6 Armagnacs: Baraillon, Aurian, Bordeneuve, Espérance…

6 Armagnacs: Baraillon, Aurian, Bordeneuve, Espérance…

Here’s a new series of armagnac reviews (check our backlog). We start with two 1960s distillates: Baraillon 1963 and Aurian 1962. After those we’ll have four younger expressions from the 1990s and 2000s.


Domaine de Baraillon 1963 (45%, OB 10.2023)

Nose: sweet and jammy. Apricots, prunes, ripe grapes and blueberry filled muffins. Sweet thyme, drops of cough sweets. Then fresher pine needles and eucalyptus. Old oak, raisins and light mushroomy / earthy hints.

Mouth: thick fruits again, quickly overtaken by herbs. Menthol and eucalyptus, with cloves and the sourness of dark chocolate. Back to prunes and peaches, oranges and a light astringency of grape skin. Cedar wood, even some medicinal drops. Then tobacco leaves, more earthy notes and hints of leather.

Finish: long, really earthy, with over-infused tea, bitter coffee and a sour edge.

Impressive old armagnac. Wood is playing a big role here, which I found slightly disappointing. A very educational dram but I’m not sure I could down an entire bottle. Still available from The Whisky Kingdom for instance.



Aurian 1962 (47,4%, Spheric Spirits 2023, cask #587 + demijohn, 108 btl.)

Aurian armagnac 1962 - Spheric Spirits

Nose: prunes and blood oranges, hints of chocolate, cedar and caramelized walnuts. Quite dark and thick, almost a PX version at first. Light hints of eucalyptus and pine needles underneath, with drops of cough syrup. Subtle floral touches on top.

Mouth: very dark flavours, with hints of cinchona, liquorice roots and herbal extracts. Then black tea, peppercorns and aniseed. Underneath there is dark caramel sweetness, tobacco and hints of cold coffee.

Finish: medium, more coffee with herbs and a dash of very old, spicy Oloroso.

Quite a dark and woody profile again, although the herbal notes are kept in check by sweetness. Comes close to a Brandy de Jerez at times. Score: 88/100



Château de Bordeneuve 2006 (48,1%, 39 Fine Spirits 2023, single cask, 400 btl.)

Chateau de Bordeneuve 2006 - 39 Fine Spirits

Nose: pears and vanilla, with candied orange, aromatic grapes and subtle floral notes. Orange blossom, mint leaves and candied ginger. After a while it gets a syrupy character, with a lightly tropical side. Mango sweets and pineapple cubes.

Mouth: plenty of fruity notes. More grapes, yellow plums, tangerines and mango. Simply very pleasant, even though there’s not much more to discover. Ginger, a bit of pepper and vanilla. Friendly and lively, with a bit of Pineau character actually.

Finish: medium, light and fruity, with a spicy edge.

So yeah, the juxtaposition of this youngish Bordeneuve 2006 after the extreme 1963 is a little thoughtless. But anyway, both have a lot to say. This is a very fruity style, which would definitely work as an apéritif. Nice (affordable) surprise, check out 39 Spirits & Cigars. Score: 87/100



Domaine de Charron 1996 (48,3%, Swell de Spirits ‘Flashback’, 100% baco, 50 cl, 200 btl.)

Domaine de Charron 1996 armagnac - Swell de Spirits

Nose: some varnish and nail polish at first. Then cherries and red fruit jams, with light coppery notes, acacia honey and chamomile. Stewed apricots. Then hints of mint leaves and Earl Grey tea. Nice.

Mouth: quite a sour attack, think sour cherry, cranberry and redcurrant. Herbal notes and clove come forward. Then it gets a rummy side, with black olive in the distance, as well as a touch of salty liquorice. Some oaky dryness, but not interfering. Herbal tea, marmalade and a dash of honey.

Finish: medium, on liquorice, orange peels and cognac-like rancio.

A very interesting mix of armagnac, cognac and rum. I really like the rancio and varnish, with fruits underneath. Rather new, not yet listed at Swell de Spirits but I’m sure it will go online soon. Score: 89/100



Armagnac Garreau 29 yo 1994 (50,6%, Liquid Treasures 15th anniversary 2023, Gascon oak cask #31, 50 cl, 60 btl.)

Armagnac Garreau 1994 - Liquid Treasures

Nose: quite aromatic and forthcoming, on candied fruits, oranges, figs and plum jam. Also redcurrant and cherry, with some acacia honey and almond. Later also sour touches and a hint of mocha in the background. Classic but the juicy fruits are an extra point.

Mouth: stewed plums, prunes, with herbal tea. A little vanilla pastry. Mor juiciness thanks to sour cherry and red berries. Then some tobacco leaves and coffee beans. A subtle salty edge as well. Hints of cigar boxes and exotic wood as well, but never too much.

Finish: quite long, still vibrant and juicy, with hints of cedar and a nice sourness.

Classic style, but with juicy fruits that lift it up and add a nice vibrance. Nice selection. It’s a 50 cl bottle but still, at less than € 70 this is a steal. Available from eSpirits. Score: 88/100



Armagnac Domaine d’Espérance 20 yo 2001 (49%, OB 2022, cask #71)

Domaine L'Espérance 2001 - cask 71

Nose: very elegant, with plenty of floral notes, rose petals, plenty of orange blossom and light honeys. Hints of fresh peaches, quinces and mirabelles. A little mead perhaps. Springtime armagnac, much closer to cognac than the others in this session.

Mouth: indeed a perfect balance. Gentle peaches, quinces and plums. Then some orange zest, honey and subtle sour berries. Also aniseed and just lightly gritty oak. Drops of cold coffee in the end, as well as hints of (blonde) tobacco.

Finish: quite long, drier now, with a bit more oak and leather along with (bitter) oranges and honeyed notes.

Excellent elegance here, with a finesse that is bordering cognac. Maybe not what armagnac purists are looking for, but I find this hard to resist. Available from Armagnac.de. Score: 90/100