Tasting, especially when talking about an armagnac, must be a pleasurable time.
Armagnac needs time to be revealed to all your senses. Many decades were needed to craft it. Give it the necessary time to appreciate its full and rich body.
In fact, it would be better to get different armagnacs, each of them associated to a precise moment in time.
To properly taste an armagnac is to get pleasure, and pleasure is personal and subjective.
The wide variety of armagnacs has to allow each person to find an eau-de-vie of their own taste. Tasting is trying as well to analyze the armagnac, to be able to share it with friends.
Three different phases consitute the analytic tasting: one for the eye, one for the nose, and one for the taste buds.
1. Visual step
Encantada only selects spirit which guarantee naturally colors, only due to the wood cask.
At the output of the alembic, armagnacs are initially white. Then, they evolve from light yellow to darker colors, until deep brown.
Color cannot be considered as a reliable quality information. A clearer spirit can be yougner thant a darker spirit, but the time spent in a new oak piece, and the oak wood itself could have an impact on its color. However, it is more pleasant to taste a bright and limpid armagnac.
2. Olfactory step
The nose phase (the armagnac “nez”) is the richest. It can give you good enjoyment and pleasures that remain different for a very long time, up to several hours for the same glass. The richness of an old armagnac displays a wide range of aromas. It is an intriguing game to seek its broad palette of nuances during the tasting.
As the first contact with 40 to 50 degrees armagnacs is very alcoholic, make sure to hold the glass in your while hand to warm it, and smell the spirit up close by small touches; until to be entirely seduced by the fragrance.
Each eau-de-vie and each nose has their own and unique meeting point. When the person next to you has already some spirit in mouth it is not necessarily the rigth time for you. Remember that there is a waiting game before the aromas can seduce you entirely.
3. La phase gustative
First of all, prepare your mouth ready for the fun; blend a tiny amount of armagnac with your saliva, to be gently rolled around the palate to prepare your mucosa for the armagnac fiery heat. You will then be allowed to savor a second small sip, and analyze its characteristics: it is forceful, with plenty of fat and length on palate.
Once your snifter is finally empty, the paradise can start. Focus on the last drops of the bottom part of the glass, where all aromas are concentrated and well aerated which offer the best it can.
It is a real privilege to take some time to savour an armagnac at length and to finish feeling the bottom of the glass the very last drops weaving their way in and out of the glass; the nose is rich with all the pleasures just vanished from the tasting phase.