BLING-BLING – Nothing says wealth like the clink of expensive bottles, especially in the world of rap. And it’s not just any old spirit that expresses that special ‘je ne sais quoi’, illustrating all the flamboyant spending that bling-bling embodies – Cognac, in this case, really is king!
Dropping names is part and parcel of a rapper’s job, and that being said, Hennessy is by far the most mentioned libation. Other cognacs have followed suit, flowing through sumptuous music videos and cribs.
However, ostentation cannot be confined to a ‘gangster’s paradise’. Of course Cognac in itself is synonymous with affluence, but it has also spurred many a spinoff product, adding to its flaunt value.
1 – Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl
The House of Remy Martin is also favored by rappers, being named almost as often as Hennessy. The Fine Champagne brand is also arguably the king of crystal carafe packaging, with its emblematic Louis XIII. The Louis XIII Black Pearl jeroboam decanter has been sold for at least $55,000 at auction. With more than 1,200 different eaux-de-vie from the premier cru of Cognac, the Baccarat Crystal carafe truly illustrates the luxury it contains.
2 – Hennessy Beauté du Siècle Cognac
With all those musical mentions, Hennessy is an obvious choice to show off your wealth. A carafe of Hennessy Beauté du Siècle Cognac will set you back a cool 200,000.00 dollars, at least, but the worth is inestimable. Baccarat Crystal and a mirrored chest house the blend of 47 to 100 year-old eaux-de-vie.
3 – The Martell Trunk
Pinel and Pinel, Parisian trunk-makers, spent over 1000 man-hours hand-crafting a trunk to hold Martell Cognacs. After all, why just purchase one bottle? The craftsmen produced a 2.06 by 2.20 by 0.70 meter case using noble materials, such as full-grain leather, copper, silver, oak, crystal, and linen, all in the efforts to provide an incredible drinking experience for the Martell connoisseur.
4 – Dudognon Henri IV Grande Champagne Cognac
What does a carafe covered in 24-carat gold and encrusted with 6,500 diamonds say? Luxury, certainly, but nothing is too lavish for a king. Henri IV Grande Champagne Cognac from the Dudognon house is a blend of eaux-de-vie produced by the direct descendants of royalty and aged in oak for over 100 years. The two million euro price tag makes this the world’s most expensive bottle.
5 – The Cognac Pen & Gautier 1762 Cognac
Time is money. The longer a cognac has been aged, the more expensive it will be. In 2014, the oldest known cognac to be sold at auction, a 1762 vintage bottled in 1840, was purchased online by a Polish bidder for nearly $60,000.00, more than doubling the expected sale price. This is, of course, a lower price tag than the previous cognacs, but this one only comes with an old glass bottle and a handwritten label (no gold, diamonds, or crystal)!
But it turns out that the highest bidder on that centuries-old Gautier cognac did not purchase it to drink it. The Collectors’ Club, Wealth Solutions, teamed up with Italian writing implement experts, Montegrappa, to create a unique writing instrument. A capsule in the pen cap contains a drop of the precious liquid. The rest was crafted with oak, with the nib in solid gold or silver.
6 – The Cognac Watch
Wealth Solutions paired up with Swiss watchmaker, Armin Strom, to create a unique timepiece, also containing a drop of the world’s oldest Cognac. Aside from the Cognac, the 40 watches are hand-crafted from stainless steel, 18-carat rose gold, and titanium.
The sapphire-crystal capsule containing the Cognac is aptly located at 5 o’clock.
7 – Your Own Cognac Brand
Of course, if your name is synonymous to a Cognac house, then it’ll go without saying that you’ll have more swagger than anyone else. So the ultimate bling-bling cognac-associated product is your face on the billboard. Let’s face it; you’re not a superstar in the world of rap until you have a Cognac to your name, eh, Jay-Z (D’Usse Cognac), Dr. Dre (Aftermath Cognac – Abecassis), Ludacris (Conjure Cognac), and Snoop Dog (Landy Cognac)?
And let’s not forget dear old Shaggy, and his Cognac/coconut combination that is CoCoyak. Seems if you’re a global superstar, then any combination with Cognac is fair game. But we have to say, this drink certainly didn’t wow the general public like some of the others mentioned above…
8 – The World’s Most Expensive… Hot Dog? Cocktail? Cupcake? Mistake…!
OK, so if you’ve got the dollars to splash, then there’s no end of bling-bling products you can purchase.
How about the $100 hot dog soaked in Remy Martin Louis XIII. Officially the most expensive such snack in the world, the ‘Dragon Dog’, is a foot long bratwurst created by Vancouver based restaurant, Douie Dog.
Of course, if you’re a Russian billionaire, then spending a ‘mere’ $50,000 bucks on a cocktail at the Sochi Winter Olympics probably won’t faze you. This is what entrepreneur, Andriei Melnikov, paid for what is recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most expensive drink. The main ingredient was a rare blend of Hennessy Cognac, and it was served in a glass studded with four carats of diamonds from Italian jeweller, Crivelli. Your round, anyone…?
Breaking a World Record
But not in the way you imagine. You can’t help but feel for poor old Salvatore Calabrese who was planning to create the world’s most expensive cocktail. But he didn’t reckon on the actions of a customer at the London Playboy Club. The unknown patron (who’ll we’ll refer to as Mr. Clumsy), must surely regret standing up from his table in a rush and sending the priceles piece of history that was the bottle of unique 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac smashing to the floor. Probably not his finest moment.
9 – Cannes & Remy Martin Special Editions:
Can anything get be more bling than combining special edition Cognac with the glamor of the red carpet? Because that is what happens on an annual basis at the Cannes Film Festival. Remy Martin and the highlight of the ‘lovvey’ calendar have been in bed together now for many years.
And anyone who’s anyone in the world of glittering showbiz needs to own a range of Remy’s Cannes Special Edition Cognacs.
10 – Hardy Le Printemps and L’Ete – Haute Couture for Cognac
When it comes to beauty in a bottle, the award surely has to go to Hardy Cognac, and their Lalique creation that is Le Printemps and the latest edition, L’Ete. You’ll need to hand over around $14,000 to purchase one of these little beauties: and ‘beauty’ certainly is the operative word.
The stopper is ‘evocative of the creations of Rene Lalique in the early 20th century’, and only 400 of each have been created. The Cognac within the decanter is Grande Champagne, and was set aside by Armand Hardy at the end of WWII. Owning a bottle of this Hardy special collection is surely up there when it comes to ‘bling’ value. And hey! There are two more in the series to come, with Automne (autumn/fall) and Hiver (winter) to be launched at two year intervals. If your pocket can stand it, surely the ultimate bling would be to own the whole series…?
11 – Hennessy 8
OK, so we’re going to blow our own trumpet a little here. Because, on occasion, we at Cognac Expert can be just a little bit bling! Our very own Sophie brushed shoulders with the great and the good of the Cognac world at the launch of Hennessy 8 Cognac, the limited edition Hors d’Age Cognac created by master blender, Yann Filloux, and housed in a stunning Baccarat Crystal decanter.
In a trendy LA art gallery (where else?) followed by the London Hotel, Hollywood, Sophie was wined and dined, and then presented with a sample bottle of this amazing Cognac (OK, it’s tiny – but it’s pretty bling, all the same – and now a treasured possession). The 250 decanters that have been produced were designed by artist, Arik Levy, from Tel Aviv. And if you want to own one, it’ll set you back a cool €35,000 or so.
Sources: telegraph.co.uk, charentelibre.com, pineletpinel.fr, thespiritsbusiness.com, hardycognac.fr, distinctwhiskey.com, thrillist.com