As many luxury brands are taking a hit in tough financial times, Martell is looking to the younger generation with a fresh spirit.
The Cordon Bleu Intense Heat Cask Finish is the latest in a long line of limited-edition offerings from liquour house Martell. Much like its lengthy name, the drink itself is a mouthful too.
While it has all the rich, sweet, aromatic notes of the Cordon Bleu, it also has a bit of a kick. A slight departure from the silky smoothness that the Cordon Bleu is known for, the Intense Heat ends with a spicy flourish. The heat makes for an exciting drink but be warned — it can make your eyes water if you don’t expect it. There is also a hint of woodiness, to highlight the oak wood barrels that the cognac is aged in.
Governed by strict rules on production, cognac must be aged in oak barrels. To pay tribute to the barrel makers, who are essential to the cognac making process, the Intense Heat is aged in charred barrels to imbue the drink with its signature woodiness.
“With a touch of innovation, Martell hopes to give regular Cordon Bleu drinkers a slightly different experience,” says Marie Deloffre, Brand Ambassador, Pernod Ricard.
Deloffre says that the Martell brand has always been known for its innovation. Even the world renowned Cordon Bleu, she recounts, was once an inventive new introduction in 1912. To continue innovating the Martell experience; the house is also trying to change the way its drinks are consumed.
“Martell is not just for old men who smoke cigars! We are looking into expanding our audiences too,” Deloffre explains.
In an attempt to capture the younger drinking crowd, Martell is dipping its toes into the booming cocktail scene. Together with London and New York, Deloffre feels that Singapore has the potential to be one of the world’s cocktail capitals. “We are already working with bartenders to create bespoke signature cocktails to enhance and highlight the personality of our cognacs,” she says.
Even though backed by a 300-year history, Martell has to learn some new tricks to stay relevant in a tricky market bogged down by a bleak global economy that has been disrupted no end.
There in lies the challenge, says Deloffre. While Martell endeavours to expand audience numbers and offer their products to new segments to grow the brand, they must also maintain that spirit of luxury.