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  1. #71
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by compliance View Post
    KL Wines 2014 brandy selections are showing up now. Anyone grab some? Find any winners? I ordered the1986 Domaine de Pouchegu 27 Year, but I don't live as close as I used to so it takes me forever to pick up these days.
    In case you guys didn't see SKU's blog today (Tues), he did reviews of the K&L Baraillons, Laballes, and Pouchegu and will continue with reviews of the Pellehauts tomorrow and then some if the Cognacs in the following days. While I find the K&L descriptions to be accurate, SKU's reviews are generally a little more to my taste. He had overall good things to say about all of them but his favorites were the '74 and '88 Baraillons, and the '86 Pouchegu. So Compliance, you probably picked a good one.

    I have ordered a number of these brandies, and recently opened the two below. My notes probably aren't as reliable as the aforementioned blogger but here it goes:
    - Baraillon 20yr: smells very similar to what I'd expect from a 20yr bourbon but there's a little more sweetness, which gives it away as brandy. This starts fairly sweet on the palate with and develops into a nice woody note by the end, which lingers for some time. Pretty solid but not as good at the '96 Pellehaut (I still have one open from last year to compare).
    - Pellehaut '78: Much different profile here than the Baraillon. Much less sweetness, more earthy flavors like tea that got steeped too long, nutmeg, and bitter wood on the finish. It isn't too bitter or woody, but I'd also have to be in the mood for something like this in order to enjoy it. I do love that the barrel comes through this much though. It shows its age and doesn't taste adulterated whatsoever.

  2. #72
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by BootsOnTheGround View Post
    Definitely would like to hear feedback on those K&L buys as well. I blame Driscoll for many things, Armagnac is on the top of the list.

    Actually, one of my best scores isn't brown juice at all. 100% grain free and I have to explain to nearly everyone what it is exactly.....
    That Darroze is probably a home run, great pick up. I am enjoying the Darroze 20 recently. It retained all it's complexity but it's edges really rounded off after some air time in a half full bottle and now it's even better than when first opened.

    Driscol seems to prefer the Brandy's that are at least a little Bourbonesque and that fits my palate very well.

  3. #73
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Bought 2 bottles of Delord 1978 Armagnac yesterday. Regret not buying 25yr Delord when I had the chance so wasn't going to let these go by...

  4. #74
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    This is definitely of the non-French variety but picked up a couple of local brandies while traveling in Central Asia. They routinely refer to them as "cognac" so obviously pay no heed to the DOC!

    I was surprised at how many grapes are grown in the area, especially considering much of it is desert, but the broad oasis and the heavy use of canals (which has its own issues) for agriculture seem to support it.

    The first is a 500ml bottle of 6-7 yo brandy from Kyrgyzstan and the second is a 250ml (I have two of them) NAS but likely pretty young brandy from Turkmenistan. I don't have much expectation for either but the ones I tried in country were certainly drinkable if young and a bit more fruit forward as expected. Both are relatively low 84 pf which seems to be standard for the "higher" end bottles. The cheaper stuff (not that these were expensive) was typically 80 pf.

    Five Stans brandy.JPGKyrgyzstan cognac.JPGTurkmenistan cognac.JPG
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  5. #75
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    I felt like trying Calvados so I bought a bottle of Alc-hem-ist 15 yr Calvados. Will probably give it a whirl tonight. I've not had good luck with grape-based brandies, and I was waffling on whether to go younger or older because I read that older Calvados can stray toward that flavor profile, but this was a good price. Worst case scenario: I can make some really nice cocktails.
    Eric

  6. #76
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    So I had occasion to crack this open tonight. Full name is Alchemist Chistian Drouin 15 year. It's interesting. The nose is a pretty powerful combo of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but suprisingly dry. Some hints of vanilla and oak in the background. The taste is fairly similar. The arrival is a bit muddled, and you have to hold it on your tongue for a bit to get a sense of it. The development tends to crash into the finish, but the theme remains. Toward the end of the end of development/beginning of the finish you get some really nice tart apple notes. Overall, I really like this. It's a great fall drink, and while it's quite a bit more "THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU WILL BE SMELLING AND TASTING," than malt or even bourbon, I'm not complaining. I appreciate the fact that most of the spices I taste are not impeded by excessive sweetness. It's maybe a bit more bitter than I'd prefer, but we'll see how if that changes once I get to know the bottle a bit better. I could see buying a bottle of something a bit cheaper to slip into the mulled cider I'll be making for the family on Thanksgiving.
    Last edited by garbanzobean; 10-27-2014 at 17:14.
    Eric

  7. #77
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by garbanzobean View Post
    So I had occasion to crack this open tonight. Full name is Alchemist Chistian Drouin 15 year. It's interesting. The nose is a pretty powerful combo of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but suprisingly dry. Some hints of vanilla and oak in the background. The taste is fairly similar. The arrival is a bit muddled, and you have to hold it on your tongue for a bit to get a sense of it. The development tends to crash into the finish, but the theme remains. Toward the end of the end of development/beginning of the finish you get some really nice tart apple notes. Overall, I really like this. It's a great fall drink, and while it's quite a bit more "THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU WILL BE SMELLING AND TASTING," than malt or even bourbon, I'm not complaining. I appreciate the fact that most of the spices I taste are not impeded by excessive sweetness. It's maybe a bit more bitter than I'd prefer, but we'll see how if that changes once I get to know the bottle a bit better. I could see buying a bottle of something a bit cheaper to slip into the mulled cider I'll be making for the family on Thanksgiving.
    Wow, awesome review Garbanzo. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The apple notes tend to fade/morph as the brandy gets older so it's cool that this one retained some fresh/tart apple character. I actually just saw that same Alchemist bottling a couple weeks ago...now I might pick it up.

    If you're looking for an inexpensive apple brandy to kick up your mulled cider, the Laird's bonded is great. Or if you have Trader Joes where you're at, they have an inexpensive Calvados that'd serve the purpose, as does K&L, if they'll ship to you.

  8. #78
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by Kpiz View Post
    Wow, awesome review Garbanzo. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The apple notes tend to fade/morph as the brandy gets older so it's cool that this one retained some fresh/tart apple character. I actually just saw that same Alchemist bottling a couple weeks ago...now I might pick it up.

    If you're looking for an inexpensive apple brandy to kick up your mulled cider, the Laird's bonded is great. Or if you have Trader Joes where you're at, they have an inexpensive Calvados that'd serve the purpose, as does K&L, if they'll ship to you.
    Glad it was helpful. Keep in mind this is literally my first taste/bottle of Calvados in my entire life, so you might want to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

    I was worried about losing the apple notes with the 15 yr age statement, but I think this is a nice balance of barrel influence and apple character. Sort of one foot in, one foot out kind of thing. One thing I will say is that this is much spicier and less sweet than I expected, but I appreciated it. FYI, if you happen to see any other Alc-hem-ist bottlings sitting around and you happen to like Scotch Whisky, you should pick any that interest you up. The bottlings I've had were all excellent, and I don't think Alc-hem-ist has released anything for 4-5 years at the least. Maybe more. If you do happen to see any sitting around and it's a Highland Park 16 yr in Calvados wood, you REALLY should buy it. If you don't want it . . . well let's just say I'd appreciate a PM.

    Cheers,
    Eric
    Eric

  9. #79
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by garbanzobean View Post
    Glad it was helpful. Keep in mind this is literally my first taste/bottle of Calvados in my entire life, so you might want to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

    I was worried about losing the apple notes with the 15 yr age statement, but I think this is a nice balance of barrel influence and apple character. Sort of one foot in, one foot out kind of thing. One thing I will say is that this is much spicier and less sweet than I expected, but I appreciated it. FYI, if you happen to see any other Alc-hem-ist bottlings sitting around and you happen to like Scotch Whisky, you should pick any that interest you up. The bottlings I've had were all excellent, and I don't think Alc-hem-ist has released anything for 4-5 years at the least. Maybe more. If you do happen to see any sitting around and it's a Highland Park 16 yr in Calvados wood, you REALLY should buy it. If you don't want it . . . well let's just say I'd appreciate a PM.

    Cheers,
    Eric
    Ah yes, I had forgotten that this was your first foray into Calvados. Well it was helpful nonetheless and I may have to grab a bottle of that. And while I'm at it, I'll scope out any other Alchemist bottlings they have and let you know if there's any HP hiding in there.

    -Kyle

  10. #80
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    Re: The French Spirits Forum- Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados

    Quote Originally Posted by Kpiz View Post
    Ah yes, I had forgotten that this was your first foray into Calvados. Well it was helpful nonetheless and I may have to grab a bottle of that. And while I'm at it, I'll scope out any other Alchemist bottlings they have and let you know if there's any HP hiding in there.

    -Kyle
    For what it's worth, I shared this last night with four friends of mine. They have a broad swath of likes and dislikes when it comes to alcohol, but they all enjoyed this. So much so that I only have about a quarter of the bottle left . . .
    Eric

 

 

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