The oldest brandy in France - dating from the monasteries in the 15th century, and easily the most misunderstood. Castarède has the distinction of being the oldest Armagnac house in existence founded in 1832. Castarède has a number of expressions available both in France and the United States including a number of vintage years- something you don't see much of in their sister spirit cognac. There are some similarities and many differences in armagnac from its northern cognac a excellent explanation of which is provided here
A quick and dirty analogy would be the difference between say, rye - real rye not the Canadian stuff- and bourbon or mezcal and tequila in terms of flavor profiles. Using more grape varieties, lesser proof at distillation and different wood for aging, Armagnac is a sadly undiscovered gem - especially among cognac drinkers who seem to suffer the delusion it is just a peasant brandy - nothing could be further from the truth.
Castarède uses only grapes from the premier Bas Armagnac region not any from the lesser 2 regions (Ténarèze and Haut -Armagnac) .
The taste is a lovely oily entry, like a spiced oil, delightful mixture of sweetness balanced with acidity to give it structure, with intense dark fruits, tobacco, leather,saddle soap, notes of vanilla, citrus, mango, papaya, and a slightly warming finish. An interesting mixture of being more rustic and plush than a cognac.