July 20, 2014

Armagnac and Cigars: Chateau de Laubade + Espinosa Blue

I picked this drink because I love to pair Armagnac and cigars but had previously only enjoyed more common ones. I really wanted to try one special so when I found that I could buy a vintage Armagnac, I was sold! This prestigious drink needed a special cigar that could stand up to its strength, flavour profile.  When another pairing member brought over the Espinosa 601 Maduro as a gift, my thoughts immediately when to the Chateau de Laubade on my top shelf.

1973 Chateau de Laubade Armagnac

This bas armagnac is entirely from a single harvest from 1973.  “Château de Laubade only releases its vintages after a minimum of 15 years of ageing in oak casks from Gascony.”  This Vintage won the silver award at the World Spirits Competition in 2012, and the gold medal in 2004 at the Concours General Agricole de Paris.  Needless to say, get a bottle of their vintages and keep it on your shelf for that special day.

After removing the wax seal and uncorking the bottle, this 41 year old brandy revealed an incredible and unexpected nose. The drink smelled of figs and aged tawny port with notes of vanilla and melted butter.

Despite being bottled at 40% ABV this drink has no bite or harsh edge as you’d expect.  This silky smooth drink tastes of dark dried fruits, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla.  The finish is dry like a fine wine and a honey-sweet short finish.

Espinosa 601 Maduro

This great cigar has a beautiful dark and oily broadleaf maduro wrapper, and is full of aged Nicaraguan longfillers.  It’s a medium to full bodied cigar.  The draw is easy and with tons of smoke as we’ve learned to expect from a box-pressed cigar.  This stick has been rated a whopping 94 and earned its place as Cigar Aficionado’s #6 cigar of 2009.

This cigar has a great taste.  Organic and earthy, dark and sweet, trees, bark, lettuce leaf and a touch of coffee.  A smooth stick that’s easily box-worthy.

About the pair

This was an excellent pair.  I would use this pair to impress, to reward, to entice.  This is a special combination that should be enjoyed by anyone serious about pairing, especially about pairing Armagnac and cigars.  The spirits washes your mouth with sweetness followed by citrus, cleansing the palate, allowing the flavours of the cigar to shine through.  The creaminess of the smoke and is organic flavours bring out the fruit in the cigar.
If you get the chance to put this combination together, let us know what you think!  We think this was a nice pair.
– David

Read more about pairing cigars with brandy

Drink pairing for Espinosa 601 Maduro cigar
Cigars and brandy pairing

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