Annual Report: Brandy Top 10

07 January, 2016

Today we concentrate on the top 10 brandies in the World's 50 Best Bars Annual Report. 

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BRANDY

They won’t like being called brandy, but slight aside, cognac producers have a lot to be smug about. The top six selling brandies at the world’s best bars all hail from the south-westerly corner of France.

Not surprising, you might say, given that cognac has long-gotten quality creds and international orientation, but within the natural order, there is disorder.

In overall terms cognac is dominated by the Big Four – Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin and Courvoisier - but here Pierre Ferrand, not a million-case brand, registers in second, overtaking last year’s runner up, Rémy Martin.

A quarter of respondents said Hennessy was their house brandy and was among the top three sellers in 45% of bars. The LVMH- owned giant is persuasive beyond its liquid. Diageo owns 34% of the brand and aids sales with its web of distribution.

So while Rémy Martin and Martell’s sales have plummeted in recent years, Hennessy is more globally strewn and has kept moving, particularly in the US. As a global poll, taking in the buying habits of bars in all corners of the world, the ubiquity of Hennessy was always likely to show through.

Yet Pierre Ferrand ran it close. Going unarmed into battle (its portfolio is small), its presence among the top three sellers in 40 of the 100 bars polled is remarkable. It suggests bartenders have unsolicited fondness for this cognac.

Indeed, it is the top trending brand too, which hints at consumer traction, and a possible run at Hennessy’s crown next year.

Torres, the only Spanish brandy to make the list, is regularly poured in 12% of the bars polled, which is progress for a brandy that has started to target bartenders.

The Catalan company told DI it is hoping to build the reputation of Spanish brandy, which has traditionally been overshadowed by cognac and armagnac in the global on-trade.

With more and more Latin American and Spanish bars making up the upper echelon of the bar world, we can expect to see Torres and its Spanish cohorts grow their presence in this poll.

While cognac is fine, delicate and features in a number of classic recipes, Spanish brandy’s sweeter, woodier style has the power to punch through just about any company in a glass. 

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The Best Selling list is based on bottles sold while the Trending list refers to on-trend brands that are being requested right now but are not necessarily sold in high volumes.

To find out more about how we carried out the survey and collated the results read How We Did It

Check out the other lists here: RumScotch, Bartenders' Choice.





Comment

Christian Davis

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