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Cognac Gift Presentation and New Armagnac Vintages

Lots of new stock has arrived on our shelves during the last month. An exciting new concept for the cognac connoisseur is a Cognac Gift Presentation offering 2 x 20cl bottles of very special old cognacs. Enough to try, enjoy and share with a friend and the perfect way to sample some of the very best the Charente has to offer.

We also have a brand new Hermitage Cognac 1976 distilled 40 years ago. This vintage is proving to be exceptionally rare so we don’t expect our stock to be on the shelves for long!

In addition, we have taken delivery of some new armagnac vintages including the very popular 1986, 1976 and 1966 from 30, 40 and 50 years ago respectively.

Entry Level Cognac Brands Haven’t Improved Quality

According to Hine Cognac’s CEO, “The trend towards premiumisation across all consumer categories, including fashion and alcohol, is seeing brands improve their image without improving quality.” This trend has meant that lower grade brands have been able to improve their overall perception without improving their quality. However he goes on to say that “connoisseurs are now seeking products with flawless raw material, of precise provenance and uncompromising quality” in their search for truly premium brands. So, it’s not about the logo, discerning customers want superb quality, like Hermitage – take our 43 year old for example.

Brandyclassics News – Four Gold Medals

Another great year at The Spirits Business Awards for Hermitage Cognacs as all four of ourGrand Master entrants were awarded GOLD medals.  Hermitage Provenance Grande Champagne 6 Year Old, 20 Year Old and 30 Year Old produced specifically for the export market all proved their worth.  In our ever growing premier collection, one of our latest vintage releases, Hermitage Chez Richon 2005 Grande Champagne was the fourth highly successful cognac.  Following on from our COGNAC GRAND MASTER AWARD 2014, this news could hardly have been better.  You can see the whole Hermitage range here.

A Great Name Disappears – A.E.Dor is no more.

The firm A E Dor has been sold to the Cognac co-operative, Uni-Cognac, for an undisclosed sum. We understand that Uni-Cognac are keen to move into the Far East market and regard the Jarnac based firm of Dor as a significant name in the industry.

The firm had a number of owners including a relative, we believe the brother, of the French President Franҫois Mitterrand before it was bought by Odile and Jacques Riviere. Odile ran the firm and was highly regarded in the industry as a gifted blender.  She became one of the five best female blenders in the industry. Sadly Odile died in a motoring accident and Jacques was at a loss as to what to do with the firm as his knowledge was not in the same league as his wife’s. He offered the management to his daughter, a pharmacist, but she wasn’t interested and eventually his son, Pierre Antoine took on the management. Pierre knows little of the industry and sadly, the quality of the cognacs from the house have deteriorated.

A quarter of a century ago Brandyclassics took on the distribution of A.E.Dor Cognacs. As generic blends of their day they were highly regarded and their old Paradis is still one of the most famous cellars in the industry with its many bonbonnes of old pre-Phylloxera cognac. Now they have been sold to a co-operative, Odile will be turning in her grave.

We still stock a few of the best A.E.Dor cognacs, have a browse 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:


David on Technical Topics – Hermitage, A Fine Brand of Cognac

The other day we were discussing our corporate logo and I was wondering how many people have actually looked at it and studied its design?  The use of company logos by many organisations is really to distinguish themselves from other similar names or businesses.  In our case we have set out to achieve rather more than this as our logo represents a guarantee of quality. To understand this better we need to look at what each element of the logo represents.

The Hermitage Cognacs logo is based on some of the important features of the cognac industry.  In the middle is an oak barrel, the wood being represented by an oak tree.  Over the barrel is a Charentais alembic still head with its long swan’s neck coming from the top.  During the distillation process, the alcoholic steam escapes through this to a condenser where the steam is changed back into a liquid.

Many Cognaçais understand about ‘The Angels Share’ – the fine droplets of alcohol that escape into the atmosphere above the cellars where the valuable nectars are stored.  In our logo one of the angels holds a glass with ‘The Angels Share’ and the other holds the key to ‘Paradis’, the cellar where the finest and oldest cognacs are stored.

Lastly, the Latin inscription under the barrel reads “Adhuc hic Hesterna”.  This means “That of Yesterday is here Today” and is a fitting reference to top quality cognacs from a past era when quality was paramount to the distiller’s survival in his trade.

So, look out for the Hermitage Cognacs logo.  When you see it on the label you will know that you are buying the very finest quality cognac there is available.  You can read more about these wonderful cognacs here.


Contemporary XO Cognac

Cognac has long been the most traditional of spirits and so has its packaging.  It is the white spirits, such as gin and vodka, which have embraced more contemporary marketing through their advertisements, bottle shapes and labelling.  That is, until now.   Returning to their Norwegian roots, Braastad recently commissioned Snøhetta and Magne Furuholmen to design a new bottle and label for their latest cognac presentation.  Named simply Contemporary XO the sleek lines of the bottle and funky lettering epitomise minimalist Scandinavian style.  So will this original style appeal to the traditional cognac lover?  Only time will tell but one thing is for sure – the contents will not be as original.  Most XOs these days are a blend of many different cognacs that only have to be 6 years old.

We prefer to use more traditional bottle shapes such as ‘Exception’ and ‘Helios’ for our single estate cognacs.

New Hermitage Cognac Vintages Available

We are very excited about the addition of three, new, luxury Grande Champagne Cognacs to our Hermitage collection.  Our best-selling Hermitage 2000 has now sold out but any one of these new arrivals would be a perfect alternative.  Hermitage 2005 is very similar in style with its mocha, toffee and spice flavours and is remarkable for a cognac of its age.  Already a Masters winner at the recent Cognac Masters Awards, Hermitage Provenance 10 is “really expressive”, according to the judges, and will surely have everyone coming back for more.  And Hermitage 20 Year Old is a gorgeous, deep golden cognac with complex flavours and is beautifully presented in an elegant Helios carafe.

But don’t just take our word for it – try them for yourself.


Hermitage Chez Richon Cognac 2000

About six years ago we decided to sell a late vintage cognac.  From our Chez Richon cellars we chose a 2000 vintage which had around 6000 bottles available.  The cognac epitomised our style of powerful flavours, which tend to be on the side of mocha and roasted walnuts but with some good staying power on the palate.  Hermitage Cognac 2000 was an immediate success.  Our customers loved it, partly for its rich qualities and distinctive flavours and partly because it demonstrated that good cognacs don’t have to be expensive. Little did we know then just how well this wonderful nectar would be received.   Helped along by wine and spirit journalist Ollie Smith, who regularly shouted its praises through his column in the Daily Mail, our customers also vocalised their thoughts and kindly told us how good it was.

The judges at The Cognac Masters 2009 obviously loved Hermitage Cognac 2000 too and awarded it a Gold Medal.  Such accolades made it very popular indeed and eventually the last bottle was sold to a hotel near Basingstoke in January 2015. We would of course like to thank everyone who bought and enjoyed it but please don’t worry, there is now a Hermitage 2005 Grande Champagne available to replace it.  I think that for all the reasons you liked the Hermitage 2000 you are going to like this one even more.

Hermitage Cognacs Awarded Cognac Grand Master

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.