Cognac expert Ed Bates, speaking at a tasting in London recently, highlighted the stylistic and commercial stranglehold that the big four houses have on the industry (they have 80% of the cognac market). In order to compete, most of the other houses “try to copy Hennessy XO because the world, or Asia, thinks that cognac tastes like Hennessy XO”. They do have another option though, he says, which in the longer term could be more beneficial. Making the individuality of their terroir (which includes factors such as the skill of the distiller, still, casks, cellar etc.) their unique selling point (USP) would set them apart from the competition. As the Chinese market, which thrives on the blended generic labels, slows down the more opportunity unique products will have to gain wider recognition. Ed Bates is convinced that concentrating on quality and what sets your cognac apart is the way ahead as this ensures that the maître de chai is in charge of style not the marketing director. Here at Hermitage Cognacs we couldn’t agree more, we have always been clear about our USP – exceptional cognac from single estates, each with a ‘number on the bottle’ to confirm its provenance.
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.