Review: 1980, 1985 Baraillon Bas-Armagnac

Updated: Jan 21



Context: Baraillon is one of the few armagnacs that receives "wider" distribution in US markets. They’ve got their own still and Charles Neal’s photos/descriptions sure make it look warm and homey. Grapes planted are Baco, Colombard, Ugni Blanc. Many of the vintages consist of multiple casks from a specific year blended toward a consistent profile. With the half dozen or so I've tried, they've been successful dialing in that profile. Though, for what it's worth, it’s a profile I sometimes find a touch dry, thin, and high-toned. Nonetheless, it's a highly respected producer among yak fans.


1980 Baraillon - Bas-Armagnac - 45%


Nose: Fresh florals - lilies. Bright grape note. Cigar box. Good stuff.


Flavor: Moss and fern - forest notes up front. Big floral and grape notes on the palate. Finish is dry and oaky with some background Blue Raspberry Slurpee and perfume-y notes. These notes in the finish aren’t totally in my wheelhouse, but they’re interesting.


Palate Structure: Rides that line between delicate and powerful. The notes have great clarity and sustain, but the overall body is light with many of the floral and forest notes employing a soft touch.


Alcohol Integration: Fairly well integrated with medium heat and body.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

Low proof, sherried scotch

Extra Anejo Tequila


Score: 6 (Solid - Above Average) Not quite enough heft or depth to get me overly excited, but the quality is certainly there. And this fared better than other Baraillons I've tried.

1985 Baraillon - Bas-Armagnac - 46%


Nose: Nutty and leathery. Candied nuts. Toffee. Rummy raisins. Strong, dry oak. Nice depth.


Flavor: Caramel and roasted nuts into some tart fruit, oak. Dark chocolate and baking spices carry through a medium finish.


Palate Structure: Bigger on the palate, but doesn’t carry the complexity of the ‘80. To its credit, this is a weightier, more decadent pour.


Alcohol Integration: Par for the course.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

Bourbon

Foursquare Rum


Score: 6 (Solid - Above Average) This gets a minor bump for palate preference. My palate likes dense pours. and this leans toward the roasty and dessert driven side of things.


Archived Scores


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate My Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Wish I Was Drinking Something Else

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour


Sources: Charles Neal


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