YEAR OLD BRANDY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Godfrey of Bouillon was the champion of the First Crusade, the presumed new ruler of Jerusalem. He declined his title and golden crown, however, since Christ himself hadn’t worn more than thorns. Instead, he continued his campaign, amassing land until his death in battle. Humility, reluctance to accept accolade--these are the marks of strong leadership. We drink to the mighty few. Sticky batch of homemade jam on the flame. Peat surges through on the palate, followed by crisp, browned toast to complete the fruity aromas. Gentle, buttery finish.
We remain in awe of the multitalented. Theobald of Navarre was at once a master diplomat, lutist, and grandfather to Champagne wine. After kindling the Baron’s Crusade on the Pope’s whim, he sang his way to Damascus and breezed through negotiations. He also selected Chardonnay grapes to bring home to France for the first time. These grapes have fed French wine & brandy traditions for generations since… Nose of juicy blood orange, overripened on the grass from the sun's beating rays. Rich palate of hazelnut, vanilla, treacle, and candied prune. A festive cake of fruit and nuts, with a touch of holiday spice. Persistent finish of peat and cinnamon.
Boniface of Montferrat was the 4th Crusade’s clear leader. With Papal permission, his army stormed Constantinople, and all hailed him as the new Byzantine Emperor. Still, powerful Venice held him unworthy. Barred from his throne in Byzantium, Boniface started his own kingdom in Thessaloniki. If you know the Bhakta story, you’ll join us in praising this act. Drink from this barrel and never be vetoed. Meadowy, potent nose, with lilac buds and shoe polish intermingling. A whisky-lover's familiar palate, with peaty punch to char the fruity texture. Spicy, minty finish. A well-smoked cocktail on a summer's eve.
Ulysses S. Grant was a president but not a politician, a general who loathed the pomp of military office, and a bit of a lush. What he lacked in polish he made up for with his military acumen and perceptiveness. He led the Union to victory in the Civil War, and then oversaw reconstruction efforts over a torn country. He is a turbulent and often conflicted hero, but Ulysses S. Grant is a hero nonetheless. Flawed heroes and heroic humanity--we'll drink to that. Bright orange and burnished copper on the nose, with spicy stewed fruit undertones. Strong peaty palate with notes of caramel, toffee, and a cacophonous symphony of stewed fruits. A well-rounded nightcap after a day in the sun.
It is said that Winston Churchill enjoyed a "mouthwash" of whisky each morning. Whatever his daily routine, there is no doubt that Churchill was witty, savvy, and a visionary. He became Britain's Prime Minister in 1940, just after the start of WWII. His tenacity, stirring speeches, and unwavering resolve made him one of the chief architects of Allied victory. The bold flavors of this barrel would convert the British Bulldog himself into an Armagnac enthusiast. A nose of aged leather and smoky cigar lounges melts into a palate of peaty creosote that softens into floral, even spicy notes of mulled fruit and roasted nuts. A persistent finish of peat and nutmeg linger on the palate.
Perhaps no man (or woman) more greatly represents the glamour and complexity of the Gilded Age better than John D. Rockefeller. Born into a poor family in upstate New York, the scrappy Rockefeller saw untapped opportunity in oil refining, founding the Standard Oil Company in 1870. He retired in 1897, a vintage found in this bottle. Indulge in this barrel of BHAKTA 50, and discover the richness within. A nose of aged leather and smoky cigar lounges melts into a palate of peaty creosote that softens into floral, even spicy notes of mulled fruit and roasted nuts. A persistent finish of peat and nutmeg linger on the palate.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, served as France’s first president from 1848-1852. When he consitutionally could not be reelected, he named himself Emporer. As Emporer he oversaw the expansion of France’s overseas domains and the modernization of France’s economy until 1870. The throes of 19th century expansionism are contained within Barrel 19, aptly named Louis-Napoleon. À votre santé! Heady figs, plums, and apricots swirling in concert with smoky peat on the nose. The peppery palate delights the senses with lingering stewed fruits and a long, smoky finish reminiscent of whisky around the campfire.
The very epitome of the Roaring Twenties, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. A tumultuous match that produced some of the best iconography and literature of its age, from This Side of Paradise to the flapper style, which Zelda Fitzgerald is credited for bringing to America. The Fitzgeralds moved to Paris in 1924, found in this barrel. F. Scott began writing his best-known work, The Great Gatsby, that year. You’ll discover all of the glamour and indulgence of the Jazz Age within Barrel No. 20, aptly named Fitzgerald. The very epitome of the Roaring Twenties, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. A tumultuous match that produced some of the best iconography and literature of its age, from This Side of Paradise to the flapper style, which Zelda Fitzgerald is credited for bringing to America. The Fitzgeralds moved to Paris in 1924, found in this barrel. F. Scott began writing his best-known work, The Great Gatsby, that year. You’ll discover all of the glamour and indulgence of the Jazz Age within Barrel No. 20, aptly named Fitzgerald. A floral nose with just the slightest notes of leather gives way to a robust, peaty palate with just a hint of spicy, musky floral notes that will appeal to whisky drinkers.
Born in 1897, Amelia Earhart earned her pilots license in 1921. From there, she smashed records and championed women in aviation, accruing a laundry list of accomplishments and accolades....much like BHAKTA 50. Earhart disappeared in 1937 (a vintage found in this barrel) during a flight around the world. Despite being gone, she is not forgotten. With this barrel we toast to the fearless pioneers who aren’t afraid to be the ones who go first. A nose of overripe figs and hints of vanilla leans into a palate of stewed fruitss with walnuts and piney undergrowth. A sweet and smoky attack softens into a silky texture with remarkable complexity.
General Patton said, “A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.” A decisive (albeit controversal) leader, Patton was integral to the success of D-Day on June 6, 1944. His troops distracted German command, leaving them vulnerable and unprepared on the beaches of Normandy. Patton’s army swept through the breaches, helping to cement a decisive victory for Allied forces. With this barrel we cheers to the unorthodox leaders that make history. An earthy nose of forest floor mixed with orange zest and cloves retains its earthy identity on the palate with notes of piney resin and smoldering campfire. Mellow tannins and peppery notes add complexity to the flavor profile.
John Piermont Morgan’s commitment to the progress and modernization of the American economy led him to dominate the banking sector throughout the Gilded Age. During the Panic of 1893 (you’ll find 1893 in this barrel, minus the panic), when the U.S. Treasury was on the verge of collapse, he masterminded the economic recovery efforts--selling gold from his syndicate directly to the U.S. Treasury in order to shore up the value of paper money. Cheers to legacies built and new avenues forged! Caramelly-nutty-praline notes of a patisserie on the nose, which blends smoothly into a soft palate with hints of orange and salted caramel. A finish of gentle tannins and smooth mineral notes rounds out the profile.
Mahatma is an honorific title meaning “Great-Souled,” and was given to Gandhi for his nonviolent efforts to secure Indian Independence. The Gandhi-Irwin pact signed in 1931 (a vintage found in this barrel) began negotiations with Britain to secure the independence of India. Gandhi is remembered for his unique ability to inspire a largely fragmented country, his intelliegence, and his commitment to nonviolent protest. With this barrel we salute a Great Soul. A delightful nose of white cherry blossoms, orange, and stewed prunes invites a sip that unveils an elegant palate of cigar boxes, dark chocolate, leather armchairs, and toasted nuts. A luxurious repast in an opulant private library.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh boarded the Spirit of St. Louis, a single-engine monoplane, and took off for the first ever nonstop flight from New York to Paris. During his 33.5 hour odyssey, Lindbergh encountered storms, heavy seas--flying just 10 feet over the ocean at times--and often navigated by dead-reckoning due to a lack of navigational equipment. 1927 is found in this barrel, and with it we toast to the indomitable American spirit. A rich nose of treacle, beeswax, toasted hazelnut, and fall spices. The palate launches with an explosive peaty, peppery attack followed by a full mouthfeel begging to be paired with a cigar. A bitter, walnut-y finish pleasantly rounds out each sip.
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.
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 isnâ€™t long before we
seize upon the moribund Spanish Empire. America has caught imperial fever.
Like most drugs, it feels good in the beginning.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.