By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
In a lot of ways the 1986 Le Freche is the perfect Armagnac. At the ripe old age of 30 and naturally reduced through evaporation to an extremely appealing and not all challenging 47%, this spirit has achieved near perfection. The elegance and complexity reminds us more of superb old style Highland Malt, subtle sherry-like influences paired with the exotic and delicate nature of the most high end brandies. The raw intensity of the Lous Pibous Casks is substituted for a precision and focus that I've rarely seen matched in my 10+ years buying and tasting spirits. The result is something so unabashedly drinkable. It's extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly why this cask is so special. The simple fact is there's almost nothing in the world that tastes this good at anywhere close to this price. The color is auburn and shimmering garnet. The nose is pure rancio, leather, licorice, stewed plums, salted stone fruits, burning embers. The palate is textured and full. Unctuous and open but not has hard edged as some of these other cask strength. Bold herbal notes revolve around the overripe fruit building toward an almost smoky savory sandalwood finish. This is already a contender for my favorite spirit of 2018!