Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Maison Park 7 Year Grand Champagne and 1973 Pellehaut Armagnac

I’m on the road for work, so no screaming babies, no angry spouse, nothing to do but review...So here are two reviews (samples from good friends):

Cognac Park 7 Year Grande Champagne Cognac - 44% - Vine and Table Store Pick

Nose: floral, fruity, and sweet…orange peel, pears, flower petals, green apples

Palate: floral, fruity, and sweet…just like the nose…green apples, pears, flower petals. It’s definitely on the sweeter side

Finish: medium length, the sweetness cakes the tongue

Grade: B

My buddy didn’t put region on the sample bottle label and I speculated that it was Grand Champagne. I just so happened to be right. It was dumb luck and I lean more towards an idiot than savant. With that said, this cognac is not overly complex but it is completely crushable, and given the young age, that’s pretty remarkable. There is literally no harshness to it…but it’s also nowhere close to awe inspiring. The sweetness got me wondering whether sugar was added? And the color got me wondering whether it was colored - it’s got a real nice copper hue for a 7-year-old…hmm... More importantly, does any of that matter here? I honestly don’t know – maybe to some people? If this was an older bottle, I’d definitely care a lot more (with them tainting something they probably shouldn't have). But this is a young ~$60sh bottle and its decent (I could see myself drinking this on a warm summer evening), so I don’t think I’ll descend into an additive-laced diatribe right now. If this was a pricier bottle and presented the same level of sweetness and lack of complexity, I assume I’d likely go off. At some point I may get a hydrometer out of sheer curiosity. Until then, I’ve got to speculate. Regardless of what I just rambled about, this isn’t bad. I’m grading it…

Grade: B 

For what it's worth, the other Maison Park's I've tried haven't been this sweet, so I wonder if they add sugar to some but not others?

Chateau Pellehaut 1973 (44 year) Armagnac – Ungi Blanc – 43.8% - K&L Pick

Nose: sandalwood, cotton candy, very oaky, vanilla, some baking spices…it’s a little bourbony but still retains some semblance of an Armagnac character

Palate: the oak dominates but its not over-oaked if that makes sense; however, there is some tannic bitterness. Brown sugar, molasses, rich dates, caramel, leather…all those rich flavors you usually chalk up to good bourbon but again it still retains an Armagnac-likeness

Finish: for rocking a lower proof this hangs around for a while - I'd classify it as a medium to long finish, with the brown sugar and dates prevailing.

Damn, this is really tasty. I purposely didn’t check out K&L’s page until I completed my review. K&L's notes are real fair and spot on. This is definitely a bourbon drinkers brandy - it could be mistaken for some dusty ND old Taylor. I know Driscoll catches some flak for some of the things he says from time-to-time, but at the end of the day, there aren’t many retailers doing what K&L is doing, and there are even less bringing in brandy like this stateside.  I waffled on how I wanted to grade this. Like the L'Encantada Pibous stuff, it's bourbony. But it's really good, so I'll grade it on its merits alone. It would be a solid A if the oak was dialed back a tad. So, it gets…

Grade: A minus

If you're a bourbon drinking woodchuck, I imagine you'd really enjoy the Pellehaut.

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