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The Bottle Story

  • 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.

  • The Bottle Story - Gautier

    Cognac Gautier has just released its XO Gold & Blue and Tradition Rare expressions. Once upon a time Gautier was held in very high regard as a cognac producer but now it is owned by Jemaco, who specialise in Pastis, and is not so well known. The XO Gold & Blue was recently voted the World’s Best Cognac, quite an accolade indeed, but don’t forget like most others XOs, it can surely only claim to be the best Blended Cognac?  It should be compared against one of the few XOs we stock - Fontpinot - a rare, single domaine XO cognac.

  • Hermitage 1900 Salles d'Angles Grande Champagne Cognac

    We have often had more than one 1900 vintage in the Hermitage range and this one originating from the region of Salles d’Angles, on the western side of the Grande Champagne, is the latest arrival.  Its wonderful aroma of vine leaves and jasmine with green walnuts, cedar, mangosteen and dry spice combines with initial flavours of toast, liquorice and truffle developing into pear, kumquat and grapefruit peel all mixed in with cloves, mushrooms and ginger.  Wonderfully complex cognacs this good are rare.  Read about the rest of our Hermitage range here.

  • Chapters of Ampersand Et No 1

    Cognac bottle Chapters of Ampersand Et No 1

    There is always someone in the  cognac industry  trying to come up with a really eye-catching design and the Chapters of Ampersand Et No 1 is certainly that.  Made from Swedish crystal the bottle was designed by Goran Warff of Kosta Boda.  Renowned throughout the world for his crystal art creations, he was joined on the project by Folke Andersson, the brains behind Gronstedts Cognac.  Tiffon Cognac’s Maitre de Chai, Richard Braastad, was the creator of the contents - a blend of some Grande Champagne vintages (presumably not Tiffon’s own as they are based in Fins Bois) with some 1870 pre-Phylloxera.   Only 300 bottles have been produced and each carries a price tag of £5950.  There is no doubt that its ‘chilli pepper’ appearance would make quite a talking point but so to, we reckon, would be the difficulty of pouring it!

    At Hermitage Cognacs we use the traditional 'Exception' bottle, or a carafe, to give a professional appearance and 'pourability'!  Take a look at our range 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.

  • 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.

  • 1. Courvoisier Tribute Borderies and Hermitage 1914 Cognac

    There have been some interesting new products launched this past quarter, all with interesting price tags!  Here are our thoughts on 4 of them:

    Courvoisier Tribute Borderies has been released in 5 demi-johns costing £51,500 each.  This 60 year old cognac comes from a single estate in the lesser known Borderies cru and if presented bottled, works out at £1197 per bottle.  Borderies is the smallest cru and produces some very fine cognac such as our award winning Hermitage 1914.  Aged, we estimate, for 70 years this exceptional vintage can be purchased for £300 less at £895.

  • 2. Frapin 25 yo and Hermitage 25 yo Cognac

    Frapin has launched a 25 year old vintage cognac, laid down in 1988 and bottled at 41.5% abv.  With style characteristic of a Grande Champagne cognac, just 1000 bottles have been produced retailing at £160 a bottle.  Compare this with our own award winning Grande Champagne cognacs – Hermitage Chez Richon 1988 which retails for just under £100 and Hermitage Segonzac 25 year old priced at just over £100.

  • 3. Cointreau Noir and La Grande Josiane Orange Liqueurs

    Cointreau Noir is a blend of orange liqueur and Fine Champagne Cognac retailing at £39.95 for 70cl. Before you spend that kind of money though, take a look at La Grande Josiane – a subtle alliance between Bas Armagnac and orange liqueur.  An ideal combination as the lower distillation range of armagnac produces a stronger fruit flavour and to top it all, the purchase price is under £25.

  • 4. Hine 2005 and Hermitage 2000 Cognac

    The first release from their recently acquired Domaines vineyards in Bonneuil, Hine 2005 is a single estate, Grande Champagne cognac retailing at £73.95.  Quite a price for such a young cognac – compare it with our award winning Hermitage 2000 (£38.62) and Hermitage 10 year old (£48.67) – both more mature Grande Champagne cognacs, also from single estates.

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