Ok, this thing is 51.3% alcohol, so it won't exactly go down like milk. If it does, you're handling breakfast wrong.
Yes, there is a Cobra on the label. The word “fire” is displayed. So what?
Taste it. Try it without water first. Give it a chance as is. You’ll see. You’ll be surprised. It ain't what you think it is.
Truth is, the proof at which a distillate is bottled does not mean much as to how it will drink. If the distiller is skilled and knows his/her art, a 60%+ ABV distillate will drink amazingly soft. Meanwhile, rot-gut industrially-produced 40% abv booze will burn, badly. Distillation is an art. A spirit shouldn't be judged by its ABV but by who distilled it and how good at the job this person is.
What’s Blanche d’Armagnac? Well, that’s been our issue for years.
Blanche is an appellation launched in 2015 to somewhat capitalize on the vodka/white spirits craze with the idea of getting Armagnac more play behind bars. Let’s face it - who is mixing with Armagnac? Pretty much nobody.
So, having a “white” Armagnac - the unaged version of the brown stuff - seemed appealing.
But when one is in the business of selling hard-to-sell spirits, here is how peddling Blanche d’Armagnac goes:
Explain what brandy is
Explain that Cognac is a brandy
Explain what Armagnac is in relation to Cognac
Armed with all this new knowledge, explain why Blanche d’Armagnac is NOT Armagnac, how it’s different, and why
Explain the intended use and what one can do with it
Total time spent: 15min
Chance of selling the product: 3% to 5%...
Often times bottled at 40 or 42% abv, in a round bottle (other bottle shapes are permitted but a specific bottle has been deemed the Blanche bottle), we felt that the Blanche appellation was the answer to a problem that did not exist, making sales of an awesome distillate more complicated than needed.
So, we decided to change that. Get more of this fantastic liquid to the mouth of the people who care about good booze.
Teaming up with Claire de Montesquiou, the owner of fabulous Domaine d’Esperance located in the Sables Fauves - a sandy part of the Bas Armagnac sub-appellation of the Armagnac region – I embarked on a project to get unaged Armagnac the recognition it deserves.
Distilled to proof, e-g no water added, from a blend of 50% Baco and 50% Folle Blanche grape varieties harvested in 2017, rested in a stainless steel tank for 3 months before bottling, the juice in this bottle is highly drinkable.
No additives, no coloring, no sweetener. Pure, unadulterated, unaged distillate.
What’s in the bottle is the true essence of unaged French brandy. Essentially, you’re looking at Blanche d’Armagnac, bottled at full proof.
By now you’ll have understood that we like full-proof, unaged Armagnac. A lot.
This is the stuff one drinks fresh of the still during the distillation campaign (winter). Usually distilled in a small column to anywhere between 50% and 60% alc, the well-made stuff is powerful yet displays this elegance so specific to brandy. Highly aromatic, it tends to offer a weight on the palate, a sort of sweetness, that is extremely pleasing.
Note: Blanche d’Armagnac by law needs to be rested in an inert container. Why? well, remember we said it ain't white dog?
The new-make stuff tends to be harsh and often not very pleasant, essentially because it is bottled soon after distillation. Some chemical compounds that carry the new-makey aromas have not had time to evaporate and get bottled with the liquid.
To avoid this, the body governing Armagnac decided to mandate Blanche do be rested so any harsh aromas had the time to blow off before bottling.
It is a glass stopper; 'cause it is both pretty and practical.
You’ll notice that Cobrafire does not carry the Blanche d’Armagnac appellation on its label. It is intentional.
We felt it was getting in the way of telling the story, adding another layer of difficulty to the getting "product to mouth”.
Essentially Cobrafire is a “declassified” Blanche, falling under the Eau de Vie de Raisin category (Grape Eau de Vie)