1986 Domaine de Pouchegu 27 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Armagnac (750ml)
Pierre Laporte, the proprietor of Domaine de Pouchegu, believes that new Limousin oak is essential to producing top quality Armagnac and strives to fill only freshly-constructed barrels. The Pouchegu Armagnacs are also bottled at higher alcohol percentages, which helps to balance out the richness and the power inflected into the spirit from the wood. Like most Armagnac producers, Pierre does not own his own still, nor does he carry out his own distillation. It's important to remember that most Armagnac producers are farmers first, and rarely do they have time to get around to a second title or position. Pouchegu, like many producers, hires a traveling stillman to drive an alembique on a flatbed to the property when the fermentation is done, and distill everything for the year in one fell swoop. His property is planted solely with baco grapes. When we visited Pierre in 2013 he hinted that distillation might be done at Pouchegu for the foreseeable future—he feels he has enough back stock to retire at this point and doesn't have any kin looking to carry on the tradition. What's currently in the barrel at Pouchegu is likely all that will continue to exist at this point. The 86 is a flurry of spicy rusticity, savory and herbaceous, but everything after that initial note is dark caramel, brandied fruit, and fudge. Imagine the best parts of an ultra-mature Bourbon with the soft candied fruit of grape distillate and that's what the 27 year old Pouchegu offers. It's decadent.