Bapt & Clem's
"From Vintage '59: Marc Darroze formally joined his father’s artisan Armagnac firm in 1996 and soon thereafter took the helm. Over the next twenty years he developed close ties to farmers and producers in Armagnac and became intimately involved in distillation. At the same time, in the course of his travels around the world representing the Darroze brand, he visited other distillers to see how they did things. He’s a dynamic man, Marc, ever curious and never one to sit still.
He befriended many of those distillers. He raised two sons named Baptiste and Clément. He came to have an extraordinary frame of reference with spirits, be it distillate made in France or overseas, and he acquired a fondness for rum (a logical step, given France’s colonial legacy in the Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean). Over time, an idea germinated and then quickly took shape: why not do a limited barrel selection of his favorite spirits from fellow distillers?
In 2015 he decided to go forward with Bapt & Clem’s. With every spirit, the process was and is the same: Marc chooses one or two barrels—or makes a blend—from a distiller whom he has known for many years. The spirit has already been made and fully aged at its place of origin, and Marc’s choice, a deeply personal one, is to buy the barrel or blend only if what he’s tasting really sings to him. The spirit is then racked into a special container, shipped to France, and then racked into large glass containers to ensure freshness. Water is added if need be to bring the alcohol level down, but nothing else is added to the spirit. Each is bottled by demand."