L'Encantada is an independent bottler that has recently made a name for themselves in the brandy world, largely due to a slew of stellar private selections. While L'Encantada have sourced from several domaines, the most buzz is around casks from Lous Pibous. I've previously covered several of these before, all of which I gave unusually high marks so the bar here is very high. Today I'm covering a bottle selected by Lincoln Road Package Store which has a great reputation for picking excellent casks. I believe this cask (and most or all other Lous Pibous) was aged in new charred oak, is bottled at cask strength, and contains no additional additives.
Bas Armagnac; Aged 14 years; 56.5% ABV; $155 (w/ tax)
Nose: Caramel covered candied raisins. There is a lot of wood influence and a lot of purple fruits. It's very rich and very classic bourbony Lous Pibous Armagnac.
Taste: A jolt of caramel, sugary dates, oak, and spice. The mouthfeel is very viscous - you can almost chew on this stuff. The finish has a lot of spice, a lot of mocha, some dark prunes, and some dry oak. The heavy presence of sweet and fruit notes prevent the oak from taking over to the point of being overly bitter. All around it's very bold in both flavors and punch. If there are any flaws it's that the ethanol is a touch high which probably would have been smoothed out if it aged longer.
Thoughts: This was the youngest Lous Pibous I've tried so going in I was skeptical because of the age. Those fears were definitely misplaced as this is fantastic. If the older legendary Lous Pibous casks like 124, 187, and 188 are equatable to old Willett Bernheim ryes, then this younger one is akin to Thomas Handy. Most all the casks I've had from this domaine are very bourbon or even rye like yet with a wallop of fruity grape / raisin influence and this one is no exception.
Rating: B+ / A-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.