Monday, March 11, 2013
Chateau de Laubade Armagnac
Chateau de Laubade is one of the giants of Armagnac, one of the largest producers is the Bas Armagnac region. Laubaude sent me a sample of their XO, so I thought I would try that along with a sample of the higher end Chateau de Laubade Extra that I picked up from a friend.
The XO expression blends brandies from 12 to 25 years old and includes a mixture of Baco, Colombard, Ugni-Blanc, and Folle Blanche grapes. In the world of Armagnac, Laubade is one that most everyone hears about from the moment they get interested in the spirit.
Chateau de Laubade XO, 40% abv ($60)
The nose is thick with fruit, apricots, raisins, apples, you name it. The palate opens quite sweet with just a bit of spice kicking in mid palate, then fades into a nice fruit spice.
This is perfectly pleasant but not very interesting...in the same way that Glenlivet is to Scotch. Comparing it to the two other Armagnacs I've tried at this price point, I'd say the Chateau du Tariquet XO is sweeter while the K&L Domaine D'Ognoas is spicier, but both of those are more interesting than this Laubade.
Chateau de Laubade Extra, 40% ($350)
The nose on this has a sweet, woody quality with some maple syrup notes. The palate starts very sweet with fruit juice; it's followed by pleasant, tannic, woody note and then some spice. The spice picks up a bit more late palate and into a fairly short finish.
I have to say, I'm not overly impressed with this one. It has some nice spice notes but a bit more sweetness than I would like on the front palate. It's fine, but it doesn't strike me as anywhere near a $350 spirit. I found it to be pretty average.
Others really like this, so I would encourage everyone to check out the review of our frequent commenter Numen on the Cognac Forum for an alternative view.