AUGUST SPIRIT OF THE MONTH: SEVEN TAILS XO FRENCH BRANDY
In the world of French brandy, there are mainly two sides: Cognac and Armagnac. While not too far apart on a map, the regions of Cognac and Armagnac make two distinct forms of brandy and each side has its fans. While Cognac fans tend to enjoy the more rounded mouthfeel, bigger fruitiness, and richer finish, fans of Armagnac enjoy a more savory, earthier, not as fruit forward-style of brandy.
As someone who enjoys both. I was very happy to hear about what the folks at Seven Tails XO Brandy are doing, mixing all the worlds of French brandy to make a spirit that is rich, warming and savory all at once.
Blending a total of 7 different brandies: a French brandy aged 3-5 years, an Armagnac Tenareze (any fans of Armagnac Chateau Pellehaut will be familiar with that territory), an Armagnac aged 4 years, an Armagnac aged 20 years, an Armagnac aged 30 years, a Cognac aged for 8 years and a Cognac aged for 10 years, the master blender of Seven Tails has managed to create a balance between all these distinct flavors.
The master blender also takes each of the brandies and finishes them in Port barrels, giving their versions just a touch more richness.
Usually when blending multiple styles together, some characteristics of the individual spirits can be lost. That is not the case for the Seven Tails; the spice and warmth from Armagnac is still found, the richness and roundness of the Cognac can be detected, and the French brandy serves as the backbone.
Baked apple and cocoa first hit the palate, almost like the spirit is trying to give your palate a warm welcome. Baking spice characteristics along with coating caramel and toasted vanilla add to the decadence of the brandy. While it does have rich, warming flavors, the baking spice and apple profiles keep the spirit balanced nicely.