L’Encantada – Bellair – 20 Year Old – 1997 – Cask No. 036 – K&L Selection – Bas Armagnac – Review | 51.7% (103.4 Proof) $99.99 (Here)
Introduction: Hello. I have decided that I should write some more reviews. I have been busy raising two wonderful girls and while doing this I have still been drinking and thinking a lot about spirits. It has been fun to just drink and enjoy without sharing my thoughts, but that time is at an end. I am aiming for more brevity and fun this time around. Lets start with this criminally under-appreciated and still available Armagnac from the indie bottler of the moment for me, L’Encantada. First thing to note, we are now talking about French Brandy, and more specifically rustic farm-based Armagnac. Lets look at what we have here.
Color/Appearance: A deep reddish brown. Nice color and legs. I may get rid of this review category. But for now it is still here and I will write some words. These L’Encantada bottles feel special. Maybe I am a sucker for the wax, or is it the crest stamped into wax, or maybe the piece of barrel stave that is attached. Anywho the label also contains all the geeky details I love, so there is that too. Plus the label is small enough to leave lots of exposed glass where I can see the glorious liquid.
Nose: Marshmallow, almond cookies, raisins, dates, very light pine, something floral like a dusky rose.
Palate: Sarsaparilla soda, caramel, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon, some softly herbal thing. It tastes dark, if that makes any sense.
Finish: Spice cookies with an oak backing, salted caramel, then ends very dry.
Overall: Nose is very good, not amazing but very very nice. The palate had this sarsaparilla soda thing that I find very crave-able. The finish is the weakest part with too much dryness and oak. I don’t mind oak, but would have preferred some complex oak notes after twenty years, where this dry wood is a little too simple. But since I really like the nose and find the taste something I crave I have been seriously considering picking up another bottle while they are still available and I consider it a good pickup for someone wanting to expand their Armagnac collection. If you have not yet experienced Armagnac then I might steer you towards other more iconic bottling, but it is nice to have variety.