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Armagnac

Brandy is much more sensitive than whisky to dilution. Reducing cognac or armagnac to the standard 40% bottling strength is done very gradually, usually over a period of several months. Which is why it’s so tricky to do it yourself, and why so few brandies are bottled at cask strength.
One exception being Darroze mentioned above, who bottle all of their single estate vintage dated armagnacs at cask strength. However cask strength for armagnac can be quite low, usually in the mid 40s. The rather primitive single distillation gives a low still strength - the legal minimum is 52%. An armagnac at 60% must have been aged in a very dry cellar.
I’ve never come across any reference to chill filtration of armagnac, but I’ve never seen a cloudy one either.

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Point of order though, the ‘primitive’ column still retains more of the grapes character than the rinse-and-repeat pot still.

Agreed - I didn’t mean ‘primitive’ in any derogatory way. Armagnac is one of the few spirits in the world still produced in a truly artisan manner.

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Solved perhaps:
I spoke to my friend from Chateau Laubade who confirmed that they do chill the armagnac after blending and dilution, which causes a sediment to drop out. The only reason for this is that if the bottles are subsequently transported or stored in very cold conditions then the sediment would otherwise appear in the bottom of the bottle which is considered unattractive.
I understand the sediment is potassium bitartrate, the white crystals that sometimes appears in white wine when chilled. This is insoluble and tastless so I personally wouldn’t bother about it.

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Every day’s a school day! I’ve seen tartrate crystals on wine corks (red & white) and I’m sure I read (Ox Clark) that it was a sign of quality, but I can see how Armagnac producers will endeavour to get rid of it…

In armagnac there is little snobbery or importance given to the glasses, I agree with the posters that a tulip glass is probably favourite. Small (3" dia ish) brandy balloons are fine too and informally it is often served in the still warm coffee cup!
A very important factor is the temperature, it should be at least 22C, and as you swirl it around the glass wait 20s before smelling for the alcohol vapour to disperse a little and you can identify the armagnac aromas more clearly.

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An Armagnac snob would say that this would be baste tasted served on a pancake! :open_mouth:
Dig deep and get yourself a bottle of their XO, the difference in quality is really worth it, and then you will see how Armagnac knocks the spots off a similar priced Cognac.