MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
Until recently, the U.S. market was largely an afterthought for Pernod Ricard’s Martell Cognac brand, which has long focused on China. But last year, Martell grew 33% to just under 100,000 cases in the U.S., and now Pernod is ramping up innovation activity to expand the brand’s U.S. audience.
Martell is now looking to leverage robust trends in both Cognac and Bourbon with a new hybrid product, Blue Swift ($50), which is hitting select U.S. cities now ahead of a full national rollout in January. The newcomer is a Martell VSOP finished in Kentucky Bourbon barrels for five to seven months, and represents the first in a series of new products that Martell has in the pipeline. The new expression will target the on-premise, aimed at being a bridge into Cognac for Bourbon drinkers.
In 1783, Martell was the first to ship its barrels of cognac to the United States. Today, Martell celebrates this history with another first : introducing Martell Blue Swift, the first-ever Martell VSOP matured in French Oak casks and finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks.
Martell’s signature process of distilling cognacs free of impurities leave it open to absorbing the rich aromatic tones from the bourbon cask. The result is Martell’s hallmark cognac style redefines the boundaries of cognac.
“The House of Martell has always proudly launched disruptive products, reinventing the standards through new blends, new designs and even new territories,” said Brian Smith, Brand Director, Marketing, Martell, Pernod Ricard USA. “Martell Blue Swift is a product born out of the power of curiosity, and we look to celebrate those who embody and share our curious spirit with the release of our latest innovation.”
Finishing Martell Cognac VSOP in Kentucky Bourbon casks, Martell Blue Swift is unlike any other spirit on the market. Martell’s signature cognac distillation process allows for the absorption of rich aromatic tones from the bourbon casks, adding to the richness of the finished product. The delicate notes of candied fruit and plum, found in Martell VSOP, are complemented by the subtle sweetness of vanilla and toasted oak from the bourbon casks from Kentucky. The result is a supremely unique spirit that is exceptionally smooth with a rounded taste and distinct character that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in classic cocktails.
The Martell Blue Swift bottle pays homage to Martell’s iconic swift emblem, a bird with the unique and rare ability to fly for exceptionally long distances, crossing over the Atlantic Ocean twice a year. The bottle takes on the shape of both cognac and bourbon casks and the elaborate “cut-glass” detail on its base evoking classic crystal decanters.
Martell Blue Swift will be exclusively available in select U.S. markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Washington D.C. this October with a suggested retail price of $49.99.
To 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.
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.