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Renault launches Cognac to pair with coffee

Cognac Renault has launched a new Cognac, Avec, specifically created to drink with coffee.

The inspiration for Avec came from one of Cognac Renault’s strongest markets, the Nordic countries, where asking for ‘a coffee with’ is shorthand for ‘a coffee with Cognac’.

Avec’s taste profile is achieved by using David Croizet’s process of cask-making that involves triple steam and brasero toasting. Barrels for Avec are made by plunging them into tanks containing very hot water before being brasero toasted. The operation is repeated three times.

Describing the process, David Croizet says: “We have created a taste that is totally new to Renault and has never been seen in Cognac before. Our signature style has always been a balance of fruit and spice. I wanted to see if we could achieve specific aromas with notes of torréfaction…roasted notes of mocha and vanillin. On the palate, Avec is incredibly smooth and soft. We were not looking for a big, powerful Cognac but one that complements good coffee.” 

The eaux-de-vie in the Avec blend come from the classic three top Crus in Cognac ‒ Fins Bois, Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne ‒ but are relatively young (between three to eight years) and Avec bottles carry no age designation.

Jérôme Durand, managing director of Cognac Renault explains: “This is a totally new take on Cognac. We wanted to simplify the labelling and get away from the traditional strictures of age designation, which are often lost on the consumer and even some professionals.”

Rather than just catering for the traditional on-trade, Durand says, “Avec has been created to be served in the new generation of coffee houses that are looking to have licences and provide the ‘third space’ for younger people living in crowded urban areas with no space at home. The coffee shop is increasingly providing a relaxed, unsophisticated space that is not a club, pub or bar, where people can work and socialise from 8am to midnight. A new style of Cognac has its place in this new environment.”

8 February 2018 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor