Prince d'Armagnac XO Napoleon (early-2000s) - 40%
Looks like Prince d'Armagnac received pretty wide distribution in the early-2000s. I've stumbled across a handful here and there in older Chicago liquor stores. There's a decent online presence as well. The XO Napoleon designation from the early-2000s would have indicated a minimum of 6 years aging. Price point, gift boxes complete w/ mini-snifters, and lack of terroir indicator point toward a larger scale blend probably designed to break into new markets. Someone should've told them orange wax was the way to go.
Notes: Light and raisin driven on the nose with prominent but unobtrusive oak. There's more going on with the palate. Given the proof and blending, it doesn’t play too linear. Milk chocolate, orange, black tea. The finish is short and brings the younger wood notes back. Doesn't seem to be too much going on in the way of additives which is refreshing.
Score: 6 (Solid) Not overly engaging by itself in a glass, but delivers enough structure and complexity to make it a solid swap for cognac in a Vieux Carre or Stinger riff. Drinks on par with offerings like Dartigalongue XO or Marie Duffau Napoleon.
10 - Reevaluate The 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 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour