Case Study: Cognac

Cognac is the original premium spirit. The ‘Appellation d’origine contrôlée’ governing where Cognac comes from and the strict rules regarding its distillation and ageing help ensure that premium reputation but really its position as the finest brandy region in the world has been built by the craft, care and skill of the Cognac houses and producers.

boxLheraud are one such Cognac house. Family owned and run they have a long and proud history and their Cognacs are highly regarded by the industry and by connoisseurs.

However in recent years Cognac, the original premium spirit, has found itself struggling to keep pace with other premium spirits, particularly malt whisky. Scottish whisky distillers in particular have become adept at creating new categories for their expressions, using a variety of techniques, including premium bottles and decanters, to reposition existing products and create new ones.

It was our experience with Scottish whisky that led to our collaboration with Lheraud.


Although there are a number of obvious cultural and geographic differences between Lheraud and Glencairn we soon discovered we had a lot in common. Firstly Lheraud are an independent family run business, something we could instantly relate too. Secondly they are dedicated to their craft, it’s not just a job to them it’s a way of life, they care passionately about what they produce and how it is received. Thirdly they were open to new ideas.

Our first project together was on their Lheraud X.O. Eugenie expression. Part of their core range Lheraud were interested in our advanced bottle decoration methods. They liked the bottle shape but rightly felt it could be enhanced. Our team set to work and using their original bottle but our unique infill and imagery application process we were able to give the bottle a completely new look and feel.

So pleased were Lheraud with the results we were commissioned to work with them creating a completely new bottle for their Cognac X.O. Carafe Charles VII Petite Champagne. The brief was to help recategorise this cognac in a way that complemented the product and allowed Lheraud to consider its price point.


The design team at Glencairn created a completely new bottle. Using glass it was entirely handmade including the finishing and polishing. This instantly gives the bottle a new look and feel, the importance of tactility is often overlooked but we understand that when the consumer picks a bottle up its feel should reflect the quality of the liquid inside. We created a beautiful glass stopper to match the bottle but fitted every bottle with an attractive metal transit top to seal it prior to purchase. Cognac is a traditional spirit and Lheraud embody that sense of history. By giving every bottle a hand stamped logo when the glass was still molten the bottle combines new techniques with historical styling. The stamp was done on both sides accentuating the gentle curves of the bottle. The bottle has no ‘label’, the eye is drawn to the stamp initially before taking in its soft lines and golden hues. It’s a timeless design, appropriate for an X.O. Cognac named after a famous French king.

Utilising methods and know-how developed through working extensively with premium whisky brands we were able to use our enhanced, cutting-edge production techniques and a unique understanding of the international premium spirits market to assist Lheraud in recategorising two of their products.

Simply producing some of the finest spirit in the world isn’t enough; the entire package must reflect the premium nature of the product.