Armagnac Annual Production - 6 million bottles
Cognac Annual Production - 160 million bottles
Armagnac is a wine grape brandy made in Gascony, about 150 miles south of the more internationally famed Cognac region. Armagnac however is France's oldest brandy, possibly dating back as far as the 10th century.
Made from a more diverse range of grapes than Cognac (including Folle Blanche, Colombard and Bacco as well as Ugni Blanc), Armagnac is also distilled only once using a column still. This accounts for the main stylistic difference to Cognac, as Armagnac is more about character and depth of flavour as opposed to degree of smoothness. Armagnac can be compared to single malt Scotch in this regard. Single distillation also means that Armagnac spends more time in wood - specifically Monlezun black oak barrels - and therefore is often released with more age than Cognac.
As well as offering a more unique, individual style to most Cognacs on the market - as France both produces and exports much less Armagnac (preferring to hold onto it for domestic consumption) - production is in the full control of small artisanal producers and prices remain un-inflated by commercial fame. The result are rich brandies of undeniable personality and utmost quality; offering the discerning drinker good value for money, and a memorable drinking reward for taking the time to seek them out & to appreciate them.