Hooray, two new GotA-releases – an old Cognac and an Armagnac come our way:
Cognac Jean-Luc Pasquet Lot 68-72 Grape of the Art #3, Cask 21, 66.6%
It is very nice to see more high level Cognacs around these days. The guys from ‚Grape of the Art‘ followed that path and went for a Pasquet, a great house. This 1968 and 1972 vintage mix comes from great times. They chose to bottle it at full cask strength, which is not always a success with fine grapsters, but on the other hand, they achieve a power and ‚rumminess‘ they seek (according to their website and mission statement, as they started out with rums as their first choice). Read up on them here on slowdrink in a previous article. Now let’s put this bad boy on the road:
Comment: The abv-level of 66,6% is a tour de force, hence the spirit is closed at first. You need time and probably some water. It comes across amost like a Demerara rum in moments, I kid you not. Nevertheless its classiness shines through. I am getting spices and dark wood, gingerbread, nuts, white pepper, geranium, dandelions, licorice and Turkish delight. A minty freshness, tar, resin, banana, dates and sultanas chime in into this atypical yet impressive nose. To become more Cognac-like, you need to add water as it changes the Pasquet pirate for the better – then it explodes with aromas. It is fun to play around with water here, and it keeps changing along with it. On the palate it remains a wood-driven powerhouse a la heavy rum or Bourbon but with water, rancio, berries and finesse is right there for you. The finish revisits all of the above.
A verdict is difficult, it depends on your taste. Classic Cognac lovers need to add water and it might be a tad too brutal for them. Caroni or Port Mourant fans and connoisseurs of heavy spirits like whisky might absolutely go for it. Choose your side and give it a try.
Armagnac Domaine Cutxan 2006 – 2022 Grape of the Art, Cask #T37, 50,5%
Comment: Made from Ugni Blanc grapes grown in Bas Armagnac, this is a worthy follow-up to its predecessors. The boys had a good hand in picking winners. It starts with a nice grapiness and juiciness, the oak is well-tuned (good balance), Asian spice, gingerbread, licorice, vanilla, dried apricots and peaches, orange peel, lychee, nut cake with milk-chocolate glaze and a trace of leather. It goes down the road of the ‚Le Freche‘ a bit. Water is not necessary but it profits from some drops. On the palate, it shows power and spiciness, then the fruit follows. It has quite a bite, raw tads and corners, unpolished, also a bit ‚rummy‘. The water brings more fruitiness and makes it creamy. The finish delivers grapes and spices from before, becoming fresher and finer.