Skip to content

We ship internationally to over 50 countries !International Shipping to over 50 countries    |     Trade Customer?    Placing a large order?    Just need advice?    Please call +44(0) 1225 863988

Magnum of Calvados Toutain 8 Year Old

Magnum of calvados

We have a very special treat for the calvados lover ….. a magnum of 8 Year Old from the top cru. Calvados is usually sold in 70 cl bottles but this one is 150 cl and perfect for a gathering or celebration. This Toutain magnum of calvados comes in a traditionally shaped bottle and really does look the part. It would certainly be a talking point for its rarity, presence and wonderful flavour.

The Toutain family has been developing calvados in Normandy for 5 generations, while respecting family customs and ancestral traditions that give big names to small houses. It has been located at the Domaine de la Couterie since 1971, which is located at the gateway to the Pays d’Auge from Paris, in the small town of Beuzeville. The family business was created more than 95 years ago and today extends over an estate of 25 hectares of traditional ‘high-stem’ plants. These orchards consist of 35 varieties of cider apples, spread over two farms, both located in the AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge Geographical Area. Almost all of their calvados is distilled on a column type alembic still because this technique gives a more fruity flavour, which deepens with age.

This XO calvados has been aged for at least 8 years, initially in 30 – 40 hl oak barrels but subsequently in smaller, 15 – 20 hl ones. It has a wonderful appley flavour and can be drunk as an aperitif (straight on ice or in a cocktail) or as a digestif served at room temperature to allow enough time to air.

New 60 Year Old Cognac From Hermitage

We are delighted to announce that we have a new Hermitage 60 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac on our shelves. It is the third cognac of this ageing to have made it into the Hermitage range. The previous two were great successes and all the stock available sold out. It has not been easy finding a suitable 60 Year Old Cognac replacement, though. David rejected many before finding this superb example of a top cru cognac, aged to perfection in oak barrels, for at least 60 years.

Its long ageing in wood has given such a depth of flavour and smoothness that it has been bottled at the slightly higher strength of 47% abv. This incredible cognac has been aged in damp cellars in the Premier Cru of cognac.  Aromas and flavours of plum, dark chocolate, liquorice, spices, toffee, almonds and dried fruits enhance this rich and beautifully matured cognac.  A long and glorious tail of citrus fruits, almonds and Marsala wine only add to the long complexity of flavours.

A perfect treat for the cognac connoisseur or as a 60th Birthday Gift.

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise is 70 Years Old

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise is a Grande Champagne cognac from one of the region’s top artisan producers. Still in cask, it is now a magnificent 70 years old.

Some of the finest cognacs ever made were produced in the early twentieth century as, by this time, knowledge of distillation and the ageing process had been significantly refined. Cognac Marie Louise is one of the few remaining cognacs produced during this period. It is from the top cru, Grande Champagne and has matured for more than 70 years in oak casks.

This truly great cognac is named after Marie Louise, the second wife of Napoleon Boneparte. She bore his son who was given the title ‘Roi de Rome’ and who later became Napoleon II.

One litre of this glorious cognac is offered in crystal decanters produced by Cumbria Crystal, the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full-lead luxury English crystal in the UK.

The complex aromas, intensity and depth of flavours created by its careful distillation and ageing have created a masterpiece of smoothness. The initial sensation is akin to lining one’s mouth with velvet. The rich and complex flavours of coffee, sultanas, toffee brittle, truffle, dried fig, cinnamon, hazelnut and clove are all wrapped up in an intensely rich rancio found only in the rarest of cognacs.

Only a few people will be privileged to taste this exceptional and rare cognac. Those that do will be delighted by the charm and elegance of Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise, made all those years ago.

“Likely to be one of the finest cognacs you have tasted.”  Victoria Moore, The Saturday Telegraph Luxury Supplement

Evening Standard Brandy Recommendations

Evening StandardThe Evening Standard has been reviewing much of the golden nectar recently.  In Nicky Rampley-Clarke’s article ‘Best Digestifs To Sip On Post Dinner’ he includes:

Hermitage 1995 Grande Champagne Cognac

‘A bottle to bring out for special occasions – and, indeed, the guests you really, really like – the Hermitage 1995 Grande Champagne Cognac is remarkably mature with flavours of butterscotch, walnuts, biscuits, baked apple peel, mandarin peel and damson. Rich and complex, this is an investment digestif.’

In another of his articles, ‘Best Armagnacs to Buy in 2023’ Nicky describes armagnac as ‘a distinctive type of brandy that’s made from grapes.  Produced in the Gascony region south-west of Bordeaux in France, it is a sweet spirit that makes for a lip-smacking digestif.  Think of it as a rustic rendition of brandy – fuller-bodied when compared to Cognac, perhaps.’  Two of our favourite armagnacs make his list:

Delord 25 Year Old Bas Armagnac

An Armagnac matured in oak barrels for 25 years and made from Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Bacco 22A and Folle Blanche grapes. Caramel, cocoa butter and vanilla make this a sweet sip indeed, alongside distinctive woody tannins, with the bottle itself presented in a beautiful wooden box. Great for a gift.

Baron de Saint-Fauste 10 Year Old Bas Armagnac

Soft and round with dried fruit and sweet nut flavours, this Armagnac delivers excellent value for money, while packaged up in a traditional bottle with curves in all the right places. Inhale those toffee, baked pear and almond aromas before drinking up that sweet, spicy liquid.


1882 Cognac Bonbonne Sells for £90,000

1882 cognacDelighted to have sold our latest bonbonne of 1882 cognac to Hedonism Wines in Mayfair and, with an asking price of £90k, it was snapped up by one of their customers within 24 hours.  Presented in a traditional wicker basket, the bonbonne contains 10 litres of Hermitage 1882 Grande Champagne Cognac.

The cognac would have been made in 300-litre stills and, although small, these were probably the only size that most producers could afford at the time.  It would have been aged in bariques of around 250 litres, for more than 70 years.  No reduction has taken place and so it is presented at its natural strength of 41% abv.  The tannins from the wood have given this cognac deep and rich flavours of demerara sugar, plums and sweet orange peel with a delicious long rancio, the much favoured richness, so highly desirable in these fine old cognacs.


Distilled in the late nineteenth century, 1882, this was the year when the first stone was laid for Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona and major European powers signed the first Geneva Convention, ratified by the US, who also legitimised the International Red Cross.

Three Drinkers Recommend Hermitage Cognac

Three Drinkers

Helena Nicklin, of The Three Drinkers fame, has featured the Hermitage 10 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac in her recommendations.  She says “Hermitage is notable for doing things a little differently from most cognac houses, in that each of their bottles including this 10-year-old are single-estate and unblended. Most cognacs use eaux-de-vie from different growing areas, but sticking to one estate creates a bold and expressive mix. The roasted nuts have come through with age, as has the peppery spice and oakiness. This is the perfect present for someone who likes to take their time and sip their cognac neat.”

You can read the whole article from the Three Drinkers here:

Thank you, Helena, we are very proud of our 10 Year Old, it is our entry-level cognac.  In 2022 it won the Cognac Masters – Masters Award and the judges commented “Really nice texture to this cognac … very sippable.”

What is the Meaning of 'Paradis'?

‘Paradibonbonnes in a paradiss’ is the French word for ‘paradise’ and in the cognac industry it is used to describe a designated area in the innermost recess of the cellar.  Not every cognac house has a ‘Paradis’ but those that exist are steeped in history.  Many cognac families select a few of their finest cognacs for storage in the Paradis.  The point when a cognac has gained all the benefit it can from the wood depends on many factors but ultimately, it is when the cellar master decides that it has reached its optimum quality.  At this stage the cognac is put into glass bonbonnes and sealed so that the generations of gentle maturation in the barrel are preserved. A cognac that has lasted in oak without deterioration for perhaps 60, 70, 80 or even 90 years is going to be good, very good and will have developed the much sought after rancio.  There is little doubt that these ‘Paradis’ cognacs will be superb masterpieces and truly exceptional amongst other cognacs, perhaps worthy only of paradise.

The superb quality of these specially selected, ancient cognacs is the reason that we have nParadisamed our pre-1900 Hermitage Cognac range ‘Paradis‘.  These fine old nectars, distilled between 1875 and 1893, have been preserved and locked away until their greatness can be recognised by true connoisseurs. The Angels have had their ‘share’, and what’s left is worthy of far higher.  Aged for decades, if not a century or more, these pure cognacs were produced over 120 years ago – they really are history in a bottle.

And yet, there is another ‘Paradis’ in the world of cognac.  Crafted in 1979, by Hennessy, it is a blend of specially selected ‘eaux de vie’.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of cognacs have been merged to produce their version of paradise, packaged in the iconic Hennessy decanter with eye catching packaging.  Relatively cheap at about £1,000 per unit but do beware, the cognac will not have an age statement and very little, if any, will come from a true ‘Paradis’.

Nineteenth Century Cognacs Join the Hermitage Range

Nineteenth century cognacsWe have had an exciting week adding new products to our shelves all of which are nineteenth century cognacs.  One is in fact a pre-phylloxera cognac and the others were produced at the time when the louse outbreak was sweeping through France.  Two of the cognacs are additions to our Paradis range, and therefore are in extremely limited supply, and the other is a particularly rare bottling from Roullet & Delamain.  Enjoy exploring them:

Hermitage Paradis 1887 Grande Champagne Cognac

Produced by the House of Guiziet, situated just outside Segonzac, on the road to Barbezieux, it stands on the Cognacian chalk slopes where the vines can penetrate up to thirty metres. At the time, the estate was about 7 hectares in size but only produced about 3000 litres of wine from its Folle Blanche grapes.  Once distilled, the ensuing spirit was kept in oak casks for about 75 years before being placed into bonbonnes.  Very long barrel ageing has created a beautifully balanced cognac, together with an intense chocolate brown / deep scarlet colour and depth of flavours.  Did you know?  In 1887, the United Kingdom celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Hermitage Paradis 1883 Grande Champagne Cognac

Originates from a tiny village called Corcheville, near Eraville, on the east side of Grande Champagne. The tiny, 3 hectare estate grew a mixture of Folle Blanche and Colombard grapes and the cognac was aged in Limousin casks which were almost certainly stored in an old barn.   Having aged for a staggering 90 – 100 years, this cognac was removed from the wood and placed into glass bonbonnes.  It is superbly balanced, with an intense dark tan / deep scarlet colour and depth of flavours, and is presented at its cask strength of 41.4% abv.  Did you know?  In 1883, the English cricket team, on a tour of Australia, were first presented with the ashes of a bail.

Roullet & Delamain 1858 Grande Fine Champagne Cognac

The history of the Roullet Сognac House dates back to the eighteenth century when Paul Frédéric Roullet founded the Cognac House in 1772. He managed to enter into a close relationship with the Royal Court and Napoleon Bonaparte was known to become one of the first connoisseurs of the Roullet Cognac House.  At the beginning of the nineteenth century Paul Roullet married the daughter of the Delamain Cognac House founder, the oldest cognac producing family still famous for its drinks’ production. This marriage resulted in the consolidation of the two houses and the company was called Roullet & Delamain for sometime.  Did you know?  In 1858, the Lourdes Apparitions were first reported by Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller’s daughter.


Magnums of Armagnac for Claridge's Hotel

MagnumsJust in receipt of these beauties.  Three magnums of Bas Armagnac, from the highly respected producers Castarede and Delord, will soon be on their way to Claridge’s Hotel in London.  No doubt they will look spectacular in the newly refurbished hotel.  Did you see the recent documentary on BBC 2, Claridge’s, following the most amazing transformation of the hotel whilst it remained open?  Well worth a watch!

Of course, the hotel provides beautiful surroundings if you would like to pay a visit to try one of these superb armagnacs in situ.  But if a trip to London is not on the cards, you could whet your appetite by reading the tasting notes or purchasing one of our 70cl bottles online.  The links can be found here: Castarede 1965 Bas Armagnac Castarede 1980 Bas Armagnac  Delord 1970 Armagnac


Bas Armagnacs from 1987 and 2005

Bas ArmagnacsThe latest Bas Armagnacs to join our stocks are these two vintage beauties: Chateau de Bordeneuve 1987 and Delord 2005.  Distilled in the year printed on the label, they come from two of the most respected armagnac producers and the grapes were grown in the top cru of Bas.

The 2005 is the youngest vintage that we stock, and a perfect gift for those with an 18th birthday this year.  Vintage spirits, such as cognac and armagnac, will always increase in value over time as only a limited number of bottles were ever produced so once they have been drunk, there will be no more. The brandy will not deteriorate in the glass as the seal will ensure it stays the same as the day it was bottled (although we do recommend resealing bottles every 20 years). The dwindling supply does, however, mean that the price of vintage brandies is increasing all the time and their purchase is becoming recognised as a shrewd investment. Buying vintage armagnac as an 18th Birthday Present gives the recipient choices. Either to keep, drink and enjoy or, keep as an investment for years down the line when 2005 armagnacs become rare and highly sought-after.