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  1. #1
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    The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I've been dabbling in French spirits a little bit. Recently picked up a Famille Esteve Selection Coup de Coeur cognac and I think it's excellent. It reminds me of being in Paris eating Macarons from Laduree because of the distinct floral elements. It also makes me think of some wheaters I've had with a baby powder-ish floral note, but turned up to 11. I'm excited to have my eureka moment with cognac. I get the feeling that if anything can threaten my whiskey obsession this is it.

    I really want to track down a bottle of Bouju Royal Brut de Fut. I saw mention online that it would be coming back to the US sometime this year, does anyone know the latest?

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Been dabbling a bit also. For me it's been Armagnac and some Germain Robin Brandy's that have really hit the note. Armagnac feels like a step closer to whiskey than the floral grapey character in so many Cognac's. The Germain Robin stuff is always a joy. For me they have a greater depth and bigger flavors than Cognac.

    I have had good luck with the K&L Brandy selections. Using the mostly accurate descriptions usually gets a bottle that is in my wheel house.

    Kind of lost a little enthusiasm for the Bouju's in the bunker since it was revealed he uses a lot of coloring. I am starting to wonder if that dry bitterness in so much of his stuff that I thought was a unique barrel note, is from over use of the coloring. I'm told it tastes dry and bitter but have never tasted it. I do enjoy the Royal however and also really enjoy the Bouju Tres Vieux BdF. I saw some Bouju on the shelf in Ga. a couple of weeks ago but no Royal, just the Extra and one other, pretty sure it was old stock.

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    A current interest of mine has been things like Pineau de Charentes, Pommeau de Normandie, Macvin du Jura, Ratafia de Champagne and the like. They seem to share a similar ancestry as they apparently began as a way to preserve fruit juice by adding alcohol (grape in most cases and apple preserved with apple brandy in the case of Pommeau) but were found to develop a delicate sweet character with barrel aging. As a result I don't really think of them so much as variation on wine since fermentation of the juice doesn't fully occur but as more of a cross between port and brandy. Not sure where they would fit. More in the fortified wine category I suppose.

    To be honest I don't much care, I just enjoy drinking them! They make a nice aperitif with cheese or a perfectly delightful dessert wine.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I know there was speculation by Sku and others that Bouju uses coloring, was that confirmed? I'd still love to try a cognac at 60% abv and the reviews I've read make it sound like a must.

    I haven't had enough of each to say that I prefer cognac, but out of what I have I like the cognac better. It tasting less like whiskey than armagnac is what makes it more interesting. I'll confess to a sweet tooth as well, as I like wheaters, dessert wines, etc.

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Maybe not for Compliance since it tastes more like whiskey but the Domaine de Baraillon 1985 Armagnac from K &L, a kind soul here shared a sample of, is on my fantastic, terrific and delicious list.
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I have leaned towards the Armagnac end of the spectrum and was very impressed with the DeLord 25yr for it's bourbonesque qualities.I really thought it shared a great deal of similarities to an ultra-aged rye based bourbon of which I really enjoyed.Cognac is too grapey for my tastes and would like to branch out in the category as I have tried less than a dozen at best.Calvados is something I have yet to experience and is next on my hit list,any suggestions guys?
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I like everything, which ends up being very bad for the budget

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I know there was speculation by Sku and others that Bouju uses coloring, was that confirmed? I'd still love to try a cognac at 60% abv and the reviews I've read make it sound like a must.
    When DD visited Bouju he saw some coloring and asked Bouju about it - Bouju said something like well, everyone does it and no one admits it. I got the sense that was a part of the reason why K&L didn't get any of his juice but I don't remember the comments exactly. Could probably dig back through DD's travel blog and find it.


    Quote Originally Posted by compliance View Post
    I like everything, which ends up being very bad for the budget
    True dat!

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    My first sample of a major house Cognac came on the plane today. Courvoisier VSOP. Not as sweet as I was expecting given the reputation, my Coup De Coeur is sweeter and much more floral. You really have to search for interesting notes in the Courvoisier. Despite hearing that Armagnac is the closest French spirit to bourbon, this was actually very close to (mediocre) bourbon, moreso than my current Armagnac selection. I wasn't expecting much from it, and it didn't deliver much.

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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    That's been my experience with big house Cognac also.

 

 

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