Browse Tag


Rieston stop

Darroze “Domaine de Rieston” 1990 Bas-Armagnac (Southwest France) – Armagnac turned up to 11, or maybe even 12, in darkly-oaked intensity laden with succulent dried fruit. Showy and rather fantastic. It is not, I think, designed to appeal to lovers of older, more reticent and well-matured spirits, but it’s impossible to ignore and, frankly, very difficult not to like. (4/11)


Duffau Bas-Armagnac Napoléon (Southwest France) – I dally with Cognac, with brandies from elsewhere, and yet for my bronzed grape spirits I always feel the urge to reunite with my first love: Armagnac. There’s just something more appealing, to me, about the richness piled upon complexity. Less perfection, more appeal? Perhaps that’s it. As for this particular bottle…it’s fine. By-the-numbers. It just so happens that I like the numbers. (12/10)

Laubade to the bone

Laubade 1964 Bas-Armagnac (Armagnac) – Warm chocolate and caramel fading into a late-evening fire, plus rich brown sugar. Melting and intense. Fantastic. (11/08)

Three-star general

Château du Tariquet Bas-Armagnac “Classique ***” (Southwest France) – This is the entry-level Armagnac. Raw wood, leafy, and creamy. Chocolate and caramel over pecans and hazelnuts. Lush and seductive, with a long finish. It lacks the more complex and subtle characteristics of better Armagnacs, and it’s a bit dessert-like in character, but it’s quite pleasant. (3/08)


Darroze 1974 Bas-Armagnac (Southwest France) – Warming alcoholic heat, but balanced and supple. Concentrated black raspberry with notes of walnut. And…is it? Yes, it is. A touch of cream (4/06).

Bas Skaggs

Grouet 1964 Bas-Armagnac (Southwest France) – Incredibly rich with mixed nuts and well-aged stone fruit. Yet somehow, it retains a vivid youthfulness. Maybe the best way to describe it is strong-willed. Truly excellent. (4/06)

The name of Darroze

Darroze 1985 Bas-Armagnac (Southwest France) – Almond cream and wood. Warming rather than hot, as a brandy should be. A bit on the simple side, however. (4/06)