This is a selection by a spirit enthusiast group called the Beast Masters Club and PM Spirits. It is a 1988 vintage armagnac from Château de Léberon. Bottled at 44.9%, 30 years old and dark as night. Another one of those cool producers that ages their brand in oak harvested from the trees on their property. A combination of Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes used in their production.
Nose: The nose promises a lot. Dark sticky molasses, walnut liqueur, lacquer, stewed fruits - plums, strawberries, light hints of tobacco. I'm not a glass fanatic, but it's a nose that really opens up nicely in a larger glass like a canadian glencairn.
Taste: It starts off sweet and actually a bit juicy. Spiced chocolate pudding. Thick sugars of stewed raisins, plums, figs, cherries, citrus. Chewy mouthfeel. Lots of herbal bitters. Angostura. Actually a bit manhattan-esque.
Finish: Tobacco leaves. No surprise we have some more lacquer and spicy oak notes that follow through in the finish. Those dark fruits still linger underneath the oak.
The profile doesn't change too much with the addition of water, but perhaps softens the dryness and offers a touch more sugars.
Overall: Overall this is both thickly sweet and drying at the same time. With how dark this armagnac is I picked up a bottle of it thinking it would be way heavy on the oak for my tastes. If you've read any of my reviews it's no secret that I love oak only in modest balanced doses. Well, I'm glad I grabbed a bottle as it's balanced nicely and a great brandy. Just excellent. It's full of complexity and the finish sticks around forever. A really nice selection. Well done.