Martell Blue Swift VSOP
Au revoir, 2017 – good riddance to bad rubbish as far as I’m concerned – and Bonjour 2018, it’s nice to meet you. This year is going to be much better than the last. I know this thanks to the good folks at House of Martell (one of my favourite cognac purveyors).
Cognac may be a traditional high-class brandy, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for innovation. The swift bird (family Apodidae – and similar in ways to the swallow) is the Martell icon, and it lends a nod to the flight of this house’s goods across far oceans to the United States in 1783 – the first cognac house to embark on such travels. Today, it stands for the forward-looking strategy of the brand.
Martell Blue Swift VSOP plays a rather unique homage to its conquest of America by trying something decidedly different – finishing classic French oak-aged spirit in American bourbon whisky casks. A bit of soaking in barrels from the Bluegrass State (Blue Swift; Bluegrass State – gotta love how it works on both a literal and gustatory level) leads to a lovely marriage of Old and New World tastes.
This beauty is classic Martell all the way – with characteristic candied plum, dark berry, fruitcake, and subtle vanilla/spice on the nose. But intermingling with the supple, round, complex aromas and flavours lurks a suggestion of sweetness; a hint of charred oak; a dusting of warm caramel and that certain je ne sais quoi that can only come as the result of a new Franco-American marriage.
Maybe 2018 will be a year of new discoveries for you. Martell Blue Swift has certainly has been one of my first. And if the rest are of this caliber, it will be a very good year, indeed.