L'Encantada bottlings before on the blog but this one is the oldest cask I tasted from their releases so far and also my first Armagnac from Domaine Lous Mouracs which is long gone years ago after the owner's retirement. The estate was known having one very dry and one humid cellar on site and this cask is reportedly sourced from the dry one. It should be distilled mostly from Ugni Blanc grapes with the addition of a small amount of Baco distillate like all the other Armagnacs from Lous Mouracs and aged in new Gascon oak casks for 39 years.
Color: This is as dark as an unadulterated spirit can get in a cask I believe: Deep dark amber, solid buckwheat honey color with a red hue and thick, oily, barely moving slow legs.
Nose: Where to start from..? Reduced red wine vinegar, grape molasses and dried mission figs. Incredibly syrupy, tart and literally mouth watering... Underground wine cellar, instant coffee and stewed mushrooms. Decaying leaves on a damp and muddy forest ground and dried dates. I can keep nosing this for hours... Molten chocolate cake, spicy Mexican hot chocolate and nutmeg. Now with a few drops of water: Cooked raisins, sun dried apricots and lemon twist. Less molasses more dried fruits and also some dried flowers: Potpourri..! Fennel seeds, fresh dill and orange soda.
Palate: Tart, bitter and mouth covering. Toasted wood, molasses and dried chipotle peppers. Toasted sesame seeds, bitter orange and bell peppers. I walked away and came back after allowing it to air a few minutes: Vintage leather jackets, wet wool scarves and Boylan black cherry soda. A couple drops of water: Orange custard pie, candied citrus peels and cherry pits. It's less bitter now but still pretty tannic. Tonic syrup, aged grappa and root beer. Dark baking chocolate and medlar.
Finish: Long... It covers both sides of the tongue with a thin layer of tart glaze and sits there as long as possible. Balsamic figs, pomegranate molasses and unsweetened cacao powder. Tree bark and quinine tincture.
Overall: Yes, it might be a little tannic, tart and bitter for general taste but there is something incredibly attractive about this bottling... It might be since I am a huge fan of all kind of pomace brandies and I like all these sour and tannic qualities in spirits but I absolutely loved this bramdy. I admit that it is not everyone's cup of tea but it is an experience for sure. I wish I knew more about this spirit though: Did they press the grapes with their skins, seeds and stems and left them in contact with the juice for some time or are all these tannins coming from being aged in new oak for 39 years? Did they ever rack it to slow down the new oak influence..? Because I also have a feeling that the spirit was saved right on time when bottled since a few more years in the cask could make it extremely hard to be enjoyed. In the end it is an expensive bottle and an acquired taste... Don't blame me if it's too tannic for your palate but I would love to own a bottle if I could afford it. That being said many thanks to PM Spirits graciously providing me this sample for review purposes. Like always all the notes and opinions above are my own.