55 Cerbois, Bas Armagnac
I'm counting this one as wine. It's as armagnac ought to be. I'd rather smell the sweet vanilla scent of this 50-year-old southern French distillate than any perfume from Paris. The taste is epic--ripe with pears, fresh baked apples, cinammon, cardamom, and minerally salt. Distilled, it still expresses its fruit. Unlike almost any spirit I've ever had, the 55 Cerbois not only develops, it completely changes--on the tongue and in the glass--uncovering the caramel nuttiness of tawny Port long into the finish. Complicated to express, but easy to feel--like love, I guess, raging love.