Armagnac Tuilerie 1984 / NAS 50 Years / Rounagle 1986

Armagnac Tuilerie 1984 / NAS 50 Years / Rounagle 1986

Three recent armagnac bottlings today, including the latest from Grape of the Art and Decadent Drinks.

We start with the first bottling from the Amateur Spirit project. It aims to offer outstanding spirits, transparently selected by a group of skilled amateurs in blind tastings. The selection process is filmed and shared. The first session consisted of four armagnacs from unknown producers, selected by the host Aurélien Touzé, and Domaine de la Tuilerie 1984 managed to win over the jury.


Bas-Armagnac Domaine de la Tuilerie 39 yo 1984 (44,5%, Amateur Spirit 2023)

Nose: a nice plummy not up front, dried apricots, raisins as well and a nice dark cake-y sweetness with a hint of vanilla. A nice hint of cigar boxes and polished furniture. Round chocolate, walnuts and chestnut honey. Drops of really old Oloroso. It takes a bit of work to get everything – I feel the modest ABV drags it down a little.

Mouth: wider and more intense now. Still dark fruits like black cherries and plums but also lighter top notes of subtle citrus. Then plenty of polished woods, tobacco leaves and some varnish. Very rich, not unlike some wood-driven rums, with lots of baking spice and hints of heavily infused tea. A herbal astringency in the end (think Fernet-Branca), but within limits.

Finish: medium length, really herbal, with some bitter orange, walnut cake and dark liquorice.

A good selection, very rich although perhaps a little on the rustic side, with varying degrees of woodiness throughout. I love the polished notes but this also brings a dryness towards the finish. The right elements are there but it feels like it’s held back at some points. Kudos for the great idea and the selection process. Sold out, but check for future bottlings.


Then Decadent Drinks brings another armagnac from Château de Gaube. This is a sibling cask to the Armagnac Sponge #2 bottled in 2022.


Bas-Armagnac Château de Gaube NAS 50 yo 1972 (44,4%, Decadent Drinks 2023)

Armagnac Gaube NAS 50 Years - Decadent Drinks Nose: brighter and fruitier, with a bit more vanilla as well. Baked apples, dried apricots, bananas flambéed, candied oranges and dried guava slices. Then also figs and cashew nuts, beeswax and honey. Light mint / menthol and floral notes. After the Tuilerie, this feels much wider and more vibrant.

Mouth: very elegant again. Lots of mirabelles, fresh figs, raisins, chestnut honey and hints of sour cherries. Also quinces and apple pie, mint and hints of liquorice. The juiciness and vibrant rancio is impressive, at the same level as some of the best cognacs (or even very old whisky). Even though the ABV is pretty much the same, the lower oakiness makes this an excellent armagnac.

Finish: not the longest, but quite bright and not at all woody. Hints of walnut, mint and orange peel. Light earthy touches in the end.

Apparently the last of these casks in Grosperrin’s cellars, which is where Decadent Drinks got it from. Fabulous armagnac, among the best I’ve had. Still available from Decadent Drinks or TyndrumWhisky for instance. Score: 91/100


Domaine Rounagle is in the Ténarèze region. They cultivate around 20 hectares of vines. In 2015 it was taken over by a new owner who is starting to make a name for the brand, rather than sell to bigger houses.


Armagnac Rounagle 36 yo 1986 (51,3%, Grape of the Art 2023, cask #78, 289 btl.)

Armagnac Rounagle 1986 - Grape of the Art Nose: slightly darker, with plenty of roasted nuts. Walnuts, hazelnuts, alongside coffee beans and hints of dark chocolate ganache. Some plums in the background. Then polished floors and hints of tobacco start mixing with mint and whiffs of glue. Cigar boxes as well. Closer to Tuilerie than to Gaube, although this is pleasantly vibrant despite the woodier profile.

Mouth: sweet hints of dark caramel, chestnut honey and drops of maple syrup, but also red berries, plums and beautiful sour cherries. Very wide. Still some roasted elements, as well as dark chocolate, walnut cake and hazelnut paste. Subtle earthy, almost smoky spice and bourbonny wood underneath.

Finish: long, on sweet herbs, fruit cake and honey.

This returns to the bold side of armagnac, although it has enough sweetness and freshness to counter the woodier hints. Perhaps more classically armagnac than the NAS 50 too. I believe this is still available at a few GotA partners. Score: 89/100