Rarity for cognac lovers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 November, 2011, 12:00am


Although wine remains the principal focus of the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, spirits are an increasingly important element of the show.

An extensive range exhibited this year includes whisky, vodka, grappa, absinthe and even a rare bottle of Dupuy 1940 Cognac. That bottle, priced at HK$111,000, is one of only two in the world and can be bought at the fair.

Although spirit consumption in Hong Kong has dropped in recent years, the category most affected has been low-cost Chinese rice-based and grain-based drinks.

Consumption of vodka and tequila has risen, while there has been a recovery of interest in cognac and single malt whisky.

Exhibitors include Lorence & Company, which imports grappas and liqueurs from Italy's Distilleria Bottega. Distiller and winemaker Alessandro Bottega produces after-dinner drinks including chocolate- and lemon-flavoured liqueurs.

Latvia's Latvijas Balzams will be offering tastes of the apple and rhubarb vodka it has been making for more than 110 years, while Australia's Independent Distillers will have its popular Cruiser range of flavoured vodkas.

Leung Yick of Hong Kong has absinthe, liqueurs, gin, rum, vodka, agave tequila and single malt whisky, including top-selling single malt Glenfiddich.

Leung Yick also has The Balvenie single malt, produced near Glenfiddich on Speyside, and William Grant's highly popular premium gin Hendricks, which it advises should be served with a slice of cucumber rather than lemon.

Branded Spirits, which has the Dupuy Cognac, also has a range of single malt and deluxe blended Scotch, while Asia Euro Wines & Spirits (HK) has Courvoisier Cognac, Jim Beam and Makers Mark American whiskies, Canadian Club whisky and the Scottish island of Islay's assertive Laphroaig single malt.

From the experienced spirit connoisseur to the curious there should be something for everybody at the show.