Generally, a well-crafted and aged Armagnac will offer a complex tapestry of aromas, which create a harmoniously heady experience. Like cognac, Armagnac is usually enjoyed as a digestif following a hearty meal. Cognac is actually a type of brandy that has been distilled in the town of Cognac in France. Although both varieties of brandy share a lot in common, there are a number of differences between cognac and Armagnac. We can therefore expect significant differences in soils. Further south than Cognac, Armagnac is another area in the west of France that produces a quality wine brandy. COGNAC Armagnac tends to come off the still at around 52–60% alcohol by volume (abv). However, it was unable to fully support its producers and Haut-Armagnac’s vineyards had almost disappeared by the 1970s. So why are so few people drinking it? As Armagnac is distilled only once, it likely offers more benefits than cognac when consumed in moderation. Stills in tow, they would travel to farms in the hinterlands, allowing the farmers to make brandy from their wine without having to buy equipment of their own. In fact, by pressing your hand on the glass, you can gently warm the spirit in order to explore its purity. Bordeaux and other coastal towns such as Bayonne were prevalent trading ports. Furthermore, the earliest sale of local eau-de-vie in the area was recorded as early as 1461 through tax records of a market in Saint-Sever. Vintage Armagnac is relatively affordable compared to other aged spirits, and it’s a great option if you seek a bottle to commemorate a particular year. For instance, most Armagnac is released as Millésimes or vintages, which contain only the grapes harvested in the year noted on the bottle. Brandy is wine’s cousin in the spirits world, and Cognac and Armagnac have as much to reveal about where they come from as any wine region on earth. How To Drink It & Armagnac Vs Cognac Charles-Philippe 2020-09-03T04:20:40-04:00. However, there are lots of different varieties of brandy all over Europe and the world. Additionally, Armagnac contains no carbohydrates or fats. However, these aren’t always aged and may bear a closer resemblance to Blanche d’Armagnac. Many of these grape growers and distillers work with multiple brands. Vital du Four listed 40 different health benefits of eau-de-vie, which included topical applications for relieving headaches, paralysis, and colds. Nevertheless, if you find an Armagnac too strong, you can use a typical method of adding a droplet of water. I like to think that Armagnac is to Cognac as Rye is to Bourbon. Being situated inland, this fine brandy has never achieved the heights of its coastal competitor Cognac but is a worthy competitor. Cognac can also be labeled with one of the six appellations of the region: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires (or Bois à Terroir). However, Armagnac will also typically use Baco 22A, which isn’t permitted for cognac. Since the spirit is sourced so commonly from different producers, most Cognacs are blended to produce various house expressions. Armagnac is a type of brandy or eau-de-vie that is named after the old Armagnac region of Gascony in south-western France. Worth noting is that these designations don’t always show up on a bottle, and most quality producers will exceed their minimum listed age significantly. (This changed to 10 years in 2018.) means that the youngest brandy (called an eau-de-vie at this stage) is at least two years old. Choose Cognac and Armagnac like you would wine. England was an important early destination for the spirit in the 1700s. Cognac’s lesser-known older sibling, Armagnac is a surprisingly elusive brandy that offers merits far more attention than it receives. Excluding their different geographical locations and climates, Armagnac is often released as yearly vintages rather than just blends like V.S.O.P. These designations indicate the age of the youngest brandy in the blend. Armagnac liquor, which features a robust flavor, typically has a higher alcohol content than cognac. "Both … It’s beloved by professionals and those in the know, but outsold by its more popular sibling. They cleanse it and give it a high aromatic tone that would still be still be a flavorful distillate before it even goes into barrel.”, A column still creates texture differences between Cognac and Armagnac as well. "If I had to compare the two with sports, I'd say that Armagnac leans more toward a rugby player—frontal power with short and decisive moves—and Cognac like a golfer—finesse, precision, length and time," Bache-Gabrielsen explains. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. How To Drink It & Armagnac Vs Cognac. However, its demand changed during the phylloxera outbreaks in the late-19th century. “Cognac is almost like the vodka that you store on the kitchen counter,” says Neal. Indeed, cognac was first produced in the 16th century as a solution for Dutch traders to reduce the costs of exporting wine. Brandy is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding Cognac. Yet, some aged grappas can be surprisingly similar to Armagnac. Similarly, Armagnac is regarded as a far more artisanal brandy than cognac as it’s often made by local family-owned producers rather than large, industrial companies. Indeed, grappa is made with pomace rather than the juice. Distillation techniques greatly evolved throughout the 19th century. Cognac’s vineyards were ravaged by the insects. and Reserve to show the minimum age. Unless it’s blended or bottled at cask strength, it will typically be diluted to around 45–47% abv. Previously, X.O. Cognac and Armagnac are both brandies made from white wine grapes. On the other hand, in the case of Armagnac, all the production processes take place in Armagnac, France. Indeed, both are produced by distilling wine from a variety of dry and acidic white grapes. While Armagnac can be aged for a minimum of one year to reach the VS (Very Special) standard (the … Cognac vs Armagnac. The first major house to ever employ a woman as its cellar master, the company is now in the hands of a 33-year-old -- the youngest cellar master in the history of Cognac. The two Champagne regions, like the famed sparkling wine region, are named for the high composition of chalk in the soil. “[These] are column stills that are 15 plates or less,” says Leonardo Comercio, sales manager for PM Spirits, an importer that specializes in brandy. Cognac and Armagnac in Cocktails. Armagnac vs Cognac. The first key difference is that Armagnac is almost always distilled just once, whereas Cognac eau-de-vie is distilled twice. They were frequently visited by the aforementioned Dutch merchants who purchased salt, wine, and wood. Cognac vs Armagnac The difference Cognac and Armagnac are France's signature spirits, both similar and very different at the same time. and Reserve to show the minimum age. While Cognac sets sales records year after year, Armagnac has re-emerged as a connoisseur’s drink. Cognac contains a larger portion of heart, or the middle section of the distillation run, considered to be the purest in flavor. However, as cellar masters push boundaries and vie to bring ever-eager consumers more choice and facets of aroma and flavors, we’re beginning to see other grape varieties entering the mainstream. Nevertheless, it may also be blended in a similar way to cognac. The difference in mouthfeel results partially from the concentration of alcohol. “Whereas Armagnac, texturally, is more like the vodka in the freezer, thicker and richer on the palate.”. Armagnac uses the VS/VSOP/XO designations for age as Cognac, but the ages don’t match up perfectly; the youngest eau-de-vie in a XO Armagnac only has to be aged six years instead of eight. Region: Bas-Armagnac. The type of wood used in the aging process differs as well. About the Book Author. Finally, grappa is another possibility despite not specifically being an eau-de-vie de vin. France itself hosts a wide selection of brandies that are referred to as eaux-de-vie de vin. In 1310, a Franciscan cardinal, Vital du Four, wrote a treaty describing 40 different health benefits of consuming eau-de-vie. It is also used in… Although they share proximity—Cognac against the Atlantic, north of Bordeaux, about an hour-and-a-half from landlocked Armagnac to the south—they produce two very different styles of brandy distinguished by history, grapes, soil, technique and aging. 0. Pay attention to importers and distributors that represent brands you like. Cognac undergoes a different production process than its less famous counterpart, with two rounds of distillation for a subtler flavor. They have much in common: they are both French premium spirits produced in South West France, they are both white wine grape brandies with their own Appellation Contrôlée, they are both aged in oak in well-charred barrels, they can both be aged for considerable periods, they are both normally reduced in strength before bottling, and they share many of the same … In 1909, the Armagnac brandy region was legally defined and the three zones were formally established. V.S.O.P indicates that the youngest eau-de-vie in the blend is at least four years old. Nevertheless, like any alcoholic spirit, excess usually has far more drawbacks than benefits. Like Cognac, Armagnac is blended and labeled frequently with indications like V.S.O.P., X.O. Although a growing network of river ports was built throughout the region, much of Gascony consisted of small streams, which still required carts for transporting goods. This is the main difference between Cognac and Armagnac. Meanwhile, cognac’s second distillation run tends to remove more of the vinous bouquet. The next time you’re making a cocktail with cognac, consider substituting armagnac for a more complex and robust drink. ... Armagnac, unlike Cognac, is single distilled and tends to be somewhat more rustic than Cognac. Delord 25 Year Bas Armagnac. Cognac received its Appellation d’Origine Contrôllee (AOC) in 1936. What is the difference between Cognac and Armagnac? Otherwise, you can learn more about the best glasses to use with our full glassware guide. For instance, Armagnac may feature enough antioxidants to help heart and blood circulation. However, the majority of production is contracted from producers all over the region. Generally, cognac is perceived as a more industrial brandy as it’s largely dominated by major houses such as Rémy Martin, Hennessey, and Courvoisier. (Armagnac is brandy made in the Armagnac region of France.) For instance, cognac uses a Charentais copper pot still while Armagnac favours a continuous column still, which results in very different eau-de-vie. However, while there is a lot of potential for this heart-heavy spirit to develop, it also means Cognac can take more time to show its more exuberant side. Brandy: 7 Key Differences By Jacki August 2, 2018. Both offer a curved shape, which helps trap the volatile compounds that evaporate and produce the aromas. If a bottle of Cognac is labeled “Fine Champagne,” it’s a blend of Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne brandies. Like Cognac, Armagnac is blended and labeled frequently with indications like V.S.O.P., X.O. Victor Hugo called cognac the "liquor of the gods. Armagnac production allows for a small dosage of sugar. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, What Is Armagnac? Their geographical locations are somewhat similar but they both have unique microclimates and soils. As we state in all of our guides, there is no wrong way to drink a spirit as long as you are enjoying it. Cognac is a brandy specifically made from wine in the Cognac region of France. I say let’s have a few more and rather do that un-orthodoxically – meaning at complete random. Cognac vs Armagnac . Hence, a V.S.O.P. Cognac vs armagnac, an alternative malternative session We’ve had good fun recently with some cognacs and armagnacs, so we’re rather in a brandy mood I have to say. Unlike cognac, Armagnac can be sold without being aged since 2005, which is referred to as Blanche d’Armagnac. If neither is available, a small wine or tulip champagne glass will still perform quite well for tasting the spirit. And how do we taste these libations? Darroze les grands assemblages 12-year-old armagnac, 43 per cent, 70cl. However, it’s possible to follow a few steps in order to heighten your tasting experience and take full advantage of an Armagnac’s potential. Indeed, Armagnac isn’t just an alternative to cognac but a whole other brandy of its own. Therefore, it was sold relatively cheaply and catered to a more affordable market. Meanwhile, Armagnac has been documented as a local eau-de-vie as early as the 14th century. Neal says that the additional dilution contributes to Cognac’s lighter sensation. Armagnac and Cognac are both grape brandies, but are produced in different regions of France. Armagnac is more rustic in production, which results in a full-flavored brandy that importer Charles Neal, of Charles Neal Selections, calls “a bit more…forward and punchy.” The brandy used to produce Armagnac was made historically by roving distillers. Although it is harder to come by then Cognac and certainly less known, some people consider Armagnac a superior brandy. By 1515, Gascony had evidence of commercial vinegar distillers. Fortunately, with state support, Armagnac has since recovered and it celebrated its 700th anniversary following the publication of Vital du Four’s treaty. Cognac must be made in the Charente and Charente-Maritime départements to the north of Bordeaux, whereas Armagnac comes from the Gascony region south of the city. Therefore, Armagnac tends to be quite fruit-forward with notes often associated with plums. Since the reclassification of X.O., Napoleon has adopted the category’s former requirements, and now signifies a blend with a minimum age of six years. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Unravelling the mystery of these two complex spirits can take a lifetime, but we're here to give you a head start. Armagnac comes from Gascony, southwest France, and has been produced since the XIV century. Privacy Policy, By continuing to use our Services and/or submitting the above information, you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of ourPrivacy Policy, Welcome to! These do exist, but among the 190 or so Cognac producers, four conglomerates dominate the export scene: Courvoisier (owned by Bean Suntory), Hennessy (owned by LVMH), Martell (Pernod Ricard) and Remy Martin, which is controlled by Remy Cointreau. The primary grape used to make Cognac is Ugni Blanc, though smaller amounts of Folle Blanche (also called Picpoul) and Colombard are allowed. Alquitaras pot stills. Producer: Frères Delord. According to Hervé Bache-Gabrielsen, president of the Bache-Gabrielsen Cognac house, Armagnacs tend to have strong, rustic, generous and robust flavors, while Cognacs express themselves with more delicacy and refinement, with exceptionally long-lasting floral notes. The four biggest houses, Hennessy, Courvoisier, Rémy Martin and Martell, are global entities whose bottles are found behind almost any bar. and X.O. VSOP: Very Special Old Pale – legally must be 4 and 1/2 years, but most are aged for 5-13 years. Learn how your comment data is processed. V.S. When you’re ready to dig deeper, seek out smaller labels for a more distinctive experience. Consequently, a single shot of Armagnac should have no more than 100 calories in a similar way to other liquor like vodka or rum. Armagnac fits in a natural triangle with three departments: Gers almost in its entirety, part of the Lot et Garonne and part of Landes. Armagnac is often distilled to be lower in alcohol than Cognac.

armagnac vs cognac

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