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Comment - Why so Long, Honey? Cognac Turns Sweet

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In the 1959 Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy - bear with me - there’s a song called ‘You Gotta Get a Gimmick’. The idea is that you need some kind of unique selling point to become a star. And as with all USPs, imitation becomes the biggest form of flattery.

Cognac joins the honey spirits swarm

Cognac joins the honey spirits swarm

At VinExpo this week, we spied the launch of a honey Cognac. ABK6 CEO Elodie Abécassis claims her company's new product is "the world’s first honey-flavoured Cognac", and she plans to promote the liqueur in the 30 markets where ABK6's single-estate Cognacs are already available.

Although Cognac exports are showing signs of recovery, the segment's performance hasn’t exactly been inspiring of late, so it’s little wonder producers are looking for new consumers. What better way than to take influence from other brown spirits?

In 2013, Bacardi’s Dewar's Scotch whisky brand got the honey treatment and before that, Bushmill’s went sweet. But, it's the Bourbon crowd that are the queen bees. Wild Turkey claims pole position with its American Honey launch in 2007. Jim Beam, Evan Williams and Tennessee whiskey Jack Daniel's are all part of the hive. Even brandies St Remy and Three Barrels have spread the honey love.

You have to wonder what has taken Cognac so long?

Well, it went down some other avenues, first. To name a few, we’ve seen Remy Red - a mix of Cognac and fruit juice, Remy Martin V - a clear, grape spirit, Godet’s Antarctica Icy White and Courvoisier even launched a rosé Cognac.

So we’ve seen Cognac do alcopop, Cognac do vodka and Cognac do wine. Stand by, then, for Cognac does whisk(e)y.


Sectors: Product launches, Spirits

Companies: Bacardi Ltd

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