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Brandy Bottle Reviews

  • Hermitage 1990 GC Cognac Wins Masters Medal

    masterThe Cognac Masters 2021 results have just been announced and we are thrilled to report that our new Hermitage 1990 Grande Champagne Cognac, presented at 47% abv, received a Masters Medal.  Only 9 of these, the highest possible medal, were awarded in the entire competition so this is particularly pleasing.  You can read about all the results here, in the May 2021 edition of The Spirits Business  magazine starting on page 49.

    Judges' comments include:

    Complex and superbly balanced ~~~ Silky smooth texture ~~~ Really long and expressive

    In other news, we have recently added Hermitage 10 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac to our portfolio and it will replace the Provenance 10 Grande Champagne Cognac in the range.

  • The Bottle Story - Frapin 750 How Much?

    FrapinFrapin has just released a limited edition run of this unique presentation to celebrate 750 years since the family’s oldest member was born in Cognac in 1270.  We do applaud these small family firms who have passed on their skills from generation to generation and not taken the easy route of selling to the ‘big four’.  The Frapin 750 contains some very old Grande Champagne eau de vie, albeit blended, and is presented in a Baccarat crystal carafe decorated with Belle Epoch-like grapevine etchings.  Just 21 of these presentations have been produced - to represent the 21 generations of the Frapin family - now that really is history in a bottle.  It oozes quality and style but so does the price tag.  One of these will set you back an astounding £43,956.  That’s equivalent to 25 of our Hermitage Marie Louise Cognacs in crystal decanters!

    Hefty price tags like this are, however, quite common-place in the world of whisky.  Two recent releases demonstrate that, even without 750 years of family firm history, large sums of money can be charged.  Glengoyne and Glenfarcas have just released limited-edition whiskies, in engraved crystal decanters and luxury presentation boxes.  The Glengoyne 50 yo single malt costs £22,500 and the Glenfarcas 60 yo single cask, £19,500.  Compare these prices to equivalent cognacs (Hermitage 50 yo @ £400 and Hermitage 60 yo @ £530) and it is difficult to see where they come from.  Market forces must play their part but demand for old cognacs is on the rise so perhaps soon, their prices will too.

  • Hermitage Paradis 1885 GC Cognac - A Masterpiece

    MasterpieceOur range of Hermitage Paradis Cognacs continues to expand with this stunning arrival from 1885.  Perhaps the best cognac we have ever tasted, this masterpiece will never be repeated.

    Distilled in the year that the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York, a gift from the French people, it has been aged for a staggering 110 years.  The much sought after ‘rancio’ in this cognac is incredibly intense and rich.  It was brought about by long barrel ageing, in two different barrels, which has created an unbelievable 'double rancio' effect.  The aroma is remarkable and the flavour, sensational. Many of the aromas are also found in the flavours. The molasses, cherry and roasted walnut are all there but also turmeric and black truffle, medlar, allspice, fig, cocoa and almond.

    Released with very limited supply, there are only a few bottles remaining already .....

  • Hermitage 1960 Wins The Cognac Trophy At IWSC 2020

    Cognac TrophyHaving received news that Hermitage Single Estate Cognacs won three Gold Medals or better at IWSC 2020, we have just found out that Hermitage 1960 Grande Champagne Cognac won The Cognac Trophy.

    Scoring 98 points the judges commented:

    "Exceedingly complex and broad in its depth of aromas and flavours.  Prominent notes of refreshing and zingy sherbet are united with red berries and smooth hints of fine leather for a seamlessly crafted and decadently elegant enjoyable palate."

    In celebration of this fantastic news we are offering 10% Off this magnificent cognac throughout October.  Distilled 60 years ago, it is the perfect gift for anyone born in 1960.

  • Decanter Magazine Features Hermitage Cognacs 1885, 1920, 1923 & 1944

    DecanterDavid Longfield has written in Decanter magazine describing the excitement of  tasting some of our most precious nectars with MD, David Baker.  All produced over 75 years ago, these Grande Champagne vintages are some of the best we have ever stocked.  Here is a snippet of the article to whet your appetite.  The entire piece can be read here.

    "Hermitage Cognac works with top Cognac houses to hunt out small parcels of such old spirits still preserved among the five or six hundred independent producers around the region, looking primarily for those with verifiable vintage dates or age statements that define how long they’ve spent in barrel."

    Longfield goes onto write "The barrel ageing, and the conditions of the cellars in which it takes place, are the critical factors, Baker says: ‘It’s really what fine Cognacs are all about.’  He continues: ‘This ageing process develops [over many years] into what we call “rancio” – a kind of madeirisation, a richness and sweetness. I think this is highly sought-after: a natural richness, not a sugary sweetness.’"

     

  • IWSC 2020 Excellent Results for Hermitage Cognacs

    IWSC 2020The results are out and we are delighted to report the results for Hermitage Cognacs in the recent International Wines & Spirits Competition (IWSC 2020).

    A GOLD OUTSTANDING medal winner was described as "An outstanding spirit with a naturally exceptional balance, complexity and power. An example that immediately sets itself apart from others in the category."  This was awarded to:

    Hermitage 1920 Grande Champagne Cognac "Outstanding in complexity and structure with an enigmatic palate composed on an abundance of intricate layers of texture." Judges' comments.

    Hermitage 1960 Grande Champagne Cognac "Exceedingly complex and broad in its depth of aromas and flavours." Judges' comments.

    A GOLD Medal winner was described as "An excellent spirit with an exceptional balance and rare and complex flavours. An example that stand out against its peers." and awarded to:

    Hermitage 2008 Grande Champagne Cognac "Fresh and powerful with a wealth of flavours delivered through a very expressive and complex set of aromas on the palate." Judges' comments.

  • Record Auction Price for 1762 Cognac

    1762 Cognac

    A bottle of 1762 Cognac by Gautier was sold at auction recently for a record breaking £118,580.  Thought to be the world’s oldest cognac, only one other bottle of this vintage now exists.  The bottles’ history can be traced back to the 1880s when they were acquired by the Donsir family.  The family adopted a son, Alphonse, who in 1870, went to find work in the cognac vineyards.  Over the next decade the Phylloxera outbreak decimated European vines so, when work dried up Alphonse returned home.  As the vineyard was financially ruined, he was paid in cognac, including 3 bottles of the highly regarded Gautier 1762. The precious pre-Phylloxera bottles were stored in the family cellars until such time as each was sold.  One has since been opened, one has pride of place in the Gautier Museum and now, the third one has become a world record breaker.  Although described as a ‘large’ bottle the size of this 1762 is unknown so it is difficult to compare with our Massougnes 1801 (¾ imperial gallon) which sold through Hedonism Wines for £222,000!

  • Hermitage Paradis 1880 Grande Champagne Cognac

    1880 Grande Champagne CognacOur latest nineteenth century cognac, Hermitage Paradis 1880 Grande Champagne Cognac, has arrived and what a stunner it is!

    The period from 1870 to 1900 saw cognac houses in France produce some of their finest spirits, a few of which are still available today. This was a period before the official recognition of crus, however, it was widely accepted that the area north of the River Né and south of the town of Cognac produced some of the finest cognacs. The region later became known as Grande Champagne, the premier cru of the six cognac regions in The Charente.

    Like so many of these old finds this exceptional cognac from 1880 has survived several generations, only to come to light after nearly 100 years of ageing in oak casks, slowly developing a unique and very special style and flavour. The cognac has reduced naturally, without the need for dilution or additives. One becomes aware of a deep rancio when bringing it to the nose and on the palate, there is an immediate richness and complexity. This has all the qualities of a seriously well aged cognac. Genuine history in a bottle and a pleasure to drink.

  • New Eaux de Vie, Grappas and Liqueurs

    grappasWe have expanded our range of Eaux de Vie, Grappas and Liqueurs just in time for the summer cocktail season.

    From Nusbaumer our new stock includes:

    An award-winning Poire William, with a fragrant, delicate pear flavour.

    Marc d’Alsace Gewurtztramier, a grape brandy resembling Italian Grappa.

    Peche de Vignes, made from vine peaches and ideal for making Bellinis.

    And from Jacopi Poli we have some new Grappa and Grape Brandy presentations – Amarosa Di Settembre Vespiaolo and Chiara di Moscato

  • Cognac Masters 2020 - Gold & Master Medals

    master medalsThe results are out!  We entered 4 of our ever-expanding range of Grande Champagne cognacs into The Spirits Business Cognac Masters this year and came away with 2 x GOLD medals and 2 x MASTER medals.  These could be our best results yet.

    GOLD medals were awarded to:

    Hermitage 20 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac  -  “Big and complex cognac”  Judges comments and Hermitage Café 20 Cognac  -  “Delicious … warm spice and a long finish”  Judges comments

    MASTER Medals were awarded to:

    Hermitage 40 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac  -  “Wonderfully complex”  Judges comments and Hermitage Eleanor 60 + Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac  “Stunning palate … long finish”  Judges comments.  Price and availability of Hermitage Eleanor in on application.

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