Maker: Larressingle, Condom, Gers, Occitanie (formerly Midi-Pyrénées), France.
Region: Armagnac (blend of Bas-Armagnac and Ténarèze).
Grapes: Ugli Blanc, Folle Branche (according to the internet).
Age grade: VSOP (at least 3 y/o, though the importer says this is 8 y/o).
Note: 20% of the blend was double distilled, as opposed to the customary single distillation.
Price: $50 (Party Source)
Appearance: Light caramel.
Nose: Apple juice, passito wine, stollen, old oak.
Palate: Light bodied and light in flavor. Caramel, prune juice, vanilla.
Finish: Alcohol, raisins, a little oak.
Parting words: My bottle of Larressingle VSOP is something of a mystery. I know I bought it locally but it is not on the state list and I can’t find any of sign it ever being on the list. I won’t say where I got it (snitches get stitches) but however it got here, I’m glad I was able to pick up a bottle.
Armagnac fans are fond of saying how much more flavorful and affordable Armagnac is vs. Cognac. I’m not sure where that is the case, but it isn’t here. Larressingle VSOP is affordable for an Armagnac, but it’s not very flavorful at all. The last brandy I reviewed, D’usse VSOP Cognac, was about the same price but with twice the flavor.
Despite the watery taste, Larressingle VSOP mixes pretty well. I tried it in an Old Fashioned, a Japanese Cocktail, a Continental Sour (sour plus red wine) and the quintessential Armagnac drink, the d’Artagnan (Arm + orange liqueur, oj, sugar and dry sparkling wine), named for the literary Gascon swashbuckler.
If you can find Larressingle VSOP for around $40, I recommend buying it. Otherwise, it is only mildly recommended for mixing or as an option for those just dipping their toe into the Armagnac pool.