Armagnac vs. Cognac
Of all the brandies on earth, Armagnac’s claim to magic reaches for the profound. It offers a stark contrast to its more polished, synthetic, and effete stepbrother, Cognac.
While Cognac is an industrial product whose distillation is programmed by computers, Armagnac continues to be crafted with the wood-red alembic stills of a bygone age.
Where Cognac is buffed, polished, and photoshopped, Armagnac—which only experiences one distillation—is tied to the whims of the vineyard, the technique of the distiller, the atmosphere of the chai, and even the type of wood used to heat the still.
France’s oldest brandy—it predates Cognac by 150 years—Armagnac is to Cognac what Burgundy is to Bordeaux.
While the latter may have its polished and industrial scale, the former is prized by in-the-know gourmands for its complexity, closeness to nature, and authenticity as perhaps the world’s last true craft spirit.