Armagnac: Aurian

Typically I’d be telling you something about Aurian and its history at this point, but I am not sure how useful that is given that you can just as well click on the company history page of Aurian and get first hand information. For me, Aurian was absolutely unknown until last year’s Wu Dram Clan releases, which we will have today, among others.

Aurian 1985 (43%): I have no idea how old this is. Nose: Quite thick and sweet, at “only” 43%. At first we find plums and Demerara sugar. What’s very interesting about this one though is that after about just five minutes, a complete switch to vanilla pudding, caramel sauce and sweet, juicy pear is made. We also get pastry, cumin and slightly herbal notes. So far, so good. Palate: Quite different from the nose. The herbs are still there, albeit in a more medical form. Eucalyptus, honey, pear and now again also cumin are other notes we can find. Then Rooibos tea, Bourbon and cinnamon. Not bad at all! Finish: Medium long with wood, spices, tea and a few nuts. This one is not outstanding, but very good. The 43% aren’t a big problem at all, which is really nice! (86/100)

Wu Dram Clan Aurian 1979/2020, (49,6%): They have used Baco and Ugni Blanc for this one. Nose: Very dense and creamy with dark berries, pastry and honey. Also a lot of glue! Oh my… Then raisins, plums and other extremely umami notes. This is seriously good. Palate: Just as good. Sour cherries and cherry drops, eucalyptus, wood, a very pleasant bitterness, plums, sugar, lemonade, sparkling citrus iced tea, perhaps also Cola and herbal notes. We are really going back and forth between all these totally different notes but I can really find elements of all of them. What a chameleon! Finish: Medium long to long with Cola, wood, that bitterness stemming from black tea, cloves and cinnamon. I think it is just great stuff, despite being rather unusual. But than again, that’s more often a good than a bad thing. (90/100)

Wu Dram Clan Aurian 1967/2021 (48%): Nose: Peaches, pears, violets, lavender perhaps, maybe also quince, but now clearly orange blossom and rose water. It would be easy and fitting to describe this as a light, continental fruit and floral Armagnac I think. Yet, there’s this perfumed note that’s slightly irritating for me. If this were a Rum, I’d be suspicious by now but I believe that this is clean juice. Palate: Still in the same camp but more vegetal now. Put differently, violets and peaches shape the flavour profile, but foul cauliflower and Pak Choi are also in the mix. That might sound odd, but it is actually really good! Late ’80s Bowmore anyone!? Now all of a sudden more topical fruits such as banana, passion fruit, pineapple and papaya. What is this? Absolutely crazy stuff! Finish: Tarte flambée, white wine, oak and peach but also yellow plums, cookie dough, sage and wild honey. Super complex stuff that might even have a few too many layers to it if you ask me. Nevertheless, this is just some magnificent Yak. (92/100)

Wu Dram Clan Aurian 1966/2020 (53%): Nose: Once again totally different. Very dusty and musty in character but after a while we can find Espresso, chocolate, Peccorino, lacquer, wood, fallen leafs, walnuts, cinnamon, a mix of fruits that are prepared for liquid preservation and an old piano behind all that dust. Once again, extremely good! Palate: Wow! This is the nuts. Cocoa, caramel, that fruit mix from the nose, very old wood, those same musty notes, fresh sugar cane and other seemingly random notes form a profile that is unique, intense, dense and complex. If I had to make the connection to Rum, this might be an old Damoiseau, but it is really autonomous by itself. Aurensan might be the parallel in the Yak world. Now I get rose water, more floral notes and olive oil. More crazy stuff, it seems. Finish: Coffee, cocoa, wood, oranges, honey and slightly floral notes. Even the finish is unique here. A truly great selection, that could also have been a 93. It is ever so close! (92/100)