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Martell Blue Swift Cognac VSOP Finished In Bourbon Casks Eau de Vie de Vin
Wow. I think that’s a pretty smart product move and it will help to open up the category to more people. Overall: I like it!
So the first thing to say here is: This spirit is not a cognac, even though it uses the word ‘cognac’ on the label – technically it’s an ‘EAU DE VIE DE VIN”.
I think this is a hybrid of Bache-Gabrielsen’s American OAK and REMY V – somehow it’s Martell’s answer to Rémy Martin’s product. Larsen just released their Summer Blend, which clearly has no link to cognac on its label. Martell says it’s “the first-ever Martell VSOP matured in French Oak casks and finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks.”
Not Cognac, but using Cognac
Now, here is what confuses me a little bit: If this product is an eau de vie de vin (distilled grape wine spirit), then why is Martell allowed to print “Cognac VSOP Finished in Bourbon Casks” on the label – because some consumers will probably believe it’s a cognac. Why? Because: Martell is known for its Cognac. There is a French flag on the label. The term VSOP is used for cognac (but also for brandy). The words “eau de vie de vin” under the french flag is nice, but people could think it’s just some french term for spirits or liquor.
However, from a legal perspective I think this label is 100% correct because it doesn’t actually say it’s a cognac – it says that cognac was aged in Bourbon casks. That is correct. Now, as I just learned the barrels used for the finish are oak casks. But, as there wasn’t cognac or eaux-de-vie de vin in these barrels before (but grain spirit instead), the spirit cannot qualify as a cognac. That’s the main reason why it’s actually called eau-de-vie de vin, and not “cognac”.
What about the taste?
We have’t tasted this yet – but this is what the cognac producer says of the product: “Exceptionally smooth, with a rounded taste and unique character, this redefines the boundaries of cognac.
On the eye: We can admire an elegant coppery color with golden glints. On the nose We first notice gourmet aromas such as banana and caramelized pears. Then a subtle sweetness appears, and notes of vanilla & coconut mixed with spicy and menthol are revealed. In the mouth It is soft, round and gourmand. We taste deep and fresh notes of ginger and white candied fruits such as plums. We then feel the ample, smooth and long toasted oak finish from Kentucky Bourbon casks.
Serving Martell Blue Swift is a Cognac VSOP finished in Bourbon casks to enjoy on its own, over ice, lengthened with a mixer or as a cocktail.”
And here is the video for the new product:
Sources & Copyright: Pernod Ricard, Martell.com