Review: Dartigalongue 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac / by Jason Hambrey

25 Years, 400 litre casks
Distilled from wine from Baco, Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Ugni blanc
Distiller Dartilagongue (Nogaro, France)

This is a mix of the 1979 and 1981 vintages (50% of each), and is terrific in value for an old spirit ($100 in Quebec). But, I still think if you are wanting to taste some older armagnac - spend a bit more and get an even older Dartigalongue like the terrific 1975. Armagnac ages beautifully.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: from 1978 and 1981 vintages

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2006 (?)

I'm not actually sure when this was Armagnac they aren't as fussy about age, so, although I bought this in 2016, I'm not sure if it was actually bottled at a minimum 25 years in 2006 or was actually more like 35 years old with a 25 year old age statement because it sounded better. So, I put 2006 as the date but it could well have been that it sat for longer in oak, or sat in the bottle for a while before release.

Unsurprisingly, some oak! Lightly acidic on the nose, with peaches, prunes, figs, vanilla, cinnamon, rancio, and vanilla. A change after some heavy caramel Armagnacs of late! Spicy, too, with some nutmeg and brown cardamom (the non-smoky parts). Apple seed. The palate has a lot more rancio and wood, relatively, than how things came out in the nose. And a pleasant, balancing, brown sugar and toffee sweetness. This is very good – no doubt about that. Lightly tangy, but not very much, and rancio rumbles away in the background with some black pepper. Actually better on the palate than the nose. Dry, too, finishing with some freeze-dried strawberry and lots of dried fruit. Rancio comes in at the end, quite well. Brilliant.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Average. But, I still often recommend this from a value perspective - it’s quite a nice spirit.