The French region of Armagnac has given its name to this distinctive brandy made from the same grapes as cognac and undergoing the same ageing in oak barrels, but with column still distillation. Armagnac has been making brandy for about 200 years longer than Cognac and is one of only three officially demarcated brandy regions in Europe.
Armagnac is double distilled, rather than triple distilled, which gives it more flavour than cognac. The production quantity of armagnac is significantly lower than that of the Cognac region: for every six bottles of armagnac sold around the world there are one hundred bottles of cognac sold.
A three star armagnac is a mix of several armagnacs that have been aged for at least two years in wood. VSOP is aged for at least five years, and XO for at least six.