The 10 Best Armagnacs

Among French brandies the amber spirit from Gascony is known for its rich flavours. Here's our selection

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1. Armagnac Castarède Vintage 1979


A long-on-the-finish eau de vie, which benefits from the addition of colombard grapes along with folle blanche and ugni blanc.

2. Château de Pellehaut Réserve de Gaston


Crisp, light, delicate and fruity is the best way to describe this blend of ugni blanc grapes aged for 20 years and folle blanche aged for 10.

3. Hors d'Age Dupeyron 15-year-old


This 15-year-old doesn't disappoint with its coffee twang and buttery undertone. Sublimely mellow.

4. Château du Tariquet Bas-Armagnac Vieux XO


The ugni blanc-grape-rich drink is aged for between 12 and 15 years in oak barrels to give a subtle, slightly woody armagnac.

5. Clos Martin VSOP 8-year-old


An eight-year-old VSOP that uses only the folle blanche grapes. The result is a heavy armagnac with an earthy flavour.

6. Comte de Lauvia VSOP 8-year-old


Rustic is the best way to describe this brandy, but the main attraction is the price. A good way to toe-dip into the world of armagnac.

7. Janneau 8-year-old


This eight-year-old is all about inexpensive elegance. Its flavour is sophisticated for a bottle in this price range, with vanilla and date flavours strong on the tongue.

8. Bas-Armagnac Francis Darroze 20-year-old


Francis Darroze makes this from the grapes of 30 Gascony estates, ageing it for 20 years to give a smooth, slightly oaky eau-de-vie.

9. Bas-Armagnac Delord 1992


This has an unusual wholemeal quality on the tongue (some even sense hints of tobacco), while on the nose the dark liquid is rich and cinnamony.

10. Marquis de Montesquiou VSOP 8-year-old


A blend from the Montesquiou family that has spent eight years ageing to give a sweet, honeyed (almost too honeyed) drink.