The distillation process
The distillation process At the House of Janneau we have been blending since the late 1970’s the spirits obtained from both methods to create our assemblages, a characteristic which distinguishes our armagnacs from all others. The percentage of brandies used plays an important role in forming the characteristics of each assemblage, and it varies according to age. The distillation is carried out in Winter and by law must be completed by 31st March following the harvest. There are two very different distillation methods consented by law for the distillation of Armagnac. The most common is Continuous Distillation, which uses a special column still, also called Armagnaçais, extracts vigorously, aromatic brandies, rich in essential oils. In 1972 Janneau reintroduced the Double Distillation method to the Region, which was the original method of distillation in alambic prior to the limitations imposed in 1903. The Double Distillation method is a more complex method that uses different copper alambics extracting only the heart of the distillation thus eliminating “heads” and “tails”. The first product called “brouillis” is distilled again for the second time. At the very beginning the resulting liquid, called head, is left aside as it contains some impurities. The heart, which is the part of the distillate achieving the desired quality is kept, and the tail is set aside with the head to be distilled again with the next batch of wine. Freshly distilled double distilled Armagnac is as clear as water with decidedly fruity, occasional plum, green apples and also vanilla aromas.