A new cognac finished in ex-bourbon casks has been released by the House of Martell – the first spirit of its kind to enter the market.
Martell Blue Swift is made traditionally by maturing a VSOP cognac in French oak casks but it is then, unusually, finished for an unspecified time in bourbon barrels sourced from Kentucky.
It celebrates the House of Martell’s historic ties with the United States as Martell was the first cognac house to ship its barrels to America from 1783.
Martell’s signature double distillation of exclusively clear wines produces very pure eaux-de-vie which allows them to better absorb rich aromatic tones from casks that previously held bourbon.
Martell’s characteristic notes of candied fruit and plum are enriched with the subtle sweetness of vanilla and toasted oak. The result is a smooth interpretation of the Martell style to enjoy neat, on the rocks or in classic cocktails, pitched as an alternative to the “bourbon whiskey moment”.
When served on the rocks, the ice softens some of the initial oaky fire while still permeating the natural sweetness like that of a bourbon. This further allows the expression of the characteristic fruity notes of cognac and the smooth and long toasted finish from the ex-bourbon casks.
Martell Blue Swift also aims to break the rules in the design of its bottle, uniting Old World and New, with the sleek cylinder of its bottle recalling the shape of bourbon casks while the elaborate “cut-glass” detail on its base evokes classic crystal decanters.
For late-night bars and clubs, Martell Blue Swift also offers a night version with a blue swift that glows in the dark.
It has a recommended price in retail of £45 per bottle. It has ABV of 40%.