Armagnac - How to read a label
Armagnac is distilled from white wine grapes and not surprisingly it must be produced in the Armagnac region, located in South West France. Typically, the older the Armagnac the better. Here is how to read a label before you buy:
3 Stars / VS Very Special – Minimum 1 year aging
If you enjoy a fruity and fiery Eaux-de-Vie, a 3 star is for you. It comes with fruitiness and heat, perfect for that burst of character. Try Bas Armagnac Folle Blanche VS.
VSOP Very Special Old Pale – Minimum 4 years aging
This has wood and spice notes but balanced out by candied cooked fruit aromas. It is fairly light in the mouth, mellowed and lengthened by the wood. This is great for using in cocktails. Try Bas Armagnac VSOP.
XO Extra Old – Minimum 6 years aging
XO is not so common in France but popular abroad. It has elegance, those looking for something rich and smooth will be suited to an XO. Try Bas Armagnac XO.
Hors d’Age - Minimum 10 years aging
This blend truly represents an Armagnac – aromas of prune, apricot and orange peel with mellow wood notes. Dried fruits echo the maturity of the bottle. It is well balanced, with great length and heat. Try Bas Armagnac 12 year old.
Armagnac is distilled in copper alembics, just like this one!