Maker: Gelas, Vic-Fezenac, Gers, Ocittania, France (negociant)
Age: 3-5 y/o (according to website)
Purchased for $45 (Vine & Table)
Appearance: Dark copper.
Nose: French oak, anise, leather, horehound, red pepper.
Palate: Full-bodied and sweet. Caramel, white chocolate, crushed pink peppercorns.
Finish: Red licorice, caramel, black licorice.
Parting words: Maison Gelas is a 150 year old Armagnac negociant. It’s located in Vic-Fezenac, a small town most notable for being one of the few places in France where bullfighting still takes place and for being the birthplace of current French Prime Minister Jean Castex, whose politics this blog does not endorse.
As far as I can tell, this brandy is Gelas’s entry level Armagnac. It’s not quite a VO, not quite a VSOP, but makes for a decent weeknight sipper. The nose is good, and it’s inoffensive and easy to drink, but it lacks the rustic, floral character that Armagnac is known for. I suspect that it has relatively high amounts of caramel, sugar and possibly boisé (although it’s rare in Armagnac). If they would ease off the sugar a bit, I might enjoy this blend more, even if it might taste less refined. As it is, it’s ok, but there are better values at just a few dollars more. Gelas Selection is mildly recommended.