Sunday 25 September 2022

Old Master Spirits' 1972 39yo Baron de Sigognac Bas Armagnac [Tasted #585]

When I caught up with Deni & David from Old Master Spirits recently, they didn't just hand me a sample of their beautiful 1982 Armagngac, they also passed me a sample of their 1972 39yo, from the same Armagnac producer Chateau Bordeneuve (better known by the name "Baron de Sigognac")

The 10 year age gap also means this 1972 was distilled under the previous ownership, by then owner and distiller Monsieur Rambach (the distillery was sold to current owner Mr. Jean-Claude Gausch in 1974, and is currently run by his son Thomas). Comprised of 80% Baco 20% Ugni Blanc grapes, it was distilled in the same 100+ year old alembic still, and was aged in Limousin wood like all Armagnac produced at the distillery.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might note that whilst this is from a decade earlier than the 1982, it's also listed as a 39yo (the same as the 1982). The simple reason for that is the age is only counting the years matured in Oak, noting the extra 10+ years it sat in a glass Demi Jeanne (Demijohn) separately.

As mentioned in the previous article, the House has an all-natural, no additives policy - no water, sugar, colouring or any of that nature, and everything is bottled at cask strength (this one coincidentally right on 46%)!
Let's dive in...

Old Master Spirits 1972 39yo Baron de Sigognac Bas Armagnac (46.0% ABV, 39yo, 1 of 151 (500mL) bottles, France, $299AUD (available 20th October 2022))
Colour: Orange copper

Nose: Rich vanilla wood spice, Madagascan vanilla essence, with hints of stone fruits - apricot, peach, then some leather and wood polish.

Palate: Initially quite "desserty" - vanilla ice cream, flambéed banana, then a hint of cherry after time. There's some funk (less so than the 1982), and some grape jam to round things out. 

Finish: Long, vanilla wood spice.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. A complex, well-made and thoroughly enjoyable Armagnac. For me, the 1982 slightly edges it out, but in my view it's more of a "whisky drinker's Armagnac", whereas this is more of a "brandy drinker's Armagnac". A little more traditional, but very, very high quality. I spoke to Deni about this, and he said opinions from those who've tried both were split - some preferring the '82 (including some whisky-loving friends), and some the '72. Isn't that the beauty of spirits though?

Old Master Spirits 1982 39yo Baron de Sigognac Bas Armagnac will launch on 20th October 2022, at an RRP of $299 through Get in quick as these never last long!


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