanche armagnacs), Armagnac Castarède, Chateau de Laubade (Gary Vaynerchuk of The Wine Library interviewed one of the family members that you might find of interest), Armagnac de Montal, Armagnac Delord, Ryst Dupeyron, Bas-Armagnac Francis Darroze, Baron de Sigognac, Dartigalongue Bas Armagnac, Marquis de Montesquiou.

    Journalist Max Watman has just written a piece on Liquor.com that also might be of interest. http://liquor.com/liquor/cheat-sheet-armagnac/

    The generic armagnac website might also be a good source of information:
    www.armagnac.fr

    Kind regards and happy drinking
    Amanda
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    I love Calvados, and have for years though I've never truly explored it.

    Last year I was comparing a bottle of low end Calvados (I forget what; I always have a bottle of Calvados around) with the well regarded Oregonian Clear Creek apple brandy. I was surprised that I could describe the differences like I would a California wine versus a French wine- the Clear Creek was more fruit oriented, louder, the Calvados was more complex, more subtle, farther away from the apple. They were both fine; I preferred the Calvados.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  5. username79

    username79 Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    The Germain-Robin XO is quite exceptional for its price point. I have resolved to collect Darroze Armagnacs. The 1970 is incredible, which is why I have two.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  6. mordecai

    mordecai Senior member

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    A close friend and I are buying a bottle of 83 Darroze (our birth year) to share when we get to see each other. It's a manly friendship bracelet, which makes it gayer somehow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  7. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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  8. mordecai

    mordecai Senior member

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    Do you guys have kids yet?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  9. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    Yes, we named him Owen.
     
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  10. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano Senior member

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    I should buy one of those too then.









    For the year I graduated from college.
     
  11. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    Anyone have experience with Piscos?
     
  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    I do.
     
  14. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    Anyone who does not literally have the exact same experience as me?
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    User, this is awesome, thanks! I'd love to try the 1970 Darroze. I was supposed to return to the Brandy Library with my father this month for his birthday, but we are prevented from that, sadly. 1970 is the year my father was married to my late mother, which was why we drank that year on our last visit, and damn the cost.

    What do you think of the Tesseron. I have it, and thought it was fairly good, until I tried the Godet, which maintained its age with a dignity I think the Tesseron loses -- it seems to lack the structure to tolerate the wood. I'll look out for the G-R.
    Awesome!


    Do it. No moment of life is not worth celebrating!
    I do.

    I really, really, really enjoy the incredibly cheap Alto Del Carmen aged Pisco. This stuff is good enough to drink neat, it's really good. Reminds me of the $75/375ml Jacopo Poli Sassicai aged grappa, of all things.

    ~ H
     
  16. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    Roikins introduced me to Jacopo Poli grappa when I was in California. It was pure fire water to me. Then again, at the time, I had a horrible taste for drinking spirits neat. That is much changed now, should definitely try it again. It seems like everyone agrees that he sets the bar for grappa.
     
  17. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    I freaking love Poli's stuff. I mean, really. If you want to give it another shot, I would suggest starting with one of the expressions with a little barrel age on it -- like the Barrique, the Sassicaia (I love the Sassicaia), the Sarpa di Barrique, the Cilecge (cherry brandy, sick good), or the Arzente which is more like a traditional brandy. Poli does do single grape grappas, too -- my fave is the Po' di Gewurtztraminer.For a regular, if you wish, grappa, I love the Sarpa di Poli or Vespasiola.

    ~ H
     
  18. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    so i want to go to the brandy library next weekend. any good buys or must tries on here? a 2 oz pour of 1970 darroze de gaube for 65 seems like a lot considering a whole bottle is like 200 at most.
     
  19. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Yes, what I said in my OP -- get the 1970 Godet. Just do it.

    Oh, though I do have to say that I am not so sure that the pours of the good stuff are 2oz. I wish they measured.

    ~ H
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  20. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    actually that godet is the reason i want to go to the brandy library (that and to try one of the darroze). i want to see if a whole bottle is worth the dough. anything else i should try while i'm there?
     

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