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Rémy Martin unveils revamped VSOP

Rémy Martin has announced a new expression of its VSOP designed to cater for European palates and renew interest in Cognac as a category.

The VSOP Mature Cask Finish is, in effect, the same as the current VSOP but it spends its finishing period of one year in 20-year-old Limousin oak casks, rather than larger oak vats.

The new expression is designed to have more fruit characteristics, particularly peach and apricot, due to greater interaction between the Cognac and the air that the final ageing period in cask provides.

The packaging has also changed, bringing in a clear bottle with an embossed centaur.

Changing consumer tastes in Europe and the need to attract new and younger drinkers to the category was the reason given for the change.

Rémy CEO Patrice Piana explained that this relatively minor change was necessary in order to remain relevant to modern consumers.

He said: “You have to be able to revisit your classics. We have to ask ‘How de we make it contemporary?’ To remain the same we have to re-invent ourselves.”

He also emphasised the importance of Europe, which makes up 20% of Rémy’s value sales and stated that as a European company, Rémy’s first commitment was to European consumers.

“Being a prominent player in Europe it is our responsibility to continue to invest and innovate in the EU,” he said.

“Many brands consider the EU a mature market and put all their effort into emerging markets.

“However, the first countries we need to be successful are France, the UK, Germany and Benelux. From there we can go to North America, Eastern Europe and Asia.”

The rise in popularity of cocktails and experimentation with different spirits in recipes has been particularly noted by the house and it is hoped that the new flavour profile will make it “ideal” in cocktails.

Rémy Martin has highlighted four recipes in particular: French Mojito, Sidecar, Rémy sour and Iced Tea.

The current VSOP expression will continue to be sold throughout the rest of the world depite its removal from the European market.

The changeover in Europe will be accompanied by numerous tasting and educational events to make sure that consumers and the trade alike understand the difference between the outgoing VSOP and the new mature cask finish version.

New stocks will arrive from February 2012, the RRP will remain the same at £32.99.

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