Last week I had a review of a 20 yo Chateau de la Grangerie distilled in 1994 and bottled for K&L in California. I was not a fan. This 50 yo from 1964 was bottled at the same time, also for K&L. Is it much better? It’s certainly the oldest Armagnac I’ve yet had
Chateau de la Grangerie 50, 1964 (43%; bottled for K&L; from a bottle split)
Nose: Rich fruit (plum, orange peel, a bit of apricot) and oak and spice (cinnamon mostly, some clove too). Gets more leathery as it sits and the orange peel expands and there’s some black tea as well. Gets thinner with a lot of time and there’s a slight note of talcum powder as well.
Palate: Much woodier to start with far less fruit. The wood is not particularly sharp or tannic but it’s the dominant note by far, getting more bitter with every sip. More and more oak extract-like as it goes at first with no real complexity to speak of. With a lot more time the fruit begins to wake up a little but the oak is still playing lead: still, it’s more balanced now.
Finish: Long. Less woody but the bitter, almost tarry notes from the palate continue with a menthol coolness showing up as it fades.
Comments: Well, it’s much better than the 20 yo but it’s nothing particularly remarkable. The oak has obviously taken over, especially on the palate—the nose is still quite lovely. I gather this was about $150 at retail. That seems like a very good price for a 50 yo spirit but I can’t say I’d say it’s a great deal for what this is per se.
Rating: 86 points.