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  • Nusbaumer Eaux de Vie and Liqueurs

    NusbaumerWe are very pleased to announce a new addition to our stocks: liqueurs and eaux de vie from Nusbaumer, an independent, family-owned artisanal distillery in the heart of the Alsace.  Founded by Jos Nusbaumer in 1947, the distillery is located in Stiege, a small town in the Vosge valleys, to the south-west of Strasbourg.  There are several factors that make Stiege the ideal place to distil fruit spirits; there’s exceptional mountain spring water, an altitude allowing lower distillation pressure leading to richer aromas and a microclimate with significant temperature variations.  All of these factors have a positive impact on fermentation, maceration and aging.

     

    The eaux de vie include Poire William Rouge which is made exclusively from small red Williams Pears native to the Hautes-Alpes and grown on hillsides with exceptional aspect. The crushed pears are fermented for four weeks and distilled in a small copper-pot still. The eau de vie is then rested for twenty years then reduced with mountain spring water prior to bottling.

    We also have Vieille Prune which is made from wild plums sourced in the Fouchy valley, the crushed fruit is fermented for four weeks prior to small copper-pot distillation. The eau de vie is then aged for seven years in chestnut barrels to create a unique roundness and intensity.Nusbaumer

     

     

     

     

    Nusbaumer’s liqueurs are the best of their type that we’ve come across. Unlike most liqueurs that are made from neutral spirit, these are made from the eau de vie of the particular fruit.  For example, cassis is made using blackcurrant eau de vie.  As a consequence, the delivery of flavour and balance is exceptional. These are luxurious and distinguished by their quality.

  • Hermitage 50 Year Old Wins The Cognac Trophy 2021

    Cognac Trophy 2021Following our unprecedented tally of medals at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC) 2021 we are delighted to announce that the Hermitage 50 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac has also been awarded the overall Cognac Trophy 2021.  it was the best cognac in the competition with a Gold Outstanding Award and a combined judges’ score of 99 points out of 100.

    Our MD, who is one of the UK’s leading authorities on the subject, spoke as results were announced.

    “We work tirelessly to find the very best that the region has to offer, from family growers who have these precious cognacs stashed away. Being awarded results like these is a welcome vindication of our standards and the outstanding quality which is available if you know where to look.”

    Panel Chairman at the IWSC Joel Harrison praised the levels of quality in this round of judging.

    “Given the history and heritage in Cognac, as well as the undoubted consistency of the major houses, it is a real joy through the IWSC judging to discover unique and individual bottlings such as these, packed with personality and flavour, that often defy their age. In a category with such high standards, it must be recognised how much of an achievement attaining medals and accolades of this standard is.”

    The judges described our 50 Year Old (Grande Champagne) thus:

    “Like opening an old leather-bound book or antique oak armoire. Figgy pudding and rich dark chocolate; wonderful rich spices and the bitterness of orange zest come through on the palate. Spicy but gentle and supremely dry.”

    It is a magnificent cognac that will also make a wonderfully special 50th birthday or anniversary gift.

     

  • IWSC 2021 - Excellent Results for Hermitage Cognacs

    IWSC 2021Hot off the press, we are delighted to share with you our results from the International Wines & Spirits Competition - IWSC 2021.

    GOLD OUTSTANDING Medal was awarded to:

    Hermitage 50 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac and the judges commented "Like opening an old leather-bound book or antique oak armoire.  Figgy pudding and rich dark chocolate; wonderful rich spices and the bitterness of orange zest come through on the palate. Spicy but gentle and supremely dry."

    And GOLD Medals were awarded to:

    Hermitage 1952 Grande Champagne Cognac  "With heavy, rum-like caramel and treacle aromas, this cognac has a big palate offering flavours of peach melba, butterscotch and creamy coffee. The quality and intensity of fruit is simply excellent."

    Hermitage 1955 Grande Champagne Cognac  "Forest floor, freshly cut grass and citrusy notes on the nose. A silky palate of orchard florals, lemon rind and a final hint of rose jelly to finish. Wonderfully complex and hugely commendable."

    Hermitage Paradis 1890 Grande Champagne Cognac  "A tropical note behind the oaky, polished wood and roasted coffee aromas. Black tea on the palate is balanced with spice and creamy caramel. Dry, nuanced, refined and elegant."

  • Hermitage 1890 Grande Champagne Cognac

    18901890We are always excited by a new arrival, especially when it is one from the nineteenth century!  Our Hermitage Paradis1890 Grande Champagne Cognac is the fourth addition to our Paradis range and has just taken pride of place on our shelves.  To add some historical context, 1890 was the year that England witnessed the first official County Cricket match when Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by 8 wickets.

    This remarkable cognac has spent more than 80 years in its oak cask slowly developing its rich aromas and complex flavours. There are aromas of marmalade, thyme, banana and spices with a rich and lovely complexity of flavours including mandarin, toffee brittle, allspice, marmalade, gingerbread and roasted nut flavours.  Beautifully balanced, the flavours surround the tongue with a rich velvet softness which enhances the intense ‘rancio’.

    And you can hear our MD, David Baker, talking about this cognac and the history of Hermitage as a brand on Food FM's The Drinking Hour with David Kermode.  Select Episode 8 and tune in at 38 minutes, it's very educational!

     

  • 7 of the Best Calvados - The Independent

    calvados"This luxurious French spirit will bring a touch of sophistication to any home bar" says The Independent about the lesser known French brandy, Calvados.  The article features 7 of the best on the market including our very popular Chateau du Breuil 15  Year  Old Pays d'Auge Calvados.  "Winner of a gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, you don’t have to just take our word for it that its good."  We have always loved this beautifully presented calvados from the top cru.  "With its waxed lid and red-rope fastening, opening a bottle of this one feels like a ceremony in itself."  The presentation is matched admirably by its aroma and flavour ..... Imagine the smell as a child, coming home from school just as granny is taking a fruit cake out of the oven, this calvados is full of sultana and baked apple aromas and a rich baked apple taste. It is made from 80% fallen apples (which have a higher sugar content) and these account for its unique and delicious flavour.  So, with Father's Day around the corner, what are you waiting for?

  • Father's Day Gifts for Sunday 20th June 2021

    Father'sCognac is known as the King of Brandies so makes the perfect gift this Father's Day.  What better way to say "Thanks", "I Love You" or just, "Enjoy"?

    It's been a tricky time for everyone these last 12 months so, in preparation for this year's special day we have spectacular offers on three of our very own Hermitage Cognacs:

    Hermitage 2010 Grande Champagne is our latest vintage, ideal for those wanting to try a new cognac.

    Hermitage Cafe 20 Grande Champagne is dark and robust, perfect for the coffee lover.

    Hermitage 40 Year Old Grande Champagne is a Master medal winner, the choice of connoisseurs.

    And to tempt your taste buds even further, the Master of Malt Blog includes our 2021 Master Medal Winner, Hermitage 1990, as one of its Top Ten Cognacs for Father's Day.  Enjoy!

  • IWSC - Six of the World's Best Cognacs

    Best Cognacs"There can be few spirits with such an illustrious pedigree and premium connotations as Cognac."  Following the last International Wine and Spirit's Competition (IWSC) a list of the world's six best cognacs was compiled.  How very pleasing it was to read that our Hermitage 2008 Grande Champagne Cognac was listed as one of them.  We have always known that this is a very special cognac.  Relatively youthful for one from the premier cru, it is just 10 years old, single-cask, single-estate and very expensive, but it is also one in a million.  The IWSC described it as "Fresh and powerful with a wealth of flavours delivered through a very expressive and complex set of aromas on the palate. Luscious leather, ginger and rancio notes are boldly evident and intricately balanced with cherry stones and warming spice."  Being single-cask, availability is diminishing fast so if you would like to taste it for yourself, don't hang about.  If you are interested in finding out more about single-cask cognacs take a look at our latest Technical Topic here.

  • The Wine Merchant & The Cognac Hunter

    wine merchantThe Wine Merchant is the first trade magazine aimed solely at independent wine retailers and has been around for nearly 10 years.  This month it published a double page spread featuring the founder of Hermitage Cognac, David Baker, and some of Hermitage's finest cognacs.  Dubbed 'The Cognac Hunter', his story is summed up in the introduction:

    David Baker uses his network of connections in the Grande Champagne region and beyond to seek out the kinds of long-aged, single estate cognacs that tell the story of this classic brandy in a far more evocative and compelling way than the big brands ever could.  You can read the full article here on pages 52 & 53.

    Also in the press this week, Will Lyons of The Sunday Times wrote about 'Special Drinks for Special Birthdays' and concluded that "David Baker at Brandyclassics has assembled an impressive array of old spirits to choose from".   The 'Best bottles to give as gifts' is something we know all about at Brandyclassics.

  • Ultra-Premium Cognacs Are The Latest Collectibles

    Ultra-premiumRegular readers of our Blog will know that we have often compared the astronomical prices of aged and vintage whiskies to the far more modest cognac equivalents, but there are signs that this could be about to change.  Owen Bellwood, writing for The Spirits Business, has been investigating the latest trends in the cognac market and has published his findings here, on page 26.  Perhaps whisky is pricing itself out of the market, and collectors are looking further afield for their investments, but we have recently seen a rapid increase in the demand for ultra-premium pre-1900 cognacs.  This includes those that were produced in the pre-Phylloxera era and those that have been in cask for many decades.

    We have been aware of the changing direction of the cognac market for a number of years and in part, it has given rise to our Hermitage Paradis Cognacs range.  The MD, David Baker, is quoted in The Spirits Business magazine on page 30 as believing that spirits produced by masters of their craft, in creative ways, can become some of the best examples available.  The vintage he cites is the Hermitage 1885 which is "out of this world".

     

     

  • 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.

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