Last year we were delighted to announce the success of our Hermitage Provenance Cognacs winning Gold medals at The Cognac Masters - a blind tasting competition with an independent panel of expert judges - but our latest news is even better! Just before Christmas we were thrilled to be announced as The Spirits Business Cognac Grand Master. A real accolade, designed to emphasise excellence in the spirits industry, it confirmed Hermitage Cognacs as the best cognac house in the entire competition. Click here to view the entire range and judge for yourself.
We know how popular brandy is in North America by the number of Americans who visit our site. Last year the value of cognac sales to the USA grew by over 5% whilst in some countries, cognac imports fell. Particularly popular are our vintages where the year of distillation is printed on the label. They make unique and thoughtful gifts to celebrate anniversaries or birthdays.
As you ponder over presents for your American friends this Christmas, try adding some of our cognacs and armagnacs to your list - no one will be disappointed. It takes just 7 days to deliver to the USA* - but don’t hang about, all of our cognacs and armagnacs with age statements are in limited supply.
* Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for those States which prohibit the importing of alcohol.
Cognac is The King of all Spirits and Hermitage Grande Champagne Cognacs sit with the greatest of all. They are not multi-blended brandies with generic XO descriptions, they are single estate cognacs aged in oak with age statements. Moreover, they come from the top cru, Grande Champagne, where only the very finest cognacs are made. They are the ultimate reward - is there a better way to reward your staff, valued customers or perhaps even yourself this Christmas?
These are magical cognacs that have won numerous awards. They have individual tastes, they are easy to drink, not aggressive but smooth and welcoming and they come with different ages and styles. They are Hermitage, a range of exceptional vintage cognacs from 1999 to 1900, a range that can be found in some of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants; Golden Nectars from a past century, quite simply, Le Siécle d’Or.
If you are still in any doubt have a look at the Hermitage 1999 Grande Champagne, smooth with an aroma of mocha, coffee and roasted walnuts, or perhaps the 10 year old Grande Champagne, sometimes called the Ladies Cognac for its soft apricot style. You might be looking for something a little more individual such as the Provenance 25, a complex 25 year old Grande Champagne or the Provenance 30, a chocolate and mocha Petite Champagne that flows so well you will be wanting more before the last has gone. The Hermitage 1975 at 47% abv is a real connoisseur’s cognac and the 1914 Borderies has been described by a famous cognac writer as the finest he had ever tasted.
Prices start at £38.62 so don’t take our word for it, try them for yourself.......... you will be back for more!
The aroma of luxury cognac is, without doubt, part of its appeal but why is it so significant? Scientists from the Technische Universitat Munchen and the German Research Centre for Food Chemistry have found that food smells have 230 key aromas (or odourants). The molecules that make up the odour of specific food stuffs comprise a group of between 3 and 40 odourants and it is the combination of these that mean we can instantly recognize a foodstuff by its smell before we see or taste it. The smell of butter, for instance, is created by 3 key molecules, strawberries have 12 but cognac has 36 different key odour molecules categorising it as the most complex of all foodstuffs. This is important because the chemical codes of these odours are translated by the olfactory receptors in the nose, of which only 42 respond to food odours. Since our senses of smell and taste are intertwined, the likelihood of us purchasing a product we can smell, which has complex aromas, is therefore greatly increased. We can’t yet smell products advertised online but this research goes some way to explaining why aroma is so important when choosing different cognacs.
Try the theory out for yourself - our Hermitage 30 Year Old has a wonderful aroma of molasses, bitter chocolate, cardamom spice and ripe cherries whilst the Hermitage 43 Year Old has fresh straw, mangosteen, kumquats, grapefruit peel, thyme, almonds and a host of other wonderful smells - how many can you recognise?
A Flood of Cognac
It seems somewhat crazy that this time last year we were expecting cognac price increases to be as high as in previous years but, in actual fact, the price has held steady and may even drop. Suddenly we have an excess of very young, good cognac and distillers are seeking to find customers for unsold stocks. So why has this dramatic change occurred? Well it is all to do with the big houses not needing to buy so much eaux de vie for their blends. The vast Chinese markets have reduced considerably the quantity of top quality cognac they purchase. This is a direct result of austerity and anti-corruption measures introduced by the Chinese authorities. Luxury cognacs have always been seen as ideal gifts in China and the more expensive they are the better. In the past, those presenting them have been more able to convince their bosses and business associates to continue with their services. It seems that the authorities seek transparency in the ways of doing business in China. Can’t argue with that!
Even in these times of austerity there is still money to be found for expensive tastes in alcohol. Well, that is certainly how it would appear reading the recent news columns. According to a Onepoll survey, the average Britain spends £49,581 on alcohol during their adult lifetime and those with really expensive tastes manage to rack their average bill up to a whopping £167,000. Perhaps they are the customers who frequent Gigi’s restaurant in Mayfair where a cocktail, created in honour of the James Bond actress Grace Jones, retails for £9,000? Made from 1990 vintage Champagne and 1888 vintage Armagnac, it claims to be the world’s most expensive cocktail. A believable statement given that the bill would burn a hole in most peoples’ pockets – except that is, Paris Hilton’s. Last week in New York the heiress to the Hilton hotel empire managed to spend £140,000 at the bar in one night – some people still know how to party!
We have some wonderful vintage armagnacs on our shelves and even though they are cheaper than a Grace Jones, we wouldn't waste any one of them in a cocktail!
More than 1000 people have paid $100 for a 'Dragon Dog', the world's most expensive hot dog. At the Vancouver restaurant 'Dougie Dog', the bratwurst is served soaked in $2000-a-bottle cognac, fried in truffle oil and topped with Kobe beef and fresh lobster. The idea behind the 12" hot dog was to provide "something super tasty but also high-end" and customers who have been tempted have all absolutely loved it. Hot dogs are normally classed as Fast Food - quick and cheap - but this one can profess to be neither. It must be ordered 12 hours in advance and with no change out of a $100 bill its consumption would take a bit of planning - but at least then you could order a take away and choose somewhere truly delicious to eat it!
Not sure that we would pour our $2000 cognac, Hermitage 1903 Ambleville over a hot dog, it's much too precious and tasty for that!
According to market analysts, 25% of European spirits imports in some Asian countries are counterfeit. The refilling of empty high-end bottles is now the gold standard for counterfeiters, especially in China. So, it is particularly good news to see the launch of 'Capseal', a device which prevents bottles from being refilled fraudulently. A chip is connected to an antenna which is inserted on the neck of the bottle, just above the cork. When the cap is removed, the tag is mechanically deactivated. By using a smartphone or NFC device to scan the chip embedded in the tag, anyone can easily verify the authenticity of the bottle, confirming that it has not been previously opened. This technological breakthrough provides the wine and spirits industry with a unique and secure solution to solve counterfeiting and refilling problems. It is compliant with existing bottle caps allowing producers to incorporate it easily into current production systems. Let's hope that this most effective anti-counterfeiting solution is welcomed by the industry so that confidence in brand quality can be restored in the Asian market. Provenance is key to the selling of luxury cognac which is why our latest range is called exactly that - Hermitage Provenance Cognacs.
We are delighted to announce that three of our new Hermitage Provenance range of single estate cognacs, produced for the Asian market, have won medals at the 2014 Cognac Masters Awards.
The Hermitage Provenance Grand Champagne 10 year old, Grand Champagne 25 year old and Petite Champagne 30 year old were all awarded Masters Medals. This exciting array of awards proves that it is not just us that think our cognacs are the best, the judges were obviously bowled over too!
Yet another accolade for our exceptional Hermitage Cognac Range - single estate, luxury, vintage cognacs with age statements – surely the most decorated cognac house in existence today.
There was great excitement in Bradford on Avon on Friday morning as the Tour of Britain came through our small, Wiltshire town for the first time. Even more excitement ensued when we found that the cyclists would be racing straight past our front door with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish among them. The Tour of Britain, which was revived in 2004, is now Britain’s biggest professional cycle race so, to celebrate its success over the last 10 years and cheer the riders on, we joined our neighbours with a toast of Hermitage 10 year old Grande Champagne Cognac - Award winning cognac for award winning cyclists.