Domaine d’Esperance 14 Year 1998

Domaine d’Esperance 98

Paid: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine d’Esperance

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

49% ABV

Aged For: 14 years

Grapes: Baco 22 A

Cask Type: French Gascon Oak, medium toast

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Oak, sweet grapes, cinnamon, butterscotch, baking spices

Mouthfeel: Supple

Palate/Taste: A nice dry sweetness, raisins, toasted oak, coffee, and rye spice

Finish: Medium warmth and length, dry port wine, cloves oak, fig, and chocolate

Thoughts: This is one of the younger Armagnacs I have tried that would appeal to a bourbon drinker, while still being very distinctly a brandy.

Score: 83 out of 100

Berneroy XO Calvados

Berneroy XO Calvados

Price: $30 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Berneroy

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, XO, Minimum 6 Years

Cask Type: “Seasoned” Barrels

Distillate: 180+ types of apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed


Color: Tarnished gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Cinnamon, apple, nougat, floral, and sugary fruits

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Palate/Taste: Apples, vanilla, gentle plum, fig, floral, cider

Finish: Light warmth, short in length, apple, cinnamon, with pear, orchard fruit, and gentle oak

Thoughts: The flavors are solid, but the palate and finish are too gentle and weak for my personal preference.

Score: 74 out of 100

Darroze Domaine de Monturon 2003

Darroze Domaine de Monturon 2003

Price: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine de Monturon

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

50% ABV

Aged For: 12-Years

Cask Type: French oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Light grape, apple, pear, orchard fruits, oak, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Oily

Palate/Taste: Rich dried fruits, light sherry, raisin, candied orange, and vanilla oak

Finish: Warm and lasting, dry baking spice, light oak, cinnamon, sherry, dried fruit, and grapes

Thoughts: If I had tried this blind I would have almost thought it was a malt whisky or even possibly a calvados, it doesn’t have a flavor similar to other Armagnacs I have tried.

Score: 79 out of 100

Michel Huard Reserve Hors d’ Age Le Pertyer Calvados

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Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Huard

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, Hors d’ Age

Cask Type: Oak Casks

Distillate: About 30 types of apple

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

 


Color: Off gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cinnamon tart, orchard fruit, baking spices, more apples

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, caramel, baking spice, and what I can best describe as autumn flavors

Finish: Medium warmth and length, apple, tart, dry, crisp sweetness

Thoughts: It’s the fall season in a bottle!

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Nikka Apple Brandy VSOP

Paid: N/A

Distilled/Owned by: Nikka / Asahi Breweries

Region: Japan

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, VSOP

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Distillate: Apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

Color: Autumn orange

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cider, mulled wine, cloves, dry leaves, and earthy fruit

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, dry

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, apple butter, young tasting, bits of cantaloupe

Finish: Short to medium length, apple crisp, orchard fruit, melon, and bitter apple cores.

Thoughts: Not on par with the calvados I have had, it just tastes young and like boozy bitter apple juice.

Score: 67 out of 100

Chateau de Pomes Peberere 1966 50-Year

Chateau de Pomes Peberere 1966 50-Year

Price: $120 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Chateau de Pomes Peberere

Region: Tenareze Armagnac, France

42% ABV

Grapes: Ugni-Blanc and Colombard

Aged For: 50 Years

Cask Type: French oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Old oak

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Deep fruit, old oak, rancio, prunes, port wine, and dark chocolate, very potent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, supple

Palate/Taste: Heavy oak, bitter chocolate, raisins, blackberry marmalade, leather, and pipe tobacco

Finish: Medium warmth, lasting. Deep grape and blueberry, coffee, and oak tannins

Thoughts: Lovely, very deep and dark.

Score: 90 out of 100

Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy Bottled in Bond

Laird's Straight Apple Brandy

Price: $30

Distilled/Owned by: Laird’s

Region: New Jersey

50% ABV

Aged For: Minimum 4 years

Cask Type: New charred oak

Color Added: No


Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple butter, honey, vanilla, clove, oak, and baking spices

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Palate/Taste: Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, oak, and orchard fruits

Finish: Medium warmth, good length, pepper, oak, cinnamon, apples

Thoughts: A young American apple brandy, very apple and oak forward
Score: 80 out of 100