L'Encantada Domaine Le Freche 1986 30yo Single Cask #44 (47.9%): Another random pick from the sample yard sounded like a good idea this afternoon. This time it is a 30 year old Armagnac distilled in 1986 by Domaine Le Freche and bottled in 2016 by L'Encantada.
Color: Mahogany, blood orange color with thick, oily and slow moving legs.
Nose: Toasted oak, dried sour cherries and cranberry juice. Sage, old leather-bound books and stewed stone fruits. It sure noses like a very old spirit. Ex-PX cask matured very old malt whisky and strawberry jam. Luscious, thick and chewy...
Palate: Surprisingly hot on the palate in spite of its relatively low abv. Red pepper flakes, fresh quince slices and toasted, actually smoked hardwood. A middle-eastern spice bazaar on the tongue: Cloves, sumac, cumin seeds and roasted cardamom pods. Blackcurrants and green peppercorns. Even just a couple drops of water helps... Preserved grape leaves, olive brine and rosemary leaves. A little hot and challenging for my palate even after adding water. Capers and olive oil.
Finish: Long and warming with paprika, black pepper, pickle juice and cigar smoke.
Overall: You don't taste a 30 year old Armagnac every day... I'll give you that but it really didn't hit the spot for me. Loved the nose very much but the harshness of the palate put me off to be honest. In the end I feel ok about not purchasing a bottle when I had the chance. Thanks to Derek Kendzor for the sample.