Lous Pibous  1996 “Paul’s Pick” Cask #151, 56.2% for L’Encantada

Nose: Oh yes, it has everything!  Earthy forest floor and wet wood. Ripe fresh strawberries & cream. Funky oily beef, dark hot cocoa, faint herbal mint. What a nose.

Palate:  Robust oaky and fruity attack, with dark caramel, sawdust, red apple skin, forest floor & mushrooms, tobacco, black pepper, and a strangely effervescent, Jamaican ginger beer tingle. Appropriately Gascon – rough and rustic. Finish has orange pith, brown butter, ginger, Saltines, licorice. On and on…

Rating: 10 / 10 – An early Pibous cask, privately picked and treasured by those lucky few who acquired one. Think of these old Pibous releases as akin to the Willett “C” series of brandy. In full disclosure, the first night I tried this the roughness grated on me. And I do feel like the tannins are a little harsh in this one. But tonight side by side with 124, I like this even more than the other. It’s got the fruit and funk I love but also an earthy depth that makes it so interesting to nose and sip. Another all time favorite.