Review: Lous Pibous

Updated: Jan 22


Context: From SKU for K&L: "L'Encantada was essentially knocking on farm doors and asking to buy these casks.  They have casks from around seven small producers – one of which was Lous Pibous, which produced Folle Blanche Armagnac for about 20 years from the late '80s to 2005. Pibous did things a bit differently than some of the other producers.  They age entirely in new oak.  Most Armagnac is aged in used oak or put into new oak for a few years and then transferred to used oak. And instead of sticking their casks in a damp basement or barn, PIbous had a separate building they used for aging which kept the casks dry." 


The Brandy Brothers brought a couple Lous Pibous casks stateside through K&L that ended up being the talk of the town, giving armagnac a significant jolt across the US spirits scene. So much so, that L'Encantadas have started popping up on the Bourbon secondary market covered here by Aaron Goldfarb.


Full Discloser: Lous Pibous ranks among some of my favorite distillate period. The guys over at Serious Brandy also uncovered that bottlings by Darroze (Couzard Lasalle) contain same distillate as Lous Pibous though the eau de vie has likely been treated differently.

2004-2018 L'Encantada - Domaine Lous Pibous #223 - Bas-Armagnac - 56.2%


Nose: Rummy. I know this is column still, but there’s some pot still-esque funk banging around. Wet hay. Barnyard notes. Dark, dried fruits. Chocolate-y oak. Butterscotch. Deep and vibrant. Crystal clarity. Tart berries and cream. Knockout nose - what a ride. Fruit is even more lively after nosing the ‘93.


Flavor: Get out of here. Chocolate raisins into florals into citrus into oak and a dessert laced finish. It's complex and totally harmonious. Finish cuts the sweets with top-notch oak.


Palate Structure: Perfect weight and structure. It’s fat and round, rolling through the flavors with clarity and ease. Palate performs like quality bonded dusties - all the boozy notes have been filed down with flavors concentrated. The range here and the ease it’s navigated with is impressive.


Alcohol Integration: Perfect.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

Thomas Handy

Mount Gay Velier

Worthy Park 2006 Velier


Score: 9 (Stash Two) I absolutely love all these early 2000s LP and Darroze Couzard Lasalle.

1995-2019 L'Encantada - Domaine Lous Pibous #135 “Hail Yak #2” - Bas-Armagnac - 56.1%


Nose: Old school bourbon-oak nose. Fresh baked brownies. There’s some cherry under it all. Vanilla. I might guess a very expensive bourbon blind on this nose. Slight touch of varnish which I usually hate, but it works well here. Returning after the 1993 nose, and it’s all raisins and grape Fruit Roll-Ups - bye bye oak and varnish after that ‘93 nose-wrecker. We’re gonna take a moment to reset.


Flavor: Concentrated dark grapes. Cinnamon and baking spice. Chewy oak. The finish is rather tame and slow to unfold. Mostly an unpacking of the hyper-concentrated palate. Black tea and drying oak take the lead with fruits and sweets in the background. The cinnamon comes around too.


Palate Structure: This one is wound a little tight. Concentration and richness is great, but it takes a while for it to really unspool. I always sleep on this finish and halfway through the glass it always opens up.


Alcohol Integration: Heat is in check.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

William Larue Weller

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel


Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) Slightly behind ‘98 Cassou Hail Yak and the ‘73 JLP picks, but ahead of the ‘92 JLP for me. Not disappointed that I grabbed a backup.

1993 L'Encantada - Domaine Lous Pibous #117 (Astor) - Bas-Armagnac - 52.7%


Nose: Oak-bomb on the nose. Straight darkness in the glass. Leather. Dried cherries. Toasted cigar.


Flavor: An oak show through and through, but not unpleasantly so. Dark cherries. Oak. More of the same in the finish, but the structure gets interesting here. As the heavy oak dies down and the cherries become more cordial-ed and concentrated before unfolding younger and more tart.


Palate Structure: It’s like the Benjamin Button of finishes where the dry and bitter notes run in reverse progression to sweeter and younger and tart.


Alcohol Integration: Pleasantly Rowdy.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

George T. Stagg

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof


Score: 8 (Stash One) This is an oak-bomb that managed to stay inbounds despite pushing it. The real appeal is the weird and unexpected finish. It’s certainly lost some complexity to the oak. But it’s very memorable and would be a conversation piece in a tasting.


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

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