A type of brandy known for its distinctively soft, rich flavor. Produced in Gascony, which is a region located in southern France southeast of Bordeaux, Armagnac is similar to Cognac but has an older history. Made from grape varieties that include Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Folle Blanche, and Bacco, Armagnac differs from Cognac in the distillation and ageing process, requiring fewer distillation processes and developing a more complex flavor over time. Armagnac uses an alhambic still for distillation, which consists of a copper boiler with condensation coils that are used to distill the liquid only once at a very low temperature. After distillation, the Armagnac is transferred to casks made from black oak instead of Limousin oak, which is the wood used for the Cognac casks to impart a lighter vanilla flavor to the Cognac. The black oak cask provides the richer depth of flavor and a warm amber color that is associated with the Armagnac brandy. Armagnac is aged from 20 to 40 years and as it matures both the alcohol content and the volume of liquid decreases, resulting in a deeper more intense liquid and flavor for this brandy.
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