Passover booze 2011 – Chateau du Tariquet Bas Armagnac – “Classique” 40%ABV

France – 40%ABV – $35 | £22 | €25

WARNING & DISCLAIMER – For those who keep, this armagnac is not certified as “Kosher” or “Kosher for Passover” (I am no rabbi but I think, being that this is nothing more than distilled wine matured in European oak casks, that this may be “Kosher by Nature”, not to be confused with “Naughty by Nature“)

It’s that Passover time of year where I (and millions of Jews around the world) abstain from any food or drink that is grain-based.  That means, you guessed it: No whisky (in any form be it Scotch, Japanese, Irish, Bourbon, Rye, corn… nothing!).

So, what are my options?

Wine? Yes.  Tequila? Yes!  Calvados? Yes.  Beer? No.  Rum/Rhum?  I think so…  Cognac? Yes!!  Armagnac? YES!!!

My first choice for Armagnac this Passover is Chateau du Tariquet “Classique” which is an Armagnac aged at least three years but is also a blend of different vintages and made up of two grape varietals: Baco 40% Ugni-blanc 60%.  For more information on what Armagnac is, check out this wiki-page.

On the nose Vanilla and honey right up front like they’re the teacher’s pet.  Simmer down guys, I’m a student here too…

Spicy here too and, get this, corn tortilla (let’s hope they didn’t slip any corn in the one or I’d have done messed up Passover right here and now).

White chocolate and crushed dried fruits (dates & raisins).

It actually noses like a lightly sherried whisky…

On the mouth Oh, good G-d!  Delicious!  Truth be told, I don’t know what to expect from an armagnac so what I’m tasting may not what people look for in one.  But I’ll tell you this, what I look for in Scotch whisky is what Im tasting here and now: Warm and slightly toasted flavors of  vanilla and honeyed almonds.

A thread of smokiness, wood and a fruity compote.

The mouthfeel is not too thick, not too thin.

Finish Dessert-like, scrumptious (think french vanilla bean ice cream and caramel topping).

In sum I could easily sip on this in place of your every day whisky.  Very easy going, full-flavored, sweet and perfect for an after dinner treat.

To all of those who celebrate and observe Passover, Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday)!