From the Private Cellar of

Raj Peter Bhakta

50

YEAR OLD BRANDY

100% ARMAGNAC
FINISHED IN ISLAY WHISKY CASKS
VINTAGES FROM 1868 – 1970

VINTAGES USED:

1868 / 1897 / 1939 / 1946 /
1956 / 1963 / 1965 / 1970

BOTTLING DATE:

07.04.20

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:89.6
  • ABV:44.8
  • TASTING NOTES:

    HOGSWORTH is a farewell, a chapter coming to an end. Raj Peter Bhakta is departing from the whiskey world, but he is leaving an Islay mark on his newest spirited sensation. Armagnac carries rich notes of caramel from a long single distillation. Now imagine that exquisite profile with a kiss of seaside smokiness. It's a marriage of fruit with brine and sweet with savory.

    Light nose before an initial wave of dried apricot. Palate brings in peaty smokiness from Islay casks. Flavor cascades as fruits change and caramel floats in between. Complex and continuous finish, reminiscent of initial fruitiness with just the shadow of peat and berry.

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    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1897 / 1939 / 1946 /
    1956 / 1963 / 1965 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    07.12.20

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:88.4
  • ABV:44.2
  • TASTING NOTES:

    REVIVAL is an embrace of the future. Blended by our Revivalist Society on the 4th of July, 2020, this barrel carries the greatest wisdom of the spirits world. It marries the best attributes of Armagnac and scotch, and the wedding is monumental. Revival contains the same vintages as Hogsworth, but new blend ratios highlight distinct tasting notes.

    Sweet, honey nose before initial waves of winter berry and fig. Lighter smoke in the palate before gradual waves of plum, fig, and caramel. Complexity on the finish, redoubling the peat with a hint of mint.

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    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1897 / 1939 / 1946 /
    1952 / 1963 / 1964 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    08.20.20

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:90
  • ABV:45
  • TASTING NOTES:

    Named for King Arthur Pendragon, master of Excalibur, this barrel pays homage to discovery. Whether drawn from a stone or a cellar, it narrates the power within a mythic asset. Armagnac from France was our founder's. Our 50 Year blend can be yours.

    Lovely nose of honey and butterscotch. Initial notes of floral citrus and vanilla, with just a hint of peat. Islay smoke enters later, circulating on the palate with a deep oakiness. Finish is spicy, with white pepper to complement final notes of caramel and plum.

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    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1904 / 1933 / 1947 /
    1951 / 1959 / 1964 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    09.13.20

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:95.4
  • ABV:47.7
  • TASTING NOTES:

    This barrel contains gratitude for the apprentice. Sir Galahad is Lancelot’s son, a late addition to Arthur’s Round Table. Nevertheless, he becomes a heroic knight in his own time, leading the quest for the Holy Grail and even besting death itself. Every company has dozens of young Galahads. With proper training, they can become great. We drink to these unsung heroes.

    Sweet nose of tangerine, chocolate, and honey. Lemon zest on the attack, followed by our most powerful peat aspect yet and almost cinnamon spice. Dried fruit and chocolate cascades toward finish, which leaves lingering smoke and strong peat.

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    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1897 / 1939 / 1946 /
    1956 / 1963 / 1965 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    11.15.20

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:94.2
  • ABV:47.1
  • TASTING NOTES:

    PERCIVAL is for the visionary. Isolated in the forest until 15, this youth followed a legion of knights on foot to King Arthur’s court, earning a seat at the Table. There is power in perseverance, in never settling for “no,” despite the obstacles. The spirits of Percival herein have marched marathons for their goals.

    Freshly sawn oak shavings and dried apricot on the nose. Dimly lit cigar lounge with rich cheesecake and candied strawberry. Grassy and sticky finish, with notes of tickling flame torching caramel and citrus jam.

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    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1898 / 1939 / 1947 /
    1952 / 1962 / 1965 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    1.01.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:94.4
  • ABV:47.2
  • TASTING NOTES:

    LOHENGRIN is a toast to humility. This man is the Swan Knight of Arthurian legend. Ferried by a swan-drawn boat to rescue a maiden, he mysteriously demanded his name never be revealed. This teaches us much about humility. The spirits in this barrel toast the modern heroes who ask for no recognition in return. This is true honor, after all.

    Macerated strawberries and heavy oak on the nose. New shoe leather, smoldering cigar, and charred caramel. Banana split on a syrupy diner table. Persistent, mentholated finish of marzipan, apricot, and Islay peat.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1897 / 1939 / 1946 /
    1952 / 1963 / 1967 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    2.08.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:94.2
  • ABV:47.1
  • TASTING NOTES:

    GUINEVERE is the fairest barrel in the land. Rich with a smoky kiss and a majesty worthy of the namesake. Guinevere was King Arthur’s wife, Queen of the British in an age of magic and chivalry. Don’t let the beauty distract, though: you might catch yourself drinking up all of this rare blend before you can save some as a liquid investment...

    Powerful nose of ripe fruits, freshly sawn oak, and a touch of varnish. Palate dry and deeply rich. Complex, with well integrated oak and good presence of tannins, tabacco. This blend is especially great to accompany a cigar.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1924 / 1934 / 1946 /
    1955 / 1962 / 1967 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    2.22.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:94.8
  • ABV:47.4
  • TASTING NOTES:

    SAGRAMORE is smoky with a hotheaded namesake. He was a frenzied knight, righteous, but quick-tempered and often dangerous. His epic battles and love affairs were told throughout the land: early Britain’s first true “bad boy.” We present this one to the Scotch drinkers who enjoy the most intense of Islay finishes.

    Nose of charred marshmallow, the burnt caramel crust at the bottom of a sugaring vat. Peaty spray and barnacle-coated wooden rowboat. Rare steak with a maple-orange glaze. The ripest of plums cast into flame.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1893 / 1929 / 1941 /
    1955 / 1962 / 1965 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    2.28.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:91.8
  • ABV:45.9
  • TASTING NOTES:

    COLGREVANCE presents a timeless paradox. When one speaks on behalf of righteous truth, peril can befall. Colgrevance is one such example. This knight was slain as he prevented the murder of his comrade. Though his legacy is oft-forgotten, we honor his name. At the very least, it’s amusing to say out loud. At most, it reminds us to hold fast to our virtues, even before the harshest rebuke.

    Rich nose, with strong white wine profile. Fresh slivered almonds, orange peel, nutmeg, and charred caramel. Smooth, peaty attack, with palate of ripe, stewed fruit and dry raisins. Powerful and persistent peaty finish.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1878 / 1934 / 1947 /
    1956 / 1963 / 1967 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    3.9.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:88.6
  • ABV:44.3
  • TASTING NOTES:

    GAWAIN, the courteous knight. Sir Gawain's skill with the sword and celebrated integrity earned him a permanent seat by Arthur’s side. Above all, the tale of Sir Gawain’s marriage reminds us that true beauty is found within. Love is a mysterious puzzle, but our most important tool lies in our judgement of character. Let this barrel bring the truly good souls closer.

    Nose of rose petals and dried nectarine, with the slightest hint of mossy campfire. Chocolate-covered strawberries, with charred bacon and smoky victuals to accompany. Decadent fudge to celebrate the day's catch.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1898 / 1934 / 1941 /
    1952 / 1956 / 1962 /1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    3.11.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:96.2
  • ABV:48.1
  • TASTING NOTES:

    BOHEMOND is as heroic as it is delicate. The bright, fiery orange color says it all: this crusader king imparts insatiable passion and victorious perseverance. From Prince of Taranto in Southern Italy to Prince of Antioch in modern-day Turkey, Bohemond brought stirring leadership to his various conquests. Pope Urban II admired his strength, and we’re sure you’ll admire this barrel’s.

    Complex notes of gingerbread, overripe fruits, vanilla, apple crumble, and patisseries. Powerful, peaty attack: juicy, fruity, and not at all bitter. Heavenly, persistent finish of peat, gingerbread, and fruit compote.

    VINTAGES USED:

    1868 / 1878 / 1900 / 1947 /
    1956 / 1963 / 1965 / 1970

    BOTTLING DATE:

    4.17.21

  • ML:750
  • PROOF:97.6
  • ABV:48.8
  • TASTING NOTES:

    No line of ancient Armagnac would be complete without the Marquis de Lafayette. His commitment to the freedom and rights of all men left a transatlantic legacy. Without Lafayette’s assistance in mobilizing French military aid, America never would have won independence. So too did he play a vital role in the French Revolution, commanding troops and writing the seminal Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This barrel is dedicated to the intimate linkage between France and America. They are truly our oldest allies, and we salute them grandly.

    Sweet nose of caramel, toffee, and creme brulée. Develops into floral notes of lilac, violets, and muguet. Powerful, peaty attack which softens gradually without overpowering. Palate of floral essences, spices, pepper, tabacco, toast, orange peel, and marmalade. Quite dry mouthfeel of oak tannens. Especially good alcohol balance. 

    Vintages

    1868

    TASTING NOTES:

    Caramel
    Lilac Flower
    Candied Orange

    Following their brutal Civil War, the player to watch is the re-United
    States. Union soldiers of lofty ideals have won a righteous war to end
    slavery, and now millions turn their energy westward – from sea to shining sea. It is a frenzy of industrial state-building. Railroads are laid for fathoms. Cities balloon. Passion erupts.

    European empires conquer every nook and cranny of the planet, but America is quickly putting on muscle. We are already, though unrecognised, the world’s greatest power. Pioneers master the frontier from Nebraska to Alaska, and there’s no halt in sight. Though a great cataclysm will be required to shake Europe’s foundations and influence, America will be prepared to become the leading power.

    1897

    TASTING NOTES:

    Chocolate
    Poached Pear
    Walnut

    The Gilded Age is burning itself out. America is known throughout the world
    as the land where streets are paved with gold. Carnegie and Rockefeller lead
    the world in steel and oil, creating unprecedented national fortune. Yet
    underneath that fine filigree, there is panic. Banks foreclose, and strikes
    blaze from Chicago to New York. With an influx of new immigrants and no more
    frontier to conquer, we have outgrown our vast continent. The itch for
    empire has begun.

    Many of our elites, influenced by England, are enamored with imperialism.
    European powers have gobbled up Africa and Asia, and their colonies greedily
    extract sugar, rubber, gold, and blood. America has focused inward for
    decades, but prospects from Cuba to Hawaii beckon. It isn’t long before we
    seize upon the moribund Spanish Empire. America has caught imperial fever.
    Like most drugs, it feels good in the beginning.

    1939

    TASTING NOTES:

    Apricot
    Clover Honey
    Plum

    The forces of evil coalesce. Fascism grips Germany and Italy as a brutal
    panacea for the shame of defeat and the hardship of the Great Depression.
    Japan too, learning from the West and taking racism to new levels, is
    ravaging Asia. As the aggressors encroach, free people from Austria to China
    crumble one by one, and a shell-shocked America must thwart these rogue
    regimes.

    As Hitler conjures his armies upon the Polish border, preparing to unleash
    the blitzkrieg eastward, Roosevelt wrings his hands. His New Deal, while
    grand and innovative, has demonstrable flaws. Americans remain hungry in
    shantytowns nationwide, and the President cannot distract from his task at
    hand with a war’s worth of death and sorrow. Perhaps he can stay neutral and
    finance the war from afar, but with Churchill set to take office in Britain,
    we will see the limits of soft power.

    1946

    TASTING NOTES:

    Cloves
    Banana
    Mulled Cider

    Europe has completed its second act of self-immolation, and the United
    States holds the keys to the postwar world. Truman’s atomic arsenal remains
    a powerful advantage—how long will it last? WWII has imparted two lessons:
    first, we believe that only a free and stable global economy can prevent a
    relapse into anarchy; second, an aggressive ideology overseas has killed
    400,000 Americans. Europe still retains its spirit, and the spark of Revival
    remains alive, though dormant. For now, we will need to take inspired steps
    on behalf of freedom and democracy.

    Stalin has different aims. America may have escaped relatively unscathed
    from the war, but the Soviet Union is decimated. Stalin will not allow
    another Nazi Germany to rise, and he ‘liberates’ Eastern Europe as a buffer
    to ensure security. Truman sees aggression. Stalin sees prevention. Two
    ideologies opposed. The next 50 years’ scene is coldly, grimly set.

    1956

    TASTING NOTES:

    Coffee
    Apple
    Cinnamon

    Washington fears a domino effect from one nation’s fall to a world of
    Communist holdings. Thus, American funding pours overseas from Iran to
    Vietnam. What’s more, the Suez Crisis has demonstrated that US realpolitik
    will prioritize puppet regimes over her ancient allies. What started as an
    ideological dispute has turned to war—not fought by either belligerent, but
    by the governments of the third world. We must regard this as an error. It’s
    a show of atomic one-upmanship, as schoolchildren practice fallout drills,
    and the great Space Race is on.

    Meanwhile, Elvis is on the radio at the Interstate Diner. Marilyn Monroe is
    the envy of all, rock n’ roll takes root, and the average American can
    afford Cadillacs by the bushel. It’s a honeymoon in Hollywood, and America
    continues to bust all human records of prosperity, happiness, and power.
    Glamour in the California sun. Beach Boys, baby.

    1963

    TASTING NOTES:

    Whiskey
    Cardamom
    Hickory

    On November 22, the Beatles release their chart-topping second album With
    the Beatles, and Kennedy is assassinated. Consternation gathers in Saigon,
    where the US has backed a bloody coup and continues to send special forces.
    We have unwittingly set upon a slippery slope, but America has stayed
    mesmerized by the young President. Everything comes to an abrupt end at
    12:30pm in Dallas, and doubts erupt from Civil Rights to Vietnam. The
    innocent prosperity of the 50s is giving way to a new era of global conflict
    and cynicism.

    The arms race is getting out of hand, and we stand on the precipice of
    nuclear Armageddon. With Americans still reeling from last year’s Cuban
    Missile Crisis, we realize to our shock that we are vulnerable. We stay
    glued to their televisions, waiting for updates on situations near and far.
    Yesterday Cuba, today Vietnam, tomorrow outer space. As the ratios of our
    victories diminish, Kennedy’s admonishment to “pay any price, bear any
    burden” begins to beggar doubt.

    1965

    TASTING NOTES:

    Fig
    Rose
    Apricot

    I now abandon all objectivity to honor a personal hero. In January 1965, Winston Spencer Churchill dies, all the while aware that the Empire he stewarded is liquidating. Lincoln never had to see such a grim fate. I mourn for his dolor. Few men are such valiant soldiers of freedom. Few men have the gumption to spit in the face of evil. Few men must suffer the ache of witnessing their homeland slip away. And now, we must take heed.

    The world is complex going forward, and in his words, “never in the course of human history has so much been owed by so many to so few.” Britain is adrift. They commence their swan song, lacking a hero and his direction. But they are nevertheless bathed in glory. From a small island home, they have repulsed the enmity of an entire continent. They remain cognizant that the moment at Churchill’s final breath was indeed “their finest hour.”

    I do not ignore the complexities of praising such an Empire. The gallant English soul has not always led righteous marches. Both of my ancestral peoples, the Irish and the Indians, have undergone the yoke of British rule. But I forgive, and I admire. Great men like Churchill are worth remembering, and conquering the world is no easy thing—one to be applauded.

    1970

    TASTING NOTES:

    Apple
    Coffee
    Nutmeg

    The wise sense impending defeat. Nixon has decided to seek “Peace with
    Honor” in Vietnam—so we start bombing. We slowly learn the limits of might
    and the power of conviction against all odds. Nixon’s negotiations are far
    too flaccid to resolve anything, and the peace protests only worsen.

    But America’s dignity remains intact, and even amidst this defeat we strike
    a great victory. We have sent Americans to the moon, putting a decisive end
    to a 30 year Space Race. We are rising to meet the challenges of a 70s
    economy, where capital transcends borders and American multinationals
    dominate. There will be mistakes, but we are preparing for greatness when
    the Cold War finally ends. We embrace our past foe China, which poses
    threats yet unknown. We are becoming the world’s first hyperpower. It is
    Revival at its finest, or perhaps one might call it triumph. In the
    seeds of every victory…

    The Bhakta Method

    OUR 6 STEP PROCESS

    Blending and finishing is a true art. Raj happened to have his eureka moment when he stumbled upon an Armagnac that had been finished in a whisky barrel on account of a lost bet. Our win.

    1. The Long Sleep
    2. Preservation
    3. Master blending
    4. Scotch Finish
    5. Fresh finish
    6. Hand Bottling

    1. The Long Sleep

    After 50+ years in oak, the Armagnac is placed into 30L glass containers called "bonbonnes" to stop the aging process and preserve the quality of the eau-de-vie.