Ararat Dvin Collection Reserve Brandy 50%
First Ararat tasting on Hors d’Age. This Armenian brandy follows cognac rules, with the double distillation of wine to get an eau-de-vie that has to spend a while in a cask before bottling. Ararat is the most famous brand of this kind of brandy, and most of its production is dedicated to the Russian market (I’ve heard something like 90%). They don’t have Ugni Blanc, but they’re using local grapes like Garandmak and Voskehat. I’ve got no precise age statement about this one, but following their range ranking, it’s supposed to be a 10-15yo blend.
Colour: Mahogany, gold lights. Irregular medium tears.
Nose: Heavy caramel and nutty notes at first. Oaky astringent scents. Hints of milk chocolate and toffee notes. Average balsamic notes, blood blood-orange smells in the background. Not the most talkative nose ever to be honest.
Palate: Oily texture with bitter aftertaste. Full of nutty notes. A tad of toffee aromas. Medium mouth length regarding the ABV. Bitter chocolate, young tawny port notes. Hints of bourbon vanilla aromas in the background.
Last Notes: Light juicy/meaty notes now. Ample caramelized shades too. Quite imprecise and alcohol-driven, even after 30 minutes of breathing. Back on the palate, you get caramelized plum notes. Heavy licorice and toffee notes with the mouth length. A tad of unprecedented spiciness on black pepper and nutmeg.
Rustic and round at the same time. Okay-ish. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not my cup of tea.
My very subjective note: 80+/100
Thanks Luke and Roberto!