Louis XIII – the world’s most expensive cognac – has surprised brandy lovers by launching a new cut price version, Louis XIII Basique.
Basique comes from a blend of four special barrels in the cognac house’s cellar, which the company says have been ‘carefully put together so as not to make our more expensive versions look bad.’
‘It was a big challenge,’ said maitre de chai, Eck Soh. ‘Too cheap-tasting and it would harm our reputation for extreme luxury.
‘Too good and people would start to ask awkward questions about whether it’s really necessary to pay a month’s salary for something that’s made out of Ugni Blanc.’
Martin Remy, CEO of the cognac house, said that the decision to launch Basique was a bold move, but a necessary one.
‘At a time when people are struggling to pay their bills, and even New World wines are seen as a luxury, we felt we should show solidarity with drinks lovers everywhere and make luxury more accessible to all,’ he told Fake Booze.
At just €250 a bottle, Basique is less than a tenth of the price of Louis XIII. The company had achieved this saving ‘partly by maximising efficiency and taking a lower margin but mostly by cutting back the size of the bottle to hold no more than a tea-spoon of liquid.’
The company already sells Louis XIII The Drop – a partying format for rich idiots who like to carry the world’s most prestigious brandy with them in what appear to be repurposed 10ml bottles of nail varnish. But Basique is more ‘compassionate’ in nature.
‘Basique is principally designed as an affordable alternative for multi-millionaires at a time when rising energy prices mean they could be struggling to heat all their houses,’ said CEO Martin Remy.
‘But it is also intended as a tantalising indulgence for the less well-off who might prefer to prioritise a moment of tantalising luxurious pleasure over, for instance, feeding their children.’
Onwards and sideways
Experts have said that the launch is proof that cognac is a category that still has its finger on the pulse – even if that pulse stopped beating some time ago.
‘We are a brand that moves with the times and always have been,’ CEO Martin Remy concluded.
‘I can say this with absolute confidence because I have been on the board of directors for 76 years.’
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