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Massougnes Bonbonne 150 -200 Years Old

Massougnes Bonbonne

We have had this fabulous 150 -200 year old bonbonne for decades; it was given to us by The Comtesse de Bordelaise.  She is a direct descendant of the last French Royalty, King Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine and has direct links with the British Royal Family.  Although frail, she still lives on the remains of the Massougnes Estate near Aigre.

Once large and famous, the Massougnes estate has diminished considerably in size but over the years we have bought a few bottles of fabulous, historic and rare Massougnes cognacs from the Comtesse.  She shared some of their story with us in a handwritten note, translated and summarised thus:

The Massougnes estate is about 400 years old and descendents of the original owner still live there.  In 1800, it comprised 180 hectares with 40 – 50 members of staff.  All was well until a terrible disease ‘Phylloxera’ destroyed the vines during the 1870s decade and most were never replanted.  Instead, the estate took to raising wheat, barley oats, cows and horses.  The old bottles of cognac were, however, well looked after.  Every ten years the closures (cork & wax) were changed so the cognac remained at its strength of 41% abv.  Thanks to this care the bottles of Massougnes cognac, harvested over 200 years ago, have been preserved in accordance with the family motto ‘All heart. All honour’. 

Truly, history in a bottle, or in this case a Massougnes Bonbonne.

Hermitage 2005 Grande Champagne Cognac – A Vintage Marvel

Hermitage 2005 Grande Champagne Cognac stands as a pinnacle of sophistication, with a commitment to crafting only the finest spirits. The heart of our collection lies in the Grande Champagne region, where the slow ageing process imparts a unique richness. 

Guided by our brand policy, all Hermitage Cognacs age for a minimum of ten years, a testament to our unwavering dedication to excellence.

The meticulous aging process defines the Hermitage 2005 as it matures in 350 litre casks, spending six to eight months in new casks, and gracefully ageing further in seasoned Limousin casks. The medium damp cellars, with their natural floors, contribute to the refined character of this limited edition cognac, available in only a few bottles.

2005 Grande Champagne Cognac

The Aroma and Flavour:

The Hermitage 2005 is a sensory delight. Aromas include a blend of chocolatey mocha, fragrant walnuts, and a subtle vanilla undertone. The flavours unfold with toffee, hazelnut, roasted walnut, and spices such as mace, revealing a vibrant zest of tangerine peel on the tail.

From Vineyard to Glass:

Creating the Hermitage 2005 involved a meticulous blend of Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche grapes, capturing the signature essence of the Grande Champagne terroir. The flatter soil, coupled with Coniaçian chalk, imparts a unique character. Consistent, moderate weather ensures optimal grape ripening.

Distinctive Distillation:

The Hermitage 2005 would have been distilled on a small still with a straight-sided head minimising rectification and preserving maximum wine flavours. A fairly heavy lees enriches the cognac, creating a symphony of delicate notes.

Sip and Savour:

In every sip of Hermitage 2005 Grande Champagne Cognac, one embarks on an exclusive journey through time, terroir, and expert craftsmanship. This limited edition masterpiece can be enjoyed on its own, allowing the complexity of flavours to unfold, or paired with a Côte de boeuf, glazed carrots, and Café de Paris Butter sauce.

Indulge in the extraordinary; savour the sophistication that defines Hermitage Cognacs.

The Times Features Hermitage Cafe 20 Cognac

coffee cognac

Last weekend in The Times luxury supplement, Luxx, Jane MacQuitty wrote about the best bottles to give as ‘gluggable gifts’. Obviously we were delighted to see our extremely popular Hermitage Cafe 20 Cognac from Grande Champagne featured. Jane described it as ‘Magnificent mocha, vanilla, wood-smoke and marzipan-licked top-drawer cognac from a great producer’.

A Cognac Masters 2020 Gold Medal Winner, the Cafe 20 has also been described by TV presenter and award-winning wine expert Olly Smith as “this is as good as it gets and it’s mind-blowing with after-dinner coffee”.

Perfect to enjoy with friends at Christmas; you can read more about it here

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

December is well underway so its time to turn our attention to present shopping. But, what do you buy for the person who has everything? Well, we’ve put together a list of our favourite, luxury drinks that will go down a storm this Christmas. Not only do they taste fantastic, some of the packaging is exquisite and will grace any sideboard with aplomb.

The three, classic French brandies of cognac, armagnac and calvados really come into their own at this time of year as their typical flavours of roasted nuts, spices and dried fruits complement the Christmas fayre brilliantly.

We have selected 5 of our favourites to feature here but go and explore our website, there are so many Christmas Luxury Gifts from which to choose.

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage 50 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac

Winner of The IWSC Cognac Trophy 2021, this masterpiece is still in cask. The Judges described it as “Like opening an old leather-bound book or antique oak armoire. Figgy pudding and rich dark chocolate; wonderful rich spices and the bitterness of orange zest come through on the palate. Spicy but gentle and supremely dry.” RRP £531.60

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Toutain Reserve Odile 60 Year Old Calvados

This exclusive bottling pays tribute to Odile Toutain who, 60 years ago, took over Domaine de la Couterie. Distilled in 1959, it was carefully aged for 60 years in the family cellars before a limited edition of only 234 bottles was released. Presented in a beautiful carafe, sealed in a wooden housing, this is a truly rare gift. RRP £1164.60

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Darbeau 1943 Bas Armagnac

Steeped in history, this 1943 Bas Armagnac was distilled during the height of World War II when many wonderful brandies were requisitioned by the occupying forces. Few survived but this wonderful example of a top cru armagnac s one of the few that remain. Distilled 70 years ago, it epitomises history in a bottle. RRP £1908.00

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage 1923 Grande Champagne Cognac

Imagine life a century ago, that is when this stunning cognac was made. Tasting cognac from that era is a extra special treat, especially when, according to Olly Smith, Wine & Spirits Expert, it “has a gorgeous flavour, somewhere between a sultana and a sun-dried apricot with the spirit framing the layers with impeccable integration.” RRP £2086.40

Christmas Luxury Gift Guide

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise Crystal Decanter

The icing on our Luxury Christmas Gift Guide cake! A masterpiece of smoothness, aged for 70 years in oak barrels, it is described by Victoria Moore of the Saturday Telegraph as “Likely to be one of the finest cognacs you have tasted.” This litre of amazing cognac is all wrapped up in a completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full-lead luxury English crystal decanter. What more could you ask for? RRP £2220.00

Our Latest 2004 Vintage Cognac

2004 Vintage Cognac

We always like to introduce new vintages into our Hermitage Cognac range. The MD spends many hours visiting some of the many distillers, usually situated in Grande Champagne, looking for our next cognac masterpiece. Our latest find is a 2004 Vintage Cognac and for a cognac that is not yet 20 years old, it is sensational.

This Hermitage 2004 Grande Champagne Cognac comes from the gentle slopes around the town of Segonzac, in the centre of the premier cru.  A truly amazing cognac it has a complexity of flavours that would enhance many, much older spirits.

Aromas of cocoa, walnuts, dark toffee and truffle are followed by the rich and complex charecteristic flavours of the Hermitage style. These include dark toffee and cocoa which are followed by delicious bouts of clove, almond, damson and candied fruits.

Retailing at just under £130, this would make a magnificent present for the cognac lover in your life!

New 60 Year Old Cognac From Hermitage

We are delighted to announce that we have a new Hermitage 60 Year Old Grande Champagne Cognac on our shelves. It is the third cognac of this ageing to have made it into the Hermitage range. The previous two were great successes and all the stock available sold out. It has not been easy finding a suitable 60 Year Old Cognac replacement, though. David rejected many before finding this superb example of a top cru cognac, aged to perfection in oak barrels, for at least 60 years.

Its long ageing in wood has given such a depth of flavour and smoothness that it has been bottled at the slightly higher strength of 47% abv. This incredible cognac has been aged in damp cellars in the Premier Cru of cognac.  Aromas and flavours of plum, dark chocolate, liquorice, spices, toffee, almonds and dried fruits enhance this rich and beautifully matured cognac.  A long and glorious tail of citrus fruits, almonds and Marsala wine only add to the long complexity of flavours.

A perfect treat for the cognac connoisseur or as a 60th Birthday Gift.

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise is 70 Years Old

Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise is a Grande Champagne cognac from one of the region’s top artisan producers. Still in cask, it is now a magnificent 70 years old.

Some of the finest cognacs ever made were produced in the early twentieth century as, by this time, knowledge of distillation and the ageing process had been significantly refined. Cognac Marie Louise is one of the few remaining cognacs produced during this period. It is from the top cru, Grande Champagne and has matured for more than 70 years in oak casks.

This truly great cognac is named after Marie Louise, the second wife of Napoleon Boneparte. She bore his son who was given the title ‘Roi de Rome’ and who later became Napoleon II.

One litre of this glorious cognac is offered in crystal decanters produced by Cumbria Crystal, the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full-lead luxury English crystal in the UK.

The complex aromas, intensity and depth of flavours created by its careful distillation and ageing have created a masterpiece of smoothness. The initial sensation is akin to lining one’s mouth with velvet. The rich and complex flavours of coffee, sultanas, toffee brittle, truffle, dried fig, cinnamon, hazelnut and clove are all wrapped up in an intensely rich rancio found only in the rarest of cognacs.

Only a few people will be privileged to taste this exceptional and rare cognac. Those that do will be delighted by the charm and elegance of Hermitage Cognac Marie Louise, made all those years ago.

“Likely to be one of the finest cognacs you have tasted.”  Victoria Moore, The Saturday Telegraph Luxury Supplement

Cognac & Tonic – The Perfect 6pm Treat

cognac & tonicGin & Tonic has been around since the days of The Raj and nowadays is often drunk as a precursor to dinner.  But tonic goes well with a number of spirits so this summer is a good time to try something different.  How about a simple cognac & tonic?  It is such a delicious, refreshing libation to enjoy.


Cognac & Tonic

Mix three parts tonic water with one part cognac. Serve over ice in a red wine glass with a slice of lemon.


And if that is to your liking, you can always replace the cognac with calvados to make Calvados & Tonic.

This month we have three spirits on offer and all can be enjoyed with tonic and a slice of lemon.

Mosgaard Organic Dry Gin

Hermitage 2010 Grande Champagne Cognac

Toutain Reserve 3 Year Old Calvados

Bespoke Cognac Orders for Specific Vintages

Bespoke Cognac

What a wonderful surprise this bespoke cognac was for a lucky eighteen year old!  Over two hundred bottles of the very best cognac from the top cru, Grande Champagne, distilled in their year of birth.

A bespoke order which we sourced on one of our many visits to the Cognac region.

It is not always possible to find a specific vintage of sufficient quality to bottle under our name, Hermitage, but on this occasion we were lucky.


We are always happy to consider individual requests such as this one as searching for quality cognacs is our mission.  We can provide in 10 or 30 litre glass bonbonnes or bottle with bespoke labels for a once in a lifetime, unique gift or investment.

1882 Cognac Bonbonne Sells for £90,000

1882 cognacDelighted to have sold our latest bonbonne of 1882 cognac to Hedonism Wines in Mayfair and, with an asking price of £90k, it was snapped up by one of their customers within 24 hours.  Presented in a traditional wicker basket, the bonbonne contains 10 litres of Hermitage 1882 Grande Champagne Cognac.

The cognac would have been made in 300-litre stills and, although small, these were probably the only size that most producers could afford at the time.  It would have been aged in bariques of around 250 litres, for more than 70 years.  No reduction has taken place and so it is presented at its natural strength of 41% abv.  The tannins from the wood have given this cognac deep and rich flavours of demerara sugar, plums and sweet orange peel with a delicious long rancio, the much favoured richness, so highly desirable in these fine old cognacs.


Distilled in the late nineteenth century, 1882, this was the year when the first stone was laid for Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona and major European powers signed the first Geneva Convention, ratified by the US, who also legitimised the International Red Cross.