Costly Cognac

France's Remy Martin has come to India with its high-end brand

After studying law I vectored towards journalism by accident and it's the only job I've done since. It's a job that has taken me on a private jet to Jaisalmer - where I wrote India's first feature on fractional ownership of business jets - to the badlands of west UP where India's sugar economy is inextricably now tied to politics. I'm a big fan of new business models and crafty entrepreneurs. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of those in Asia at the moment.

Costly Cognac

Cognac lovers with deep pockets have a reason to celebrate. France’s Remy Martin has come to India with its high-end Louis XIII brand, which, since 1874, is the world’s only cognac to be aged for more than 100 years. In earlier days, it was served onboard the Concorde and the Orient Express.  Each bottle comes with a blend of 1,200 different cognacs, put together by Remy Martin’s sommeliers. Each bottle itself is a piece of craftsmanship. Eleven people make each crystal bottle, with a 24-carat gold neck, over a span of about two weeks.

In the US, each bottle is sold in retail for $2,000 but taxes and duties in India push the price up to as much as Rs. 2.5 lakh a bottle (in Mumbai).
 
Here’s an indication of how exclusive the brand considers itself: In December 2009, it came out with a limited edition Rare Cask, of which only 786 bottles were made. In India, one found its way to Leela Palace, in Delhi, where a peg sells for Rs. 1.5 lakh.

 

(This story appears in the 18 November, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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