Tomorrow I am going to visit family in Wisconsin. And as such it is only fitting that I explore my father’s favorite drink. Yep, my eye is wandering again and once again I’m down the brandy aisle.
Last year, I gave my father Chateau De Laubade VSOP Armagnac for Christmas. As I’ve stated before, he likes his brandy, but usually buys regular release Korbel. Because until recently, I’d yet to explore brandy most of the time he got presents that I had never tasted. And though he shares, it’s usually a pull from the bottle or an 80 proof drowned in ice. So I decided to give it a try. Chateau De Laubade is a Total Wine exclusive. As such, this one was available in a 200 mL bottle so I didn’t have to lay down too much cash to try it. In this case, it was $12 or so.
Chateau De Laubade VSOP
Purchase Info: $11.99 for a 200 mL bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN
Details: 40% ABV
Nose: Floral with plump raisins, baked apple and sweet caramel.
Mouth: Trending toward dry with a full mouthfeel.
Finish: A long but delicate finish with caramel, raisins, spice and floral notes.
Thoughts: This has a lovely nose and finish. I’d say most of the flavor hits you during the finish. During my initial tasting, I used a Glencairn as I normally do for these reviews and wasn’t impressed. Because when I’m not doing a tasting, I normally drink using different types of glassware, I tried this again using a small snifter style glass. It is amazing what a difference it made. I picked up much more on the nose and mouth and enjoyed it much more. At $40 for a 750, this isn’t a bargain, but it is easily as good as many of the bourbons that have recently entered it’s price point.
My wandering eye is a series reacting to the crazy rising prices in the bourbon world. We’ve reached a place where even average products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. If I’m going be asked to drop $40 to $70 on a mediocre bourbon, I might as well see what else I can get for that money. See if another spirits category offers something that is downright tasty in that price range. The goal isn’t to find cheap spirits, but to maximize the quality I’m getting at a particular price point.
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