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News

  • Online Sales Burgeoning

    Almost 30% of all beer, wine and spirit sales in the UK were bought on line in the first quarter of this year - the highest growth since the end of 2010.  In the wine sector it was reported that global online sales have increased 600% over the last 7 years.  Some countries are already ahead of the curve in terms of customers embracing the buying of wine over the internet. In the UK for example, off-trade sales already account for 11% of the market annually, this is 20% in China and just 4% in the US.  The British public certainly seem keen to keep broadening their online shopping experiences.  Here at Brandyclassics we have seen a 40% increase increase in online sales over the last 12 months.  With the level of expansion in alcohol online sales so far this year being double that seen during the same period in 2012, one has to assume that an upturn in the economy may also be contributing to recent results.  Customers with more money in their pockets must be good news all round!  Take a look at our online shop here.

  • Another New Vintage Cognac in Stock

    Yet another wonderful addition to the Hermitage range, we have just taken receipt of our new 1965 vintage.  Distilled 50 years ago it is perfect for special birthdays, anniversaries or to just enjoy as a special old vintage.  The Hermitage 1965 comes from Réaux, one of the top growing areas of Petite Champagne and has a rich, intense flavour of bitter chocolate, cardamom and roasted almonds.  Although most of the Hermitage collection come from Grande Champagne, this magical, soft cognac from Petite Champagne joins the select few that we offer from this fine region.  Try it for yourself:

     

  • The Charente Scene - Summer 2015

    It’s surprising how moods can change with some decent weather. On a recent visit to the Charente region we met with some of our usual colleagues and talked with viniculturists.  All were well pleased with the vine development and weather conditions which have been instrumental in ensuring that so far, this year’s crop could be one of the best. How things have changed, a couple of months ago it was all doom and gloom because of torrential rain and cold weather; fears ran amok that the harvest would be poor! We had a good look at several vineyards and certainly the good weather has been almost too good as many vines have not yet been trimmed and the vine development has been really fast.  Away from the vineyards, most of the growers and small cognac houses are doing their European rounds, visiting their distributors.  They try to get all their business done before July and August, when they disappear on holiday, before returning to start the harvest and distillation preparation in the autumn.

    Read more about the cognac industry on our Information Page.

     

  • Sniffer Dogs To Detect Phylloxera

    The Phylloxera louse decimated vineyards across Europe in the late 1800s by attacking the roots of the vines.  Many wine and cognac producers lost their livelihoods as a result.  Keeping vines Phylloxera free is therefore vital to the survival of the industry so this latest announcement from Melbourne University is extremely exciting.  Scientists are researching the effectiveness of sniffer dogs in detecting the existence of the louse in the initial stages.  Dogs already trained as ‘sniffers’ can easily be taught to detect other scents and it is hoped that this will extend to early stage Phylloxera at depths of up to a metre below soil level.  We have a number of Very Old Cognacs produced in the pre-Phylloxera era when Folle Blanche was the most commonly used vine.

    Read more news from the cognac industry here.

     

  • Pineau is the taste of summer

    Sitting outside on a warm, balmy evening is the perfect time to try Pineau des Charentes. Made in the cognac producing region of France, newly distilled eau de vie is mixed with grape juice before being aged. The result is a wonderfully fresh, fruity flavour and with an abv of 17 - 18%, it is perfect for every occasion. Serve cold as an aperitif, or a dessert wine, or if you’re looking for a longer drink, it is the ideal base for a summer cocktail - try our Pineau Royale recipe for something truly sumptuous. Most of our wonderful selection of white, rosé and red pineau have age statements and remember, the older the pineau, the more intense the flavour. So celebrate the warmer weather with a taste of summer with Pineau des Charentes - view the whole range here.

     

  • Original Gifts For Father's Day

    Whether you're buying for a father, grandfather, father-in-law or perhaps a first-time father, we have lots of original gifts from which you can choose.

    Our vast range of cognacs, armagnacs and calvados all have age statements so you can buy one that matches his year of birth, or his age, or maybe the year that you were born - truly original gifts, creating wonderful memories this Father’s Day.

    Exceptionally delicious, our pure, luxury cognacs, armagnacs and calvados are always an absolute joy to receive and a real pleasure to give, helping you convey your appreciation this Father's Day.

    You can view the whole range here and if you need any advice just give us a call on 01225 863988.

  • Old Brandy Bottle Valuation Service

    We are pleased to announce the introduction of our new Valuation Service. In response to an increasing number of requests for Old Brandy Bottle Valuations we have formalised the service that we offer.

    If you would like to know more about the history and value of an old bottle of brandy, just send us the information requested on our Valuation Service page. You will then receive an indication of its worth – over or under £250 – and whether or not a detailed, historical valuation is recommended. If the latter is required you will be able to purchase your Valuation online.

    Sometimes rare bottles can be worth substantial sums of money – take a look at our Very Old Cognacs.

    If you would like to learn more about cognac and other brandies, subscribe to our newsletter here.

     

  • The Rise of the Single Estate Cognac - a 2015 Trend?

    In January of this year we commented on Ed Bates’ presentation – ‘Cognac houses should be different, not follow the crowd’.  It is a view we have always held and now it seems that the Cognac Expert Blog concurs.  They predict that one of the trends of 2015 will be the rise of the Single Estate Cognac.  Recently advocated by Hine, with its newly released 2005 Cognac, it is highly likely that this trend of making the terroir the signature point of the cognac will become more widespread.  Single estate cognacs have distinctive characters and exceptional ones are produced by the best distillers who are able to combine specific viticulture, viniculture and complex ageing procedures.  These are the cognacs we have always sought for our Hermitage range; they are hand picked and we know precisely from where each one originates.

  • Is Cognac Better Than Whisky?

    An impossible question to answer, it is of course down to personal taste, but we do have a few facts to consider.  Cognac is made from grapes and whisky from grain so cognac can develop a variety of fruitful aromas and flavours which whisky cannot.  Both spirits are aged in barrels and improve over time but cognac is the more complex, takes longer to produce and inevitably, is more expensive.  Additionally, it is double distilled and must be made in accordance with strict regulations.  Whisky can be produced anywhere in the world but cognac must come from the designated Cognac region in France.  In the mid nineteenth century cognac was the most popular spirit in Britain.  Today it is renewing this popularity with very modern ‘rapper’ ambassadors like Jay-Z and Snoop Dog advocating cognac in their music and their personal lives.  In comparison, whisky has always had its fair share of celebrity endorsements and the recent launch of Haig Club by David Beckham is no exception.  Medicinally it’s said that cognac is better for your heart than whisky and rarely results in a hangover - great benefits certainly but for us, the sheer depth and intensity of flavour, fruitiness, warmth and complexity means that cognac will always be the King of Spirits.

    A really magical example is the Hermitage 43 year old Cognac, sold by Brandyclassics.

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  • On Trade Business is Looking Up

    The Budget also gives a boost

    Like-for-like sales in the On Trade sector grew by 1.6% in February, according to figures produced by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.  This result marks the 23rd consecutive month of positive growth and illustrates the public’s continuing desire to go out to eat and drink.  Such consistent growth indicates that public confidence in the UK economy is improving at a steady rate.  This boost to the On Trade sector may well accelerate throughout the remainder of 2015 following the government’s recent Budget.  Duty on spirits was cut by 2%, a move which followed hard on the heels of the abolishment of the Alcohol Duty Escalator in 2014.  Described as a “momentous result” by WTSA campaigners, this recognition of market need by the government is extremely good news for the industry and Hermitage Cognacs which are sold in many of the world's top hotels and restaurants.

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