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Mohamed Boudellal


Journalist specialized
in Wine & Spirits.



" Neither completely different nor completely the same "


Always compliant with Armagnac's distillation standards, Uby Oak has recently unveiled a completely original approach to making brandy that is still fully governed by tradition. Breaking away from the typical barometer for appreciating spirits, this Armagnac will appeal to those who love new experiences and are not held back by the conventions attached to its consumption. The bottle's playful, unconventional presentation combined with the liquor's alluring taste means it can be enjoyed simply and easily, whether taken neat or as a delightful ingredient in gourmet cocktails. 


With its captivating bouquet and inventive blend of sweetness and woody sap, it is the product of skillfully executed fabrication while still abiding by Armagnac's fundamental rules. It thus takes on a flavor character hitherto unknown in its category, structured with sweetness and nuances that bring it closer to popular brandies while borrowing heavily from a well-rounded Armagnac.  Armagnac, it remains the same while adopting a unique duality, much like the line from the famed poet (*) suggests: "Neither completely different nor completely the same." As a result, Uby Oak retains the essence of its origins, but offers it in a reworked, charming style that is accessible to every palate and delivers instant enjoyment.         


(*) Paul Verlaine, « My Familiar Dream »




"An organic "Triple Casks" Armagnac sure to enchant new brandy lovers.


How do you attract new fans to Armagnac and adopt artisanal and mixology trends while remaining loyal to Gascon DNA? It's the Uby estate that has succeeded in squaring that circle with its new organic "Triple Cask" brandy, Uby Oak.

Armagnac, a Gascon quandary. Here we have a brandy that is considered the oldest in France, highly prized by connoisseurs, but which has been increasingly abandoned by consumers who have turned away from distinguished French digestives (including Cognac) to dote on whiskeys, rum and other spirits with more exotic origins. But while the craft distillery and high-end mixology trends have never been more popular, certain brandy brands have held on, with the Uby Estate being a fine example. This family-run vineyard located in Cazaubon in the Gers region of France is known above all to the general public for its Côtes-de-Gascogne white wine, but the estate has passed on, "from father to son," an Armagnac fabrication tradition based on "the spirit of tradition, knowledge and complete understanding of their terroir."


But tradition doesn't necessarily preclude any reconsideration of conventions. To respond to the new trends on the spirits market and to attract new consumers, the Uby Estate has just released Uby Oak, an Armagnac that boasts a "contemporary style" in the bottle design itself as well as its contents. First, a few words about its bottle: a squat design, colored with a bold yellow, that takes a long step away from the style norms of Gascon brandy. And for the spirit itself, it's an amber brandy, produced organically, with a blend of 50% Baco and 50% Ugni blanc as well as a Triple Cask distillation, namely left to mature in three different French oak barrels: 12 months in a barrel made of new English oak "to establish its character," then 18 months in red oak "to refine its character," and finally 6 months in a finishing sessile oak barrel "to develop its body and unique flavors."


Its positioning is clearly not due to chance. It is establishing a space for itself in the market segment of rum and bourbon (gin as well when looking at its bottle presentation). It's a liquor that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or of course in a cocktail. In the same way that the distiller Bache Gabrielsen recently shook up the Cognac world with its "American Oak", Uby has done the same with this Armagnac full of subtle notes of vanilla, floral hints, spices (even gingerbread), with a very gentle and smooth touch on the palate and a solid sensation of alcohol balanced with an alluring sweetness. Purists may find some fault here, but Uby Oak achieves its goal: offering an organic, "local"—all of the barrels come from the Bartholomo cooperage in Landes—and highly flavorsome approach to Armagnac.
It will no doubt find its audience. Indicative price: €40.

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