If there were ever a romantic ideal for French countryside distillation, the Baraillons are it. Out in the middle of nowhere, there's nothing glossed over or touristic about their operation - they are farmers, pure and simple. David and I absolutely fell in love with this father/daughter team even though they hardly said a word to us the entire time we tasted (they let their booze speak for itself). This single barrel 1985 brandy is one of the finest spirits we tasted on the entire trip. A mix of Ugni Blanc and Baco, the nose is absolutely hypnotizing - port-like with stewed fruits and sandlewood (think an exotic highland single malt, but remember it's definitely NOT single malt). The palate follows up with toffee, vanilla, more fruit and stunning richness - with spice and heat on the finish that prevent the weight from becoming overly flabby. It is spellbinding brandy, although it's not for everyone with its earthy and somewhat wild mid-palate. Still, it's destined to go down as one of the best Armagnacs we've ever carried and we look forward to importing Baraillon exclusively for the foreseeable future. Baraillon Armagnac is where bucolic romanticism and quality collide.
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