7 Stunning Armagnac’s For Brandy Lovers Everywhere


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Proudly sitting in a category all to itself, Armagnac is a traditional French brandy that sits between cognac and brandy. The best Armagnac brandy is rich in flavour and packed with dried fruits, caramel, oak, and spice.

This French brandy may only be produced in the Armagnac region of southwest France and is aged in oak barrels for extra depth. Armagnac is usually served neat as an after-dinner digestif.

Best Armagnac Brandy

I’ve selected 7 of the best Armagnac French brandies created by unique blending and ageing methods to ensure exceptional aroma and taste.

1. Marquis de Montesquiou Reserve Armagnac

Marquis de Montesquiou Reserve Armagnac
Credit: Marquis de Montesquiou

Overview

  • Distiller: Marquis de Montesquiou
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Dark Amber

Review

The Montesquiou family’s roots in the Gascony region in France date back to the year 1040, when the area’s famous Armagnac brandy was first distilled for medicinal purposes (yeah, right… that old excuse).

Marquis de Montesquiou Reserve Armagnac is made from a selection of the finest wine spirits from the Bas Armagnac grapes and aged for five years. 

The Armagnac is first aged in new oak barrels for the first half of the maturation process and then aged in older, more mature casks in this double maturation process. The dark amber Armagnac is then ready for bottling.

On The Nose

The nose is a pleasant bouquet of pressed dried fruits, delightful vanilla, and spicy cinnamon. 

On The Palate

A buttery vanilla caramel on the palate with a slight orange peel, pepper, and nutmeg spice on the finish.

Best Served

I recommend that this flavoursome Armagnac be enjoyed neat, perhaps with a cube or two of ice if you prefer. Also, consider reading my Remy Martin cognac review.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Delord 25 Year Old Bas-Armagnac

Delord 25 Year Old Bas-Armagnac
Credit: Delord

Overview

  • Distiller: Delord
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Deep Amber

Review

Prosper Delord, a cellar master and distiller, roamed the Armagnac region as a travelling distiller, creating Armagnac French brandy from white wine. He passed this knowledge down to his sons, who started the Delord’s Distillery in 1932.

Delord 25 Year Old Bas-Armagnac is distilled from Ugni-Blanc, Baco, Folle-Blanche and Colombard grapes. The spirit is double distilled through column stills, placed in oak casks, and left to mature for a quarter of a century.

On The Nose

Rich caramel, oak, and pepper aromas.

On The Palate

Smooth honey and dark chocolate notes with sweet vanilla mid-palate. A peppery, earthy spiced bite on the finish.

Best Served

Delord 25-Year-Old Bas-Armagnac is best served neat at room temperature, and it is also great in an Armagnac-based Old Fashioned or very classy Sangria.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Clés Des Ducs VSOP Vieil Armagnac

Clés Des Ducs VSOP Vieil Armagnac
Credit: Clés Des Ducs

Overview

  • Distiller: Clés des Ducs
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Clés Des Ducs, or “The Keys of the Dukes,” is nestled in the heart of the Gers valley in the small village of Panjas, France. The Distillery prides itself in preserving the unique character of the Armagnacs, keeping the flavours just like their first bottle.

Clés Des Ducs VSOP Vieil Armagnac is a blend of Armagnacs that have been left to age for a minimum of four years in new light oak casks. The Armagnacs are then bottled in the Distillery’s trademark bottle called “Hammered).

On The Nose

Rich dark fruits with smooth vanilla and woody aromas.

On the Palate

Moreish brandy-dipped orchard fruits on the opening with plenty of vanilla, apple, and pear mid-palate. The finish is gently spiced with hints of wood. Reminds me of a high-end Hennessy cognac.

Best Served

Clés Des Ducs VSOP Vieil Armagnac is best enjoyed over ice or mixed with orange juice and a cinnamon stick.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Janneau VSOP

Janneau VSOP
Credit: Janneau

Overview

  • Distiller: Janneau
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Dark Gold

Review

The Janneau distillery is situated in the centre of the Tenareze region, France. The Distillery has produced this delightful Armagnac that has won six gold and six silver international spirit awards since its launch.

Janneau VSOP is made by blending Bacca, Ugni Blanc, and Folle Blanche Armagnacs distilled by houses in the surrounding areas. Each Armagnac is aged on its own in limousine casks for a minimum of 7 years.

On The Nose

Sundried figs, honey, and caramel hints of roasted nuts and leather remind me of Metaxa Brandy.

On The Palate

The sweet and slightly jammy raisin and fig flavours continue on the palate with vanilla, spices, and oak. 

Best Served

Janneau VSOP is best enjoyed as an after-dinner delight in a glass with ice and an orange slice. Also, try it in a French Negroni.  

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old

Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old
Credit: Baron de Sigognac

Overview

  • Distiller: Baron de Sigognac
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Amber Gold

Review

Baron de Sigognac is run and owned by the Guasch family in the Bas Armagnac region. The family-owned vineyard produces Baco and Ugni Blanc grapes used to make their renowned Armagnac. The Distillery has won twelve spirit awards since 2018. 

Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old is made from Baco and Ugni Blanc grapes. The wine is then distilled in a short column still and left to age in oak casks for ten years.

On The Nose

Spicy cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose with a light fragrance of vanilla and dried fruits lingering in the background. 

On The Palate

A smooth, creamy toffee and cinnamon opening with dried fruits and floral hints mid-palate. Spice and oak on the finish.

Best Served

Baron de Sigognac, 10-Year-Old, is best enjoyed neat but with a splash of water to release more aromas. I would also enjoy this Bas-Armagnac in a tasty Sidecar cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Baron De Lustrac X.O. 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac

Baron De Lustrac X.O. 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac
Credit: Baron De Lustrac

Overview

  • Distiller: Baron De Lustrac
  • ABV: 42.4% (84.8 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Deep Amber

Review

Baron de Lustrac is a small spirit producer with estates in the Tenereze and Bas-Armagnac regions. The Distillery only produces a single varietal offering of its unique Armagnac or on a bottled-on-demand arrangement.

Baron De Lustrac X.O. 25-Year-Old Bas Armagnac is made predominantly with Folle Blanche grapes and blended with other Armagnac from the surrounding regions. The spirit is then left to age in new oak casks for 25 years and bottled at cask strength.

On The Nose

Caramel, almonds, and vanilla on the nose with hints of tobacco-smoked oak.

On The Palate

Salted caramel, sugared almonds and dark chocolate on the opening with dried prunes and dates mid-palate. The finish is rich, warm and well spiced.

Best Served

Baron De Lustrac X.O. 25-Year-Old Bas Armagnac should, of course, be enjoyed on its own. However, between you and me, it would go well in a Continental Sour.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Castarède XO 20 Year Old

Castarède XO 20 Year Old
Credit: Castarède

Overview

  • Distiller: Castarède
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Dark Amber

Review

Maison Castarède is the oldest Armagnac trading house in the world and was founded during Napoleon’s reign. In the 1830s, many believed in the medicinal properties of Armagnac, and Castarède was ready to deliver to the masses.

Castarède XO 20-Year-Old is made from Folly Blanche grapes grown on the estate. The wine is distilled through a column still and placed in white oak casks for a minimum of ten years to comply with the “Hors d’ Age” requirements for XO Armagnac. 

Castarède then goes a step further and ages the fine spirit for another ten years in new oak casks, delivering one of the finest Armagnac’s available.

On The Nose

Aromas of exotic baking spices combined with rich dried fruits and toasted oak.

On The Palate

Rich fruit cake, plums, and spice (think nutmeg, cinnamon) on the opening. Succulent dried fruits mid-palate with subtle yet lingering ginger and oak on the finish.

Best Served

Castarède XO 20-Year-Old is best enjoyed neat, poured over ice or in a d’Artagnan cocktail with a cheeky brandied cherry.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

best Armagnac brandy

Castarède XO 20 Year Old

My top pick Armagnac is Castarède XO 20 Year Old. Dried fruits, ripe plums, spices, oak, and a little hint of ginger on the smooth finish. An excellent way to finish off a meal.

Armagnac Q&A

Armagnac Q&A

What Is Armagnac?

Armagnac is a unique French brandy that is only produced in the Armagnac region in southwest France. This brandy is traditionally enjoyed neat as an after-dinner digestif.

How Is Armagnac Made?

Wine is made from grapes from the Armagnac region of France and is then distilled through a column still. The resulting brandy is then aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year before bottling.

What Does Armagnac Taste Like?

Armagnac is rich in flavour and, depending on age, will usually have notes of caramel, cocoa, prunes, nuts, vanilla, oak and cinnamon. The opening is delightfully rich and smooth, with a subtle bite of spice on the finish.

Understanding Armagnac Age Lettering

A simple lettering system displays the age of the Armagnac; 

LabelMeaningDetail
VSVery SpecialThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 1 year
VSOPVery Special Old PaleThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 4 years
NapoleonOldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 6 years.
XO & Hors d’AgeExtra OldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 10 years

Conclusion

The best Armagnac brandy can be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in any cocktail that requires quality brandy. This unique brandy certainly pleases the nose and palate with its myriad of rich, fruity flavours, spices, wood and vanilla. Move over brandy and Cognac; Armagnac is here!

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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