A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
Total shipments of cognac for the year ending July 2012 stood at 18.7m nine-litre cases with turnover amounting to €2.2bn, an increase of 13%.
Volume remains balanced between three major geographical regions: NAFTA (US, Canada and Mexico), Europe and the Far East.
Shipments to the Far East jumped by 9.9% in volume and 21.4% in value during the period. The zone represents 6.9m cases of cognac, largely thanks to China.
NAFTA, cognac’s traditional market, grew by 1.9% from August 2011 to July 2012 to stand at 5.8m cases.
Europe, where difficult economic conditions slowed consumer demand, saw a drop of 1.9% to 5.2m cases.
Broken down by quality, VS was up 6%, VSOP rose 8.6 and XO increased by 22.9%.