Martell, the oldest Cognac house in the world, has released a new expression: Martell Blue Swift. The eau de vie de vin is made of 100% Cognac VSOP finished in Kentucky bourbon casks. This new Cognac is a link to the 300-year-old Martell’s heritage in America, according to brand ambassador Christophe Pienkowski.
Speaking at the Sept. 15 launch party at New York’s Light Box, Pienkowski noted that Martell was the first brand to ship its Cognac barrels from France to the U.S. in 1783. The company, which is owned by Pernod Ricard, also wanted to create a product that would honor the curious spirit of founder Jean Martell, he said. The question arose: “What would happen if we aged Martell Cognac VSOP in Kentucky bourbon casks?”
What happens is that Martell’s signature Cognac distillation process allows for the absorption of rich vanilla tones from the bourbon casks, Pienkowski said. The wood also enhances Martell VSOP’s notes of plum and other fruits, he added.
The Blue Swift name refers to Martell’s emblem of the swift, a bird that can fly for long distances and crosses the Atlantic Ocean twice a year. The bottle takes on the shape of both Cognac and bourbon casks and also has detail on its base that evoked classic crystal decanters. Martell Blue Swift will be available in select U.S. markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Washington D.C. in October with a suggested retail price of $49.99.