Janneau Napoleon & Janneau XO tasting
This time I would like to meet an extraordinary producer. Janneau is quite unique in the armagnac world as they’re 1 of 3 producers with pot stills and a classic armagnac column still. Produced blends are a mix of both column and pot still and this, despite all the technical differences, reminds me of a great rum producer – The Foursquare distillery. The Janneau Distillery mainly uses baco and ugni blanc grapes from the Bas Armagnac and Tenereze regions. The owner of the Janneau is a company Spirit France, which apart from Janneau’s armagnacs also has Pere Magloire, Boulard and Lecompte calvados in its portfolio.
I have tasted Janneau Napoleon and Janneau XO edition. The Napoleon is characterized by a predominant share of the distillate from a double distillation (pot still), topped up with the distillate from the column. Unfortunately, I did not find an information about the age of the distillates used in this blend on the official website. Some sources indicate the age of 10-12 years but I would say it is rather 8-10. Standard alcohol content 40%.
Nose: vanilla, oranges, delicate honey, it is rather sweet.
Mouth: orange jam, apricots, sweetened tea, flowers appear, but surprisingly there is also a bit of cocoa.
Finish: short, mild, very little peppery, very little tannins, no wood, a bit without history but pleasant. Smooth.
Janneau XO edition includes distillates mainly from the column, with a much smaller share of pot still distillates. According to the manufacturer’s declaration, we have a solid content of even 30-year-old distillates inside. The alcohol content is also 40%.
Nose: sharper and drier than Napoleon, wood varnish, wood itself, vanilla, licorice, dried figs.
Mouth: classic armagnac, dried figs as on the nose, raisins, but everything drier than in the case of its predecessor, pepper, cocoa, tobacco.
Finish: quite long, spicy, chili and tannins, dark chocolate.
XO is my recommendation here as it’s character sends the great armagnac spirit. Besides my opinion the XO had a couple of festival awards in years 1995-2015. For me it was a great introduction to the brand. I would like to taste some of Janneau vintages to have a broader vision. We will see what future brings.