Brandy, Armagnac and Cognac Bring Big Numbers in Ultimate Spirits Challenge


Welcome back to our 12th installment of the 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge results! This week, we bring you quite a large category, covering Brandy, Armagnac and Cognac. In this division we also had categories for Calvados, Grappa and Pisco. Many, many brands came out on top in these categories, but only a few were crowned Chairman's Trophy winners. Check out all the winners right here, and see the winners of the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge here!

Brandy image via Shutterstock

Delord 1978 Bas-Armagnac

Chairman’s Trophy-97 points

“Deep chestnut color; impeccable clarity. Multiple aromatic impressions include traces of rancio, dry earth, grape preserves and wood plank, with wrapped in an oily/buttery aroma. Highly complex taste aspects include marzipan, nougat and walnut paste. Classically majestic.”

Dartigalongue Hors d’Age Bas-Armagnac

Finalist-94 points

“Attractive topaz/amber color. Demonstrative aromas of black raisins, plums and treacle highlight the bouquet. Tastewise, this brandy is desert dry and slightly tobacco leaf-like. Finish is extended, spirity and immensely satisfying.”

Chateau de Laubade 1982 Bas-Armagnac

Finalist-93 points

“Burnt orange/copper color. Upfront aromas include earthy notes, such as forest floor and moss/lichen, along with dried yellow fruit aspects and nuts. In the mouth, the taste profile ascends in delicate flavors of almond paste, dried apple, over-ripe grapes and cocoa.”

Armagnac Castarede VSOP 10 Years Old Armagnac

Finalist-92 points

“Old gold/marigold color is pure. Vigorous aromas of toffee, cheese and sawdust delight the olfactory sense as the aroma expands with further aeration into a sumptuous bouquet that's dry and bittersweet. Tastes of prunes, oak resin and plums abound in the generous flavor profile. Lovely.”

Chateau de Laubade Intemporel No. 5 30 Years Old Bas-Armagnac

Finalist-92 points

“Lovely topaz color; perfect clarity. Complex aromas greet the olfactory sense in cresting waves of marzipan, praline and oaky vanillin. Tastes of prunes, grapes, plums and candied nuts. There's also an underlying spiciness that's highly appealing.”

Marie Duffau Napoleon Bas-Armagnac

Finalist-92 points

“Eye-catching topaz/bronze color. Smells remarkably orchard fruit-like, biscuity and tart. In the mouth, the flavor profile screams of spicy oak, dried apricot, pepper and marzipan. What is so attractive is its dried fruit highlights.”

Calvados Drouin 25 Years Old Calvados

Chairman’s Trophy-96 points

“Beautiful burnished orange/copper color. Ultra-sophisticated bouquet ascends in waves of baked apple, spiced apple and winter holiday cake aromas that bedazzle the olfactory sense. Vivid and clean in the mouth, the flavor profile highlights the creamy/oily texture and impeccable spirit. A masterpiece.”

Pere Magloire 20 Years Old Calvados

Finalist-95 points

“Deep topaz color. Surprisingly delicate aroma of beeswax, tart apple, apple peel and gentle baking spice. Long in the mouth, this is a taste profile of elegance and intensity. Aftertase is all about the baked apple that's just lightly spiced. Luscious.”

Calvados Boulard VSOP Calvados

Finalist-94 points

“Beautiful medium amber/old gold appearance. Opening aromas feature lovely, measured spice and dried fruit notes that are in sync with each other, providing a rewarding nosing experience. Taste offers complex, integrated nutmeg, cinnamon and baked apple and pear flavors.”

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