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News from the Brandy Houses

  • Global Luxury Spirits Masters 2019 - GOLD Medals

    Spirits MastersNot only have we had a record year with the introduction of new Hermitage Cognac vintages, the range has also been awarded an unprecedented number of GOLD Medals.  The latest, received from the Luxury Spirits Masters 2019, are for:

    Hermitage 1923 Grande Champagne Cognac.  A particularly fine example of a 1920s cognac that has taken many decades to reach perfection.

    "This has a gorgeous flavour, somewhere between a sultana and a sun-dried apricot with the spirit framing the layers with impeccable integration."  Olly Smith, Wines & Spirits Expert

    Hermitage 1995 Grande Champagne Cognac.  This wonderful cognac comes from the same distillery as our award-winning 1999 vintage but has aged for a longer period, enabling a greater complexity of flavours.  It is a rich and beautifully finished cognac, fit for a king.

  • Record Year For New Hermitage Vintage Cognacs

    Hermitage Vintage CognacsThis year we have had an amazing number of new Hermitage Vintage Cognacs added to the range.  We have been thrilled to find so many exquisite and unique cognacs packed with wonderful aromas and flavours for you to enjoy.  Many are now Gold medal winners as blind judging panels across the globe have also recognised their superior qualities.

    We have not had the chance to tell you about these three yet:

    Hermitage Paradis 1893 Grande Champagne Cognac.  This was an extremely lucky find as it is regarded by many as one of the finest vintages to come from this important period.

    Hermitage 1970 Fins Bois Cognac.  It is rare to find cognacs from the Fins Bois in the Hermitage range but this one is special.

    Hermitage 1991 Grande Champagne Cognac.  Our last 1991 vintage ran out so we were delighted to find such a magnificent replacement with this one from Chez Richon.

  • Rémy To Buy Cognac House, Maison J.R.Brillet

    BrilletRémy Cointreau is in negotiations to buy Maison J.R.Brillet, a family-owned cognac business founded in the 17th century.  In addition to the company, the deal is thought to include the family’s vineyard estate and their stock of well-aged eaux de vie.  It is located in the village of Graves-Saint-Armant, on the border of Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne, the top cognac crus.  Announcing the planned takeover, Rémy Cointreau said that it will provide an ‘opportunity to integrate spirits with genuine development potential into its portfolio and to increase, over time, the value of an inventory of eaux-de-vie and vineyards of the highest quality’.  It is always a shame to see another of the small, high quality, independent, family-run cognac producers subsumed into one of the ‘Big 4’.  A piece of Cognac history will come to an abrupt end and the firm’s precious old nectars will probably be blended beyond all recognition.

  • IWSC 2019 Cognac Gold Medals

    IWSC 2019 cognac gold medalsThe IWSC 2019 Awards have just been announced and we are delighted to report that Hermitage Cognacs are once again amongst the winners with three cognac gold medals.

    Leading the way is the Hermitage 1950 Grande Champagne Cognac which was awarded a GOLD OUTSTANDING medal.  ‘Classically good old cognac. Rancio to the fore, with a quite wonderful palate’   Judges' comments

    GOLD Medals were also awarded to two other Grande Champagne Cognacs:

    Hermitage 1940 Cognac   ‘Wonderfully powerful aromas that absolutely typify good, old cognacs’   Judges' comments

    Hermitage 1945 Cognac   ‘The real personification of just how good and elegant old cognac can be’   Judges' comments

  • Brandyclassics News - Lots of New Vintages - Summer 2019

    New VintagesWe are truly at the height of summer here in the UK.  France has experienced extremes of weather again this year, but the growing season is going well.  As ever DB has been searching out new cognacs for you to enjoy and recently, he added four new vintages to the Hermitage stable.  From the top cru, Grande Champagne, comes Hermitage 1940 Cognac.  A beautifully balanced amber nectar, with aromas of chestnuts and truffles, it was produced in the year Winston Churchill became British Prime Minister and ordered the Dunkirk Evacuation.  Also from Grande Champagne comes Hermitage 1950 Cognac - a real joy to taste with flavours including plum crumble with a blood orange peel finish.  Hermitage 1970 Fins Bois Cognac was harvested in the year Concorde made its first supersonic flight.  It is rare to find cognacs from the Fins Bois in the Hermitage range but this one is really very special.  And finally, our highly prized, much sought after Hermitage 1999 Grande Champagne Cognac has nearly run out but fortunately we have found an equally magnificent Hermitage 1995 Grande Champagne Cognac with which to replace it.  Aged for a longer period, it has a greater complexity of flavours including butterscotch, cocoa, walnuts and baked apples.  We are very excited by our latest find.  It is rich and beautifully balanced, ..… you will not be disappointed.

     

    We also continue to increase our range of vintage cognacs, armagnacs and calvados.  Our stock now includes vintage brandies from every year from 1928 – 2002 & a few more besides.  If you are looking for a specific year, just search on our website or give us a ring (01225 863988).

  • For those turning 50, 70 or 80 years of age in 2020

    50, 70 & 80 years old in 2020Across our website we have very special gifts and present ideas for all years of birth but these latest vintage cognacs to arrive in the Hermitage range will be perfect for those celebrating 50, 70 or 80 years in 2020.

    From the top cru, Grande Champagne, comes Hermitage 1940 Cognac.  A beautifully balanced amber nectar, with aromas of chestnuts and truffles, it was produced in the year Winston Churchill became British Prime Minister and ordered the Dunkirk Evacuation.  Also from Grande Champagne comes Hermitage 1950 Cognac - a real joy to taste with flavours including plum crumble with a blood orange peel finish.

    Hermitage 1970 Fins Bois Cognac was harvested in the year Concorde made its first supersonic flight.  It is rare to find cognacs from the Fins Bois in the Hermitage range but this one is really very special.

  • Brandyclassics News - Spring 2019

    Brandyclassics NewsThe first quarter of 2019 has continued the way 2018 finished with press coverage in both The Spectator and The Sunday Times magazine, heralding the quality of the Hermitage Cognacs range.  Henry Jeffreys of the former, particularly enjoyed the Hermitage 45 Year Old and Will Lyons of the latter, was advocating our very special Hermitage 1893.  Both are superb examples from the top cru, Grande Champagne.  Exciting times reporting Brandyclassics News.

    We are constantly striving to improve our range of single estate Hermitage Cognacs and the service which we offer. If you feel that we are fulfilling our aim, we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a Review on the Google Business page (Brandyclassics), Facebook page (Brandyclassics or Hermitage Cognacs) or tag a photo on Instagram.  We are also looking to post links on our website for suppliers and customers who would like to benefit from a two-way promotional initiative.  Please get in touch for more information.

  • The Bottle Story - Laguille 2010 Bas Armagnac

    Armagnac producers Domaine Laguille have just released a Limited Edition of 350 bottles of their Laguille 2010 Bas Armagnac finished in a  whisky cask.  Following the latest trend by cognac producers to give their cognacs a ‘finish’, Laguille wants to show that even armagnac, the oldest French brandy of them all can move with the times.  Strict regulations state that armagnac must be aged in French oak – the oak barrel used had previously been used to age a peated scotch from the Isle of Mull.  The result is an armagnac with many of the peated notes associated with Scottish whisky.  It is hoped that this will appeal to different, younger audiences.  Laguille’s Commercial Director said “It’s now or never for armagnac.  It’s a time when people are looking for smaller productions and everyone speaks about craft.  It’s a moment that armagnac must not miss.  The problem with armagnac has never been the product.  The product is wonderful.  The problem is how to sell it and how to market it."

    The youngest vintage armagnac we sell is almost 20 years old and makes a good comparison:

  • The Travel Retail Sector

    Travel Retail SectorCommonly known as ‘Duty Free’, the Travel Retail Sector has long been the testing ground for new brandy releases - presumably travelling customers are more adventurous than those shopping from home?  Often it is the packaging that is markedly different; the big houses like to involve famous artists in their limited edition, presentation designs.  Just recently though, we have seen a real change in approach from some of the smaller houses.  Prunier, one of the oldest independent cognac houses, has just released The Age Statement Collection.  It comprises 8 guaranteed age cognacs, from 10 to 80 years old. Prunier’s President said “Our commitment is to offer the most natural cognacs with no artificial colouring, no sugar and no added wood extract.  We are a very small company and perhaps make our cognac in old-fashioned ways, but we have a lot of experience in age statements and vintages and believe in being different.”  We could not have put that better ourselves!  It’s good to see another quality cognac house following in Hermitage’s footsteps, even if their price range of 130€ – 6999€ seems rather steep to us.

    Another new Duty Free product comes from William Grant & Sons who have, for the first time, released a range of cognacs.  They have teamed up with La Guilde du Cognac to produce a terroir driven collection.  Called the Single Village Collection, each bottle is in fact a vintage with the village of origin and cru designated on the label.  Clearly, William Grant’s have, like Hermitage, recognised the increasing desire of customers to know exactly what is in their bottle of cognac rather than accepting a generic blend.  The marketing is clever using a new expression ‘single village’ to describe the purity of its product and it is interesting that 4 of the cognac crus, rather than just the top 2, have been represented.  And it is not just cognac that is testing the Travel Retail Sector.  Calvados producers 30&40 have also created a new range of limited edition, single cask, products.  Each is described by its cru and age meaning that they are all calvados fermier - spirits made entirely by a single farmer.  We are delighted to see the travel retail market moving in this direction.  Numbers on bottles has been our mantra for over a quarter of a century.

  • Hermitage Cognacs in the National Press

    National PressThe last few months of 2018 were, as always, very busy here at Brandyclassics as we worked hard to meet the ever-increasing demand for brandies at Christmas.  Our Hermitage Cognacs took centre stage as we enjoyed some fantastic write-ups in the national press.  Articles in the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday all added to the excitement and we sold our last bottle of Hermitage 2008 Grande Champagne Cognac a few days before Christmas.  Now back in stock, this latest addition to our range has been a much-featured success story.  Although only 10 years old, it has a tremendous depth of flavour and all the characteristics of being much, much older.  In total only 200 bottles are available so if you have not bought yours yet do hurry, it will not be around for long!

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