Brandy: Point of difference

24 January, 2019

Bodegas Williams & Humbert’s international sales manager, Alfonso Roldán, says: “Spanish brandy is well positioned regarding quality-price ratio in all three categories of brandy solera, solera reserva and gran reserva. These two latter categories are experiencing growth, despite the fact that brandy is not to be found among the so-called ‘hot’ categories, though we can state that Californian brandy and Spanish brandy are among the strongest.”

La Terrière says: “In general, the world of craft spirits, the growth in brown spirits and the mixology boom offer a great opportunity to Spanish brandy.

“Spanish brandy has a great story to tell and there is now a new energy in the category that helps to introduce Spanish brandy to new consumer segments, particularly through the world’s leading cocktail bars, which have brought a new buzz and a sense of experimentation and discovery.

“Especially from these top bartenders we have had very positive feedback about our brandies such as Torres 15, which stands out for its extreme finesse and great versatility for use in cocktails.”


Brotons says Spanish brandies need to differentiate themselves to stand out or elevate themselves. “Being a traditional drink does not have to limit creativity. I believe that Spanish brandy first has to add value to the category, concentrate on activities to promote its image and then innovate. For ex-ample, the cocktail world should be an obviously avenue but you could also consider the world of mixology and flavoured brandies.”

Roldán says: “There is a clear response to this question of challenges and it is that there are scarce generic resources for the category. In the case of Williams & Humbert we are strengthening our presence in the Spanish, German and US markets with the brand Gran Duque de Alba and in the Philippines and Arab Emirates with the brand Alfonso, also available on the domestic market and duty free channel. To do this is we are working with on-pack promotions, trade press media and travel equipment,” he says.

Torres’ La Terrière adds: “For travellers we just launched an exclusive duty free edition of Torres 15 as a private reserve brandy – Skyline Edition Barcelona, which is a tribute to the exciting and modernistic city of Barcelona. Barcelona is a top destination for many tourists from all over the world, and is near our distillery.

“For collectors we presented a few months ago our most exclusive brandy called Reserva del Mamut 1985, with a production limited to just 999 bottles, crafted and numbered by hand. The reactions have been absolutely phenomenal.”


Osborne says: “I believe Spanish brandy has an opportunity in the coming years in Spain. Younger consumers don’t have a preconceived idea of brandy, and these new consumers value authenticity and artisanal elaborations, which Spanish brandy definitely is. They are also more interested in drinking well, a good drink, in a good glass, the experience is important and we are working in this direction.”

Brotons says: “Consumer trends are cyclical. Obviously these cycles can be long but eventually they come back, especially in Spanish markets. We have seen this with gin, which has gone from being ignored to now becoming Spain’s most popular spirit and this has caught on in other markets too. Brands with a quality guarantee can make the most of these cyclical tendencies. The consumer will always appreciate a good product with provenance. Spanish brandy needs to concentrate its efforts on making the most of the image and added value of Brand Spain.”

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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.