Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: Chateau de Pellehaut 14 Year Old Armagnac

The first bottle of Armagnac, and first bottle of brandy, I ever bought was an 18 year old Chateau de Pellehaut.  It was love at first sip.  I loved that bottle and while it is long gone, and that vintage has since passed, there have been several to replace it since and I continue to be in love.  Pellehaut has a house style that I really love.  They bottle with proofs high enough to leave some boldness and their expressions are generally pretty oaky.  Coming from the world of bourbon Pellehaut made for an easy transition to brandy.  They are still one of my favorite producers today.

Review: Chateau de Pellehaut 14 Year Old Armagnac - Distilled in 2001, bottled in 2015, 49%.

Appearance: A beautiful amber, light caramel.

Nose: Alcohol, oak spice, dry with some apricot.

Taste: A bit of sweetness up front, a brown sugar type sweetness.  A little vanilla.  The finish is dry with some noticeable oak which fades into a bit of astringency but not in an unpleasant way.

Conclusion:  This is more fruit forward than the other Pellehauts I've had which makes sense given the age.  There is a good balance of fruit and oak though this is drier and oakier than I would have ever guessed given the age.  At 49% this has some boldness.  The alcohol makes itself known.  If you are looking for a subtle pour this probably isn't it but if you are looking for something a bit more bold and just a tad rough around the edges this will do nicely.

This is a regular pour for me.  At $50 a bottle I think it's a fantastic bargain.  I try a lot of different brandies and there are so many to choose from that it's not often that I buy another bottle of the same thing from the same year but I went through this one pretty quick and the sight of the almost empty bottle made me sad so I bought another which is really the highest complement that I can give. This is right square in the middle of the axis between value and quality.

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