Martell’s newest cognac expression, the Martell Noblige, is a VSOP that seems purposefully-built for cocktails.
It’s not very often that a big cognac brand launches a new expression, especially one as established as Martell. So when they do we tend to sit up and notice. The last significant release from Martell was its Martell VSOP Aged In Red Barrels back in 2018, a more modern style of cognac that sees its eaux-de-vie matured exclusively in casks that’s acquired a reddish hue from aging other eaux-de-vie previously.
Its latest release is the Martell Noblige, launched in October this year. Martell Noblige takes its name from the old French expression noblesse oblige – literally ‘nobility obligates’, or ‘privilege entails responsibility’. The more modern version of that saying, of course, is the Peter Parker principle that states ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Although we’re not so sure how the principle extends to the drinking of cognac; drinking and not driving is possibly the most responsible thing we know to do.
But back to the Martell Noblige.
The Martell Noblige is classified as a VSOP, or Very Superior Old Pale. Technically speaking that signifies a blend of eaux-de-vie of which the youngest brandy within has been aged for at least four years in a cask. The blend itself comprises of more than 100 eaux-de-vie from various terroirs in the Cognac region, but particularly the eaux-de-vie from the Fins Bois terroir.
According to Martell’s official tasting notes, the nose offers abundant fruit notes of pear and prune, exotic hints of vanilla pod and caramelised grape, and a distinctive woody character with notes of myrrh, cedar and fine-grained oak. The taste? “An elegant structured marriage of strength and smoothness with a good length”.
For us we get a huge olfactory hit of preserved fruit – figs, raisins, and prunes, among others, overlaid by strong wood spice notes. On the palate it’s very floral and woody, as though we swallowed the wanton creation of a brilliantly mad perfumer. Or accidentally chewed on some bouquet garni from the stew pot.
“With the Martell Noblige, we are appealing to a new generation of cognac lovers,” says Jacques Menier, Martell Heritage Director. “The cognac market is changing rapidly. Up until the 1990s, cognac was my father’s drink and was perceived to be old-fashioned. But this has been changing since the mid-2000s. These days, you drink something because you like the taste, and younger people are discovering that they have a taste for cognac.”
Swift Flights of Fancy Tour
Martell may be on to something. Not so much that young people are suddenly taking to cognac in droves, drinking by fireplaces like their grandparents did.
No. We’re talking cocktails.
The explosion of cocktail culture across the world in recent years has seen the new generation tasting concoctions made with different spirits from around the world, and in many cases that’s how the younger generation have tasted cognac for the first time.
And while you can totally drink the Martell Noblige neat or on the rocks, the new expressions seems tailor made for making cocktails. That’s perhaps why Martell in Singapore introduced its Swift Flights of Fancy Tour as part of its activation campaign to launch the Noblige here.
The Swift Flight of Fancy Tour sees Martell partner various top bars across Singapore to introduce the Martell Noblige, but particularly in the form of unique, exclusive cocktails that incorporate the new cognac in their making.
The participating bars include the likes of Nemesis, No Sleep Club, The Secret Mermaid, Origin Bar, The Old Man Singapore, among others. There’s the complex highball Nimble Nip from newly-opened modern dive bar Nemesis, while No Sleep Club is offering the Martell & Green Tea, a cheeky if classy twist of one of the favourite drinks in sleazy KTV joints. But we’re most impressed with Origin Bar’s Neo Crusta, the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore bar‘s contemporary take on the Brandy Crusta. These exclusive cocktails are only available for a limited time only; to find out more about these cocktails and some fabulous giveaways, sign up at the Swift Flight of Fancy Tour microsite at https://martellnoblige.sg/sfft/.
The Martell Noblige is available in entertainment outlets such as Zouk, KPO and Harry’s bars, as well as in fine supermarkets such as Cold Storage, FairPrice Finest, Giant and more.
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