Want to celebrate your milestones in style? How about a little Martell cognac for a sophisticated and luxurious celebratory style? Our detailed Martell cognac prices, sizes, and types guide can help you pick the right bottle for the occasion.
The luxury cognac is surely distilled for any occasion. However, it is also an excellent option when you want to splurge on an exclusive bottle. The cognac impresses you at any angle, whether it’s a sleek bottle or a masterfully crafted flavor body.
So, to help you find the perfect bottle, we’ve shared a guide on everything there is to know about this regal French cognac.
The Martell Brand – Everything There is to Know
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The brand name Martell is synonymous with luxury. Among the world’s largest producers of high quality cognac, Martell is up there with the likes of Hennessy and Remy Martin. In fact, Martell makes one of the big fours of cognacs, alongside Hennessy, Courvoisier, and Remy Martin.
The four big houses contribute to most of the global production and sales of luxury French cognac. As of 2006, like the rest of the big four, Martell is part of the Comite Colbert, an association responsible for promoting French Luxury houses internationally.
Like the other big four, Martell is popular for its signature artistic taste and symbolism. While Martell’s marketing doesn’t compare to the other big four cognac producers, it still does pretty well.
In addition to sponsoring posh games, such as the Grand National Horse Races, Martell has also pulled in marketing through pop culture.
It uses popular celebrities in its campaigns, including Janelle Monae, and even Hollywood movies, like Apocalypse Now. Today, Martell, like Hennessy, has managed to capture the African American consumer market.
But, what makes Martell unique amongst the big four French cognac producers is that it’s the oldest (found in 1715). Today, Martell is the world’s second largest cognac producer and distributor, just behind Hennessy.
The cognac is produced by distilling and aging white wine in French oak barrels for anywhere between 2 years or more to create eau-de-vie.
Then, the eau-de-vie is blended with different Eaux-de-vie to create a particular flavor. Now, Martell uses special grapes from vineyards in the Borderie sub-region for its Eaux-de-vie and Tronçais oak for its barrels to create its signature smooth cognac.
Martell is best enjoyed neat in a snifter to truly appreciate its smooth and velvety texture and flavor. The shape of the snifter and how it warms from your hands allow you to enjoy the cognac in its best state. You can also enjoy the cognac on the rocks or add it to your favorite cocktails.
More: 15 Best Cognac Mixers
Martell is the oldest brand of the big four cognac producers. Jean Martell launched the brand in 1715 and it has remained on the market relatively for well over 2.5 centuries, with very few issues.
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Originally working as a young merchant, Jean Martell began the brandy business in a small town involved in the liquor trade and smuggling in Cognac. In fact, this was one of the very first successful cognac houses.
After his death in 1753, his widow, sons, and grandsons continued the business, growing its operations to export. This saw the business’s growth and by 1814, Martell was the largest brandy export to England.
1831 – First Martell VSOP was created and used the “Very Superior Old Pale” to reflect its aged statues as an export.
Between the late 1700s and early 1900, the marriages between the Hennessy and Martell families saw an amicable semi-formal relationship that allowed the two competitors to thrive well in the market, until the mid-40s.
1912 – Martell Cordon Bleu was launched by Marque at the Hotel de Paris. it is considered the oldest XO equivalent cognac although it didn’t hold this designation during its launch. This premium cognac continues to be widely mass produced to date.
1987 – Seagram Spirits Empire took over Martell to capitalize on the cognac’s high profit returns. But, with high neglect from Seagram, the Martell brand struggled with extremely low sales compared to the other big four competitors.
2001 – Seagram dissolved and Pernod Ricard took over the brand, reinventing it to promote sales to become part of the Martell Mumm-Perrier-Jouet (MMPJ) subsidiary of the Pernod Ricard French Wines and Spirits Conglomerate. Part of the reinvention was to release new products.
Still a part of the Penard Ricard conglomerate, Martell has picked up pace significantly from its acquisition in 2001. Over the last two decades. The brand has produced new product lines, including;
- Martell XO (2005)
- Designer Serge Mansau’s Martell Création Grand Extra (2007)
- L’Or de Jean Martelll (2009)
- Martell Chanteloup Perspective Ultra Prestige Range (2011)
In addition to expanding its reach to the American market (significantly among African American consumers), Martell has become the second cognac producer and exporter, after Hennessy, today. Further, the Matreell cognac brand alone brings in more than 70% of the total revenue for the conglomerate.
Martell Cognac Prices, Sizes, and Types Table
Here is the bottle line up for Martell cognac available on the market;
|Product||Size||Pricing (in US$)|
|Martell VS||750 ml||26.99 – 35.99|
|Martell VSOP||750 ml||34.99-46.99|
|Martell Blue Swift||750 ml||36.99 – 42.99|
|Martell Blue Swift Limited Edition 2023||750 ml||45.99 – 52.99|
|Martell Blue Swift Limited Edition||750ml||45.99 – 52.99|
|Martell Cordon Bleu||700 ml||129.99 – 159.99|
|Martell Cordon Bleu Extra||700ml||169.99 – 203.99|
|Martell XO||750ml||169.99 – 199.99|
|Martell Chanteloup XXO||750 ml||408.99 514.99|
|L’Or de Jean Martell||750 ml||3397.99 – 3399.99|
|Martell VSOP Medaillon||750 ml||39.99 – 52.99|
Martell Bottles Buyer’s Guide
To the untrained eye, most high-end, luxury cognac may appear to be the same. So, it may be difficult for them t pick the right bottle.
Moreover, you may also find it difficult to identify the authentic bottle. So, below, we’ve shared key tips and hacks for identifying the authentic Martell bottle. Here are the key features;
Understand the Aging Lingo and Know the Different Types
It’s no hidden fact that the Hennessy brand introduced the cognac classifying designations. However, these designations have been adopted by other cognac houses, including Martell.
Now, the key to identifying good cognac is first being able to understand the lingo so you know exactly what you are choosing.
We’ve shared the commonly used lingo and the different types of Martell bottles you will find on the market.
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V.S. refers to the youngest cognac blend, usually made using eau-de-vie which is at least two years old. V.S. cognac is usually the youngest and cheapest of the options produced by the brand.
The Martell VS bottle features a rich, clear gold appearance with aromas of plum, apricot, and candied lemon. Distilled from clear wines, the cognac is smooth on the palate and is great for long drinks and cocktails.
V.S.O.P refers to Very Superior Old Pale, a younger cognac made from Eaux-de-vie aged in the last four years. The Martell VSOP bottle is produced by aging its eau-de-vie in fine-grained oak barrels.
The cognac has a warm copper color with subtle gold hints and a rich aroma of ripe yellow Mirabelle plum, greengage, apricot, and vine peach.
The brandy has a luscious fruity taste with hints of wood and soft spices. Martell VSOP is enjoyed best neat, on the rocks, or mixed in with long drinks and cocktails.
X.O. refers to Extra Old, a cognac made using Eaux-de-vie aged for at least a decade. The Martell XO boasts a combined mix of grande and petite champagne characteristics and comes packaged in an equally elegant box.
The cognac features a golden amber appearance with dark copper and mahogany hints. Further, it offers intense aromas of fig, walnut, and sandalwood complemented by spicy notes of coriander, black and pink pepper.
The XO is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or with a dash of water.
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X.X.O. refers to Extra Extra Old cognac made with Eaux-de-vie that has been aged for at least 14 years. The Martell Chanteloup XXO is a complex, yet, refined cognac named after the Château de Chanteloup near Cognac, France, the soul of Maison Martell.
This cognac is made by blending up to 450 very old Eaux-de-vie from the 4 most prestigious cognac Crus. This combination gives the cognac a rich amber color with shimmering highlights.
On the other hand, the cognac has a luxurious aroma of honey, vine peach, and apricot with hints of fig, almonds, and walnuts. The X.X.O. blend is best enjoyed neat so you can fully appreciate the complex aroma.
L’Or de Jean Martell
A rare encounter, the L’Or de Jean Martell gets the Hors’ d’Age designation. Hors’ d’Age refers to an aging scale designated for old and vintage blends that have been aged for several decades.
This aging scale is reserved for higher-end blends past the X.X.O range. One of the most expensive Martell bottles, L’Or de Jean Martell is blended using 700 extremely rare Eaux-de-vie (some aged for over a century in the famed Jean Martell cellar).
The cognac boasts an intense amber color with shimmery mahogany hints and boasts a citrusy aroma with notes of bergamot and orange peel.
Additionally, you will also get hints of dark berries and black currants, gingerbread notes with clove and cinnamon, vanilla, and oriental forest woody notes of myrrh, undergrowth, and rancio.
When you taste the cognac, you will be impressed by its silky smooth and subtle rich flavors. To match its luxurious and elegant taste and aroma, the cognac is housed in a jewel bottle, whose shape is a true representation of this gem. To enjoy the best of this gem, you want to drink it neat.
Martell Blue Swift
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A special and unique cognac, the Martell Blue Swift is made using cognac VSOP and finished in bourbon barrels. The Blue Swift is a signature blend, a symbol of Martell’s consumers in the US. After all, in 1783, several years after it was launched, the first Martell bottles were shipped to the U.S.
Now, the Blue Swift is another milestone celebration of the cognac house’s relationship with the U.S. During the distillation process, the Eaux-de-vie that make the VSOP absorb the rich bourbon oak barrel aromatic tones to deliver an incredible flavor combination.
This signature distillation process gives the blend a beautiful combination of notes of candied fruit and plum paired with sweet hints of vanilla and toasted oak (thanks to the barrels).
The drink is also very smooth with a rounded taste and uniquely complex profile. The Blue Swift has a copper color with golden highlights and boats a beautiful aroma of banana and caramelized pear with vanilla, coconut, and spices. The drink is best served neat, on the rocks, or added to a mixer or cocktail. It is a particular mint julep favorite.
Martell Blue Swift Limited Edition
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The Blue Swift Limited Edition comes as a gift pack with the same aroma and taste as the original Blue Swift. The elegant box it comes in houses the bottle with two custom glasses to make a perfect holiday gift. You can enjoy the Blue Swift neat, on ice, or in a cocktail or mixer. The limited edition is great for a Blue Swift Sour cocktail.
Martell Cordon Bleu
Falling under the XO category, the Martell Cordon bleu is the perfect French cognac for special occasions. This legendary cognac is crafted with superior aromas and complex flavors.
It’s packed with a high concentration of Borderie to give it a caramelized character with sweet smooth spices and fruity notes. The cognac has a deep, golden copper color and opens up to a vibrant, rich, and complex orchard fruit aroma.
The cognac continues to exude subtle notes of candied plum and apple aroma complemented by roasted mocha coffee, toasted almonds, and vetiver. To best enjoy this special occasion cognac, you want to drink it neat or with a splash of water.
Martell Cordon Bleu Extra
A more elegant and complex improved version of the Cordon Bleu, the Extra features an amber appearance with a mahogany tone. the cognac is blessed with a “Tarte Tatin” or apple pie aroma with sweet notes of cinnamon topped with fine dried fruit and nut notes, like apricot raisin, and almond.
When you take the first sip, you will be impressed by the cognac’s elegant, balanced, and mellow roundness finished with candied orange peel notes. The Cordon Bleu Extra comes packaged in a regal box and this rich and luscious cognac is enjoyed best neat or on the rocks.
Understand the Appearance
The appearance (i.e. color) of your Martell cognac or any other French cognac isn’t just ornamental. Unbeknownst to many people, the appearance of your cognac can tell you a lot about it. Primarily, the color of your Martell cognac is determined by the aging of the barrels.
The longer cognac is aged/fermented in a cask, the more qualities it pulls from the barrel’s wood. So, you will notice that older and vintage cognac tends to have a darker color and making them a richer liquor. Comparing Martell VS for example, and Martell XXO, you will notice that XXO is darker while VS has much lighter color.
How To Choose Authentic Martell
In addition to understanding the designations and different available types of Martell, you want to inform yourself of other features. These features make it much easier to pick authentic Martell bottles. Common features to look out for include;
French cognac, like Martell and Hennessy, is always high in demand. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that the prices will ever go down – at least under the present conditions.
If anything, the process may go up. So, when you are choosing a bottle and you notice that the pricing is lower than the recommended range, chances are that it is not an authentic Martell.
Stamp from Authorities
Any authentic alcohol bottle you find being sold on the market comes with a stamp from the relevant authorities, in most countries. So, when purchasing your bottle, this is the first thing you want to look for, no matter where you are.
In the U.S., you want to look out for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration stamp. Typically, this stamp will also include an authentication number exclusively assigned to the particular bottle. Other good authority indicators of an authentic Martell are an excise duty tax stamp (after all, it’s an imported product).
Examine the bottle’s characteristics to ensure you find the right Martell. A true Martel bottle will have clear and easy-to-read labeling with no foreign language writing. Further, you can refer to the guide to ensure the bottle you go for is the right size and the type of cognac you choose is the right color – these are easiest to identify from the store!
How Does Martell Compare To Other Big Four Cognacs
Hennessy is perhaps the most popular of the four cognac houses, leading in the overall global production, exports, and sales overall. Hennessy mixes its Eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderie, and Fins Bois.
While different blends have varied signature aromas and tastes, Hennessy is significantly known for its blend of 40 Eaux-de-vie that offers the signature subtle fruit, caramel, vanilla, and spice taste.
Compared to the big four, Hennessy is somewhat higher priced, exceeding the V.S. categories of other cognacs by around $5 to $10.
The second oldest cognac house, after Martell, Remy Martin has gained its place in the cognac and luxury world. Remy Martin uses grapes exclusively grown in Premier Grand Champagne and Petite Champagne which offer chalky soils to give the cognac a distinctive taste. Remy Martin is known for its signature bitter orange and underripe banana notes you’d experience from the X.O.
The youngest of the bunch, Courvoisier was found to focus exclusively on cognac and has managed to do a pretty good job on the market. Courvoisier uses fine Bois grapes and is known for its signature X.O.
Imperial Grande dried and fresh fruit notes paired with vanilla and pepper. While the cognac house doesn’t have any vineyard holdings, it still is one of the most unique luxury houses with its cognac known for its incredibly rich, spicy, and well balanced flavors.
How Much Does Martell Cognac Cost?
The price of Martell depends on the type you go for. You will pay anywhere between $26 and $3400, depending on the type you choose. The youngest and cheapest bottle, Martell V.S. will cost you about $26.99 to 35.99 while Martell V.S.O.P will cost you $34.99 to $46.99. On the other hand, if you want a more exclusive, vintage bottle, the L’Or de Jean Martell, will cost you about $3397.99 to $3399.99.
Is Martell A Brandy?
Martell cognac is a brandy. Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the region its grapes grow from, i.e. Cognac, France. Cognac is produced by distilling grapes harvested from this wine-growing region to make its Eaux-de-vie.
Is Martell Luxury?
Martell is certainly a luxury. This high-end cognac uses the highest quality grapes and produces cognac of different types, including those made from 2-year-old to centuries-old Eaux-de-vie. Martell is also part of the Comite Colbert, an association responsible for promoting French luxury houses internationally.
Which Martell is the Best?
It all depends on the type of Martell you want. If you want an everyday bottle to drink neat, on the rocks, or add to a cocktail, you can’t go wrong with the VS or VSOP varieties. For special occasions, the XO and Martell Chanteloup XO are ideal. But, if you are in the mood to splurge for an extra special milestone, you can celebrate in style with L’Or de Jean Martell.
With over 25 decades on the market, Martell has experienced its ups and downs. Nonetheless, it has thrived and maintained its standing on the market. The luxury cognac house does a great job at maintaining great taste, aroma, and luxurious style.
So, whether you want an after-work drink to ease the day-long tension, celebrating a new contract, or a 20-year anniversary with your partner, Martell has you covered. Plus, it comes in different varieties you can enjoy neat, on the rocks, or curate a special cocktail with.
All you have to do is let our Martell cognac prices, sizes, and types guide help out.