Martell Bottle Catalog PART 1: standard range bottles and vintages

(777 standard bottles and vintages; but still not complete. Last updated: Nov 14, 2018)

Click to go to limited editions and specials  Click to go to miniatures, half bottles and magnums

 

Introduction:

Martell is the oldest of the ‘Big Four’ (Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Courvoisier and Martell) but also the smallest. Established in 1715. They are not independant anymore since Seagram took over in 1988. And as of 2001 they are part of the Pernod-Ricard group. The Firino-family (family to the Martell’s by marriage) are still in control.
Their embleme is the little swallow, but that has not always been their embleme. It used to be a shield with three mallets, which later on got the swallow added on top. The mallets are derived from the French word ‘marteau’ and the swallow is chosen because the French word ‘martinet’ means swallow, which is as close to Martell as they could get to find an animal to represent their brand (although technically a martinet is a swift, which is not really the same as a swallow!). A little more on this topic you can find here.

Martell is famous for its Cordon Bleu cognac, which has set a standard for the industry.

Contents:

1. Stars, Dry Pale, Stars-VS and VS
2. 20YO, VO, VOP, VSO, VSP and VVESOP
3. VSOP, Médaillon and VSOP-Médaillon
– 3a. VSOP with old white and blue VOP label
– 3b. VSOP white label
– 3c. Médaillon and VSEP-Médaillon
– 3d. VSOP-Médaillon white labels
—– 3d1. VSOP-Médaillon just white label
—– 3d2. VSOP-Médaillon Liqueur Brandy, white label
—– 3d3. VSOP-Médaillon Fine Champagne, white label
—– 3d4. VSOP-Médallion Liqueur Brandy Fine Champagne, white label
– 3e. VSOP-Médaillon black and gold label, broad bottle
—– 3e1. VSOP-Médaillon black and gold label, broad bottle no further qualification
—– 3e2. VSOP-Médaillon Liqueur Brandy and Liqueur Cognac, black and gold label, broad bottle
– 3f. VSOP-Médaillon black and gold label, paillarde bottle
—– 3f1. VSOP-Médaillon black and gold label, paillarde bottle
—– 3f2. VSOP-Médaillon Liqueur Cognac, black and gold label, paillarde bottle
—– 3f3. VSOP-Médaillon Special Réserve, black and gold label, paillarde bottle
– 3g. VSOP-Médaillon red label
—– 3g1. VSOP-Médaillon red label and red cap
—– 3g2. VSOP-Médaillon red label and blue cap
—– 3g3. VSOP-Médaillon green label
– 3h. VSOP and VSOP-Médaillon, flasks
4. Noblige and Cordon Rubis
5. Napoléon Cordon Noir and Napoléon Special Reserve
6. Cordon Bleu
– 6a. Cordon Bleu, old models
– 6b. Cordon Bleu, white split-up labels with rounded corners
– 6c. Cordon Bleu, white split-up labels with sharp angled corners
– 6d. Cordon Bleu, beige labels, cordon blue in blue letters
– 6e. Cordon Bleu, beige labels, cordon blue in golden letters on a blue rectangle
– 6f. Cordon Bleu, tapered bottles, dark label
– 6g. Cordon Bleu, tapered bottles, cream coloured label
– 6h. Cordon Bleu, white label and Martell in white on a blue band
– 6i. Cordon Bleu, white label with a straight upper edge and Martell in white on a blue band
7. Cordon Argent
8. Extra and Extra Cordon Argent
9. Cordon Supreme and XO Cordon Supreme
10. XO Supreme
11. XO
12. Vintages
>> 13. Limited editions and specials (on a separate page)
>> 14. Miniatures, half bottles and magnums (on a separate page)

1. Stars, Dry Pale, stars-VS and VS

Some features to determine the age of the three star bottles:
– label with Martell name above the main label appeared from 1928 on.
– spring caps where in use from 1933 – 1967; before 1933: cork with foil caps. It seems that corks with foil caps have also been used around 1940-1945.
– after 1967: screw caps, but after 1968 corks again.
– shorter, wider bottles with ‘bat’-emblem from 1968.
– tapered bottles from 1980.

stars, long bottle. 1 or 2 stars or swallow on neck:

One star on the label; no seperate band with Martell on it above the main label No year written on neck label; seperate label for name 'Martell' (around 1939) two stars Very old pale, neck label with swallow on escutcheon with three mallets

Three stars, no additional text box on bottom of label:

Very old pale with three stars on neck label; no seperate Martell band; no band underneath; very old capsule; probably between 1890-1909. Text on the main label printed in yellow letters. (1930s) Very old pale; no band underneath with the standard text; different capsule (after 1928)

Three stars on neck. Under the main label is just one band with the standard text in French (after 1909):

Three stars with one additional bands attached on the bottom of the main label; text in French With a paper duty seal on top; no content or abv stated (1960s) With a duty seal on the neck and 42% stated Bottle in very bad condition; colours have faded and neck-label has fallen off; I put it up because of the mentioning of centilitres on the bottom left; French text underneath (Italian 'fasci' tax seal: 1933-1944) Tha cap has a reddish colour; probably end 1930s or 1940s. Text underneath the 'RT' of Martell: 'imprimé en France'. Text underneath in French Again same but now with text (Exportation Interdite) in a little square on the bottom right of the label. Text underneath in French. (1940s) Again same but now with text (Exportation Interdite) in a little square on the bottom right of the label and 'deposé' below the stars on the neck label. Text underneath in French. With 'SHIPS STORES' printed in red above the standard text With German text in red: Wehrmacht Marketenderware (World War II) Different capsule, bi-coloured; text underneath in French (ca 1967).

Three stars on neck. Under the main label is just one band with the standard text in English:

No seperate label with 'Martell'; English text underneath; I have seen six of them, so it is not a case of a fallen-off label Text underneath in English; white glass Text in English; green glass With 70% proof on bottom right; English text underneath (1950s) Same, but colour is a little off and glass has green colour (1950s) With 70% proof on bottom right and 24fl ozs on bottom left; English text underneath (1970s) With a stamp in red: N.A.A.F.I Stores for H.M. Forces With 'Ausländisches Erzeugnis' on the left and 'in Österreich abgefüllt' on the right; Enlish text underneath Different capsule, bi-coloured; text underneath in English (end of 1960s) Different capsule, bi-coloured; text underneath in English (end of 1960s); not less than 24 fl. ozs.

Three stars on neck. Under the main label is NOT just the one band with the standard text:

Park & Tilford import (around 1938); note that 'cognac' and 'brandy' is printed left and right of the emblem Foil cap. Best guess: 1940s when not always spring caps were used. Spain or Portuguese import 73cl; 240th anniversario della Fondazione; 1955 (duty seal is from 1956) 4/5 quart; Browne-Vintners New York (1960s); notice embossed letters on the shoulder Park & Tilford import, with a Wisconsin tax seal (around 1946-1950)  70cl, imported by PAISSA, Torino; spring cap, 1950s Italian import by Carlo Salengo; 75cl, 42% (1950s) Italian import by Carlo Salengo, with a metal duty medallion (1950s; 73cl stated) Same as previous, but with a paper duty seal; some years later: 1960s Three stars with two additional bands attached on the bottom of the main label; with a paper top seal (1960s; 73cl, stated) Carlo Salengo With maximum price 19 per bottle printed (1950s) With maximum price 37 per bottle printed (1950s) Text underneath in English; colour is a little off and glass has green colour (1950s); with maximum price 42 per bottle printedThree stars with two additional bands attached on the bottom of the main label, on bottom band: Cognac Französisches Erzeugnis (1950s) with Cognac Französisches Erzeugnis on bottom Different capsule, bi-coloured; text underneath in English; underneath: Produce of France, Contents: 25 fluid ounces (end of 1960s) Different capsule, bi-coloured; text underneath in French; Italian import (ca. 1966) Same as previous, but with a paper duty seal on top

Three stars, broad bottles with a ‘bat’-label, 3 stars in the middle of the neck blob (starting 1968, most have screw caps, some have corked caps):
'cognac' is not written in neck blob; 24 FL OZS Almost same as previous bottle, but here 'cognac' is printed below the stars in the shoulder blob. (1970s) 40% stated on the lower right. Content not stated. Standard text underneath in French. No content or alcohol content stated, screw cap  No content or alcohol content stated, capped cork  68cl, 1970s with French text and in English: not less than 24 fl ozs No content or ABV stated; with a paper duty seal, Portuguese import No content or alcohol content stated; different capsule 70cl stated on the left below 70cl stated on the left below; address line stated below the signature Looks like previous one; no certainty about content or ABV; with a paper duty seal Content not stated; text underneath is in English in two lines. On box: from Hills duty free shop (1970s) Text in English; 700ml stated. HKDNP in the lower left corner and DF in the lower right. Stated is: 'Contenuto Idrato Legale 750cc - Minima Garantito 730cc'; Italian import Spirit S.P.A. (1970s) Same as previous, but white label Minimo garantito 730cc stated; different importer than previous; Salengo (1960s) Underneath: Ets. Fourcroy S.A.; 95cl (1960s) No content stated; Dutch import for Koopmans & Bruinier, Schiedam Same as previous but different importer: St. Cristophe 4/5 quart and 80 proof stated; around 1968 1 quart stated (ca. 1L); also 1 quart on the neck; Jos Garneau importer 40% on bottom right of label Right bottom corner (right of 'Cognac') reads: 'grade 40%'; different text on bottom of label. Französisches Erzeugnis underneath (1960-70s) Französisches Erzeugnis underneath (1960-70s); with 70cl stated. Französisches Erzeugnis underneath (1960-70s); with 40% stated
Three stars, broad bottles with ‘bat’-label, an emblem in the neck blob with three stars below it (1970s):
70cl stated and 40%  Content not stated; said to be 70cl on auction 70cle and grade 40%gl. on bottom; neck label has an emblem (1970s) 700cc and gradi 40% on bottom; Italian import '700cc e' and gradi 40% on bottom; Italian import 24 FL OZS and 70% Proof on bottom; neck label with an emblem  neck label with an emblem; 70cl stated; in the lower right corner it reads: 40% alc. geb. (German market bottle) 750cc stated; Italian import (Spirit, Genova); 1970s 750cc stated; Italian import (Spirit, Genova); 1970s; ABV is now stated lower on the label 1Litre stated, as well as 25 FL OZS 32 us fl ozs stated (neck emblem unknown)

Three stars on neck label, paillarde type bottles:

70cl, three stars without text in black below the main label 1980s, grande fine cognac; 70cl

Three star flasks:

With 42% stated and 0.73cl (very small) on the lower right  0.8Liter  72cl stated on the right below; with a swallow on the shoulder label  72cl stated on the right below; no swallow on the shoulder label (1950s)  0,72cls stated on the left below; no swallow in the shoulder label  Very much like previous bottle, but text more fat and 40% smaller

70cl with text 'Provision de bord' (1970s)  70cl (1970s)  72cls stated; 1970s

Dry Pale flasks (second half of the 1950s):

40% stated (1950s)  40% stated; spring cap42%, on the left.  No alcohol percentage stated  No alcohol percentage stated; with a paper seal    Dry Pale and stars     42%. Pour boire a l'eau (written inside the loose label hanging around the neck)

Three stars and VS on neck label, broad bottles with a ‘bat’-label (ca. 1970s):

'Grande Fine Cognac'; 700cce and gradi 40% stated 'Grande Fine Cognac' on the same line; 700cc and gradi 40% stated 24 FL OZ, 68cl and 70% proof stated 24 FL OZ, 68cl and 70%proof 40% vol stated 24 fl. ozs and 70 proof stated left and right of the address Same as previous, but colours are yellow and gold (in stead of ecru and silver) 94.6cl stated left below

Three stars and VS on neck label, paillarde type bottles (ca. 1980s):

VS 70cl; no text at the lower end of the main label 68cl; no text at the lower end of the main label 24 fl.oz, 68cl and 70%proof, 40%vol written on the band underneath; colour of label is greenish 24 fl.oz, 68cl and 70%proof, 40%vol written on the band underneath; colour of label is pinkish brown   VS 700cc; underneath it says: grande fine cognac VS 700cc; underneath it says: grande fine cognac; newer colours underneath: grande fine cognac; no content stated (said to be 70cl on auction); DF is printed in the lower right corner (1980s) With 'appellation cognac controlee' underneath; content not stated; said to be 70cl on auction Contenuto Idrati '70cl e' stated; and gradi 40%; with 'appellation cognac controlee' underneath; with a paper seal on top Same as previous bottle, but colour of label is more green VS 700cc; underneath appellation cognac controlée 68cl stated '68cl e' stated (1980s)  1 Liter; left below 1,00L and right below 40% stated (1983) 1 Liter; left below 1,00L and right below 40% stated; with 'Duty Free Only' in the upper right corner (1983) 1 Liter; left below 1 Litre and right 35 fl.oz. 1 Liter; left below 1 Litre and right 40%vol 1L bottle; left below: 1 liter; on the right no text. 2 pints, 1.13L stated

Bottles without an age qualification:

around 1969, imported by Joseph Garneau (VOP) Grand Fine Cognac (1980s)

VS, rectangular labels:

Very superior cognac on shoulder emblem Very special cognac on shoulder emblem Strange label... (1990s) Underneath: Grande Fine Cognac Underneath: Appellation Cognac Controlee

VS, top of labels not straight and with *V*S* in gold on the label:

70cl Same, but with a paper seal on top 1 Liter (exists also as 0.7L); dark brown label with VS on it; the emblem with three mallets in the blob Orange label; text underneath fine cognac breaks through the inner line 70cl with a swallow in the blob greenish label Same as previous, 70cl e; with a paper duty seal on top More gold coloured cap and orange-brown label; little swallows on the label are a lot less pronounced 700ml stated and with a 'product of France' stamp in an oblique angle silver top and light coloured label (1990s) 1L bottle

VS, top of labels not straight and with emblem on the label and VS fine cognac on the shoulder:

Yellow-brown label with an emblem on the label and VS fine cognac on the shoulder. In the blob is now a (little) swallow Same as previous but the swallow in the shoulder blob is bigger. Same, but with a number underneath 'Fine Cognac' 70cl with a paper duty seal; very little swallow in the blob Label is plain (without all the little swallows on it); with a paper top seal 750ml stated 1L bottle; with a number below on the label 1L bottle with different colour of the emblem 1,00l e stated

VS, top of labels not straight and with *V*S* in blue on the label:

Fine cognac is breaking through the outines of the label; the neck emblem is now again three mallets (in stead of the swallow); 70cl Almost same as previous bottle, but cap is golden yellow in stead of bronze. Content not stated on the label; 70cl is stated on the box 1L bottle (click to see detail) 40%vol on the left and '70cl e' on the right; name is written on the cap. Same as previous, but label is more yellow Content and ABV are place lower, beneath the address lines 40%alc/vol on the left and 750ml on the right and with three lines of text in between Duty Free, 1L. Travel edition; no name on the cap

2. 20 YO, VSO, VSP, VO, VOP and VVESOP on neck label.

20 Years Old, Park & Tillford import (1947) text above VO in the margin (vey small); silver foil, but also text box underneath (in Spanish!) mentioning the 1 Mai 1909 decret; therefore after 1909; different glass colour; no text above VO; bleu foil (after 1909)  70cl VOP (1990s)  VSO (1910-1920?)ESOP, over 40 years (ca. 1910-1920) VVESOP, probably over 50 years old cognac (before 1910) VVSOP, over 40 years old; (ca 1900-1920s) VVESOP, over 50 years old (ca 1922)VVESOP, age not stated but probably also over 50 years old (ca 1922)

4/5 Quart, 80 proof; between VS and VSOP; Joseph Garneau (ca1973-1974) One quart and 80 proof stated 750ml and underneath: '| 25.4 || oz |'; 80 proof (prob 1979-1980) Content not stated; 80 proof, screw cap

3. VSOP, Médaillon and VSOP Médaillon

VSOP and Médaillon start off end 1950s as two different qualities, Médaillon being superior to VSOP; as of 1962 the two qualities merge into one: VSOP-Médaillon.

3a. VSOP with the old blue and white VOP-label (ca. 1959-1962):

1950s, with text in red: reservé a l'exportation Late 1950s with 42% on bottom left (late 1950s) 72cl; Italian import (Salengo) (said to have a rotation date of 1955?)

3b. VSOP white label

Around 1960; with 40% stated With additional text in red below 'cognac': reservé a l'exportation 1959-1960 approx.; 73cl stated. This bottle had a duty seal, you can see the part that is left. Same as previous, but with 42% stated to the right of 'cognac' In red is written: reservé a l'exportation

3c. Médaillon and VSEP Medaillon (1960-1962):

Médaillon with red seal (médaillon is in very small print below the médaillon); 1960 Médaillon Fine Champagne with red seal (ca 1960) 73cl; with additonal importer information in a text box section underneath; Italian import for Salengo (1960s) Médaillon in different letter case; different blob and different emblem Fine Champagne; 73cl (1960s). Stated is: 'Litri idrati 0,730'. Italian: Ditta Carlo Salengo. Fine Champagne; 'Litri Idrati 0,730' stated. Import information underneath in different font. Médaillon in different letter case; different blob and different emblem; different import information underneath A bottle with VSEP Médaillon, fine champagne

3d. VSOP-Médaillon, white labels
3d1. VSOP-Médaillon, white labels, no further qualification (1962 till early 1970s):

No additional text, content nor ABV stated (1960s) Produce of France is printed a little lower Same as previous bottle, but with a paper seal on top (prob 75cl; 1970s);  With additional text left and right of 'produce of France' With 40% stated on the right With 40% stated on the right and three small letters on the left With 40% on it and content stated (24 US fl. ozs) Aprox. 0.700L stated; abv not stated Underneath information on the importer, Fourcroy. 730cc stated; Italian import (Spirits, Genova) 730cc stated differently (click to see detail); gradi also differently stated; Italian import (Salengo, Genova) Französisches Erzeugnis Content and ABV not stated, said to be 70cl on auction; with DF in lower right corner 32 us fl.ozs (0,95L); with DF in lower right corner 32 US fl.oz (just under 1 Liter) 1 Litre

3d2. VSOP-Médaillon Liqueur Brandy, white labels

Liqueur Brandy Liqueur Brandy with different colour cap and some text on the left side at the bottom of the label. 'Médaillon' in bigger letters and 'Liqueur Brandy' in smaller letters (24 fl oz.; 1970s) 24 FL.OZS. stated on the back (click to see) Content not stated; with DF in lower right corner 1L bottle

3d3. VSOP-Médaillon Fine Champagne, white labels

Médaillon Fine Champagne, content and 40% not stated With 40% stated (1970s) Same as previous, but with a paper duty seal; Portuguese import  73cl (1960s). Stated is: 'Contenuto idrato minimo garantito 730 cc'. Italian: Ditta Carlo Salengo. 70cl; stated on back (1960s). Fourcroy Bruxelles import Médaillon Fine Champagne, with 40% on bottom right. (1960s); different médaillon. Médaillon Fine Champagne, content and 40% not stated;  Same as previous, but with a paper duty seal: importation del alcohol gratuitas 730cc stated; Italian import by Carlo Salengo Fine champagne; Französisches Erzeugnis Hong-Kong import for Caldbeck, Macgregor & Co. (prob. 70cl, 1960s)

3d4. VSOP-Médallion Fine Champagne Liqueur Brandy, white labels (notice use of English word ‘medallion’):

Médaillon Fine Champagne Liqueur Brandy Médaillon Fine Champagne Liqueur Brandy; no additional text underneath; 32 US FL.OZS; Liqueur Brandy 32 US FL.OZS; Liqueur Brandy; without the 'YN' logo Médaillon Fine Champagne Liqueur Brandy; no additional text underneath; 40 oz bottle (1.18L)

3e. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels broad bottles (from ca. 1975 to 1980s)
3e1. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels broad bottles, no further qualification:

Médaillon with 70cl on bottom left of label (1960s) With 70cl on the bottom left and 40% right; both placed a little lower 70cl and 40% stated and additional text in upper left corner 70cl stated and right below: Alc. geh. 40% 70cl stated and a stamp in red saying 'Ship's Stores' Médaillon with 70cl on bottom left of label; with a paper seal (Spanish import) Médaillon with 70cl on bottom left of label; with a paper seal (Portuguese import, Lisboa) 700cc stated; Italian import, Spirit spa Same as previous, but 'contenuto idrato legale 700cc' in small print above rest of the text (1970s) Much the same as previous bottle, but with gradi 40% in bottom right of main label  '700cc e' stated; Itailan import, Spirit S.P.A. 700cc stated in the central area of the label (1970s) More text underneath; 'contenuto legale idrato 750cc' and 'minimo garantito 730cc' stated (second half 1970s) With a foreign symbol in the lower left of the label 32 FL OZS stated and with 'DF' in the right bottom corner 1 Litre stated (1970s)

3e2. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels broad bottles, liqueur brandy and liqueur cognac:

Médaillon Liquor Brandy, special reserve Same as previous but with some text in the left lower corner Liqueur Cognac, special reserve (special reserve is placed above liqueur cognac); specially packed for Singapore Airport, duty free Emporium VSOP Liqueur cognac; 24 fl. oz and 68cl stated 24 FL OZS and 70 Proof stated  32 us fl.ozs 94.6cl liqueur cognac; 70 proof (contents in US fl.ozs and ABV in UK proof!)  Liqueur Cognac, 700ml stated

3f. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels paillarde bottles (from ca. 1975)
3f1. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels paillarde bottles, no further qualification:

Black label and a back capsule; Martell in silver on a gold colouredarea. '70cl e' stated New bottle type, green glass. Below left: 70cl 70cl stated and 40%vol; the %-sig is sitting on top op 'vol'. Below left: 700cc; SDNP in top left, 70cl e and 40%vol stated; dark label Below left: 700cc; SDNP printed on the top left; lighter label SDNP in top left corner and 70cl e stated in bottom left 70cl stated in the lower left corner; in the top left is a text printed: SDNP. With a paper duty seal on top. SDNP; content not stated. Underneath in French: 'eleve et mise en bouteille en Cognac France' 70cl; content not stated; SDNP in the upper left and 'Duty Free Only' in the upper right. 700ml stated; SDNP in top left corner; very different capsule 40%Alc/vol nd 80 proof stated, no content (prob. 700ml) No content or alcohol percentage stated; unerneath in English: produced and bottled in France Almost same as previous bottle, but with a stamp on it that says: Ship's Stores. 1L (1980s) '1 Litre e' stated; ABV not stated.

Label in reversed colours; in a gift packaging; 70cl

3f2. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels paillarde bottles, Liqueur Cognac:

24 floz 68 cl 70 proof 40% vol stated in gold lettters on the black area below; liqueur cognac (1981) 68cl liqueur cognac stated '68cl e' liqueur cognac stated 750ml stated 1 Litre liqueur cognac 1.13L Liqueur Cognac

3f3. VSOP-Médaillon, black with gold labels paillarde bottles, Spécial Réserve:

Black cap (Asian market); 'Special Réserve Liqueur Cognac'; Asian characters underneath (mid 80s) 700ml stated; black cap (Asian market); 'Special Réserve Liqueur Cognac'; notice white Asian characters on top of the cap VSOP Special Reserve; Asian text underneath VSOP Special Reserve; Asian text is longer

3g. VSOP-Médaillon, red label (1990s)
3g1. VSOP-Médaillon, red label red cap:

Very Fine Cognac, in a frame attached to head in medaillon; '70cl' stated Old Fine Cognac; '70cle' stated Same as previous one, but with a paper duty seal No content or ABV stated 1L bottle old fine cognac 'Old Fine Cognac' in a frame very low on the label; 70cl Same as previous but wih a black number below 'Old Fine Cognac' (click to see detail) Content not stated and 'appellation controlé not stated' Old Fine Cognac' (click to see detail) 'Old Fine Cognac' in a frame very low on the label; 70cl; with a paper seal on top 70cl, same as previous, only cap is different: dark red with less bright golden rings and with a number. 1L, not clear whether this is stated on the bottle, but is is stated on the box (below left) 'Old Fine Cognac' in a frame very low on the label; 1L; with a number printed below 'Old Fine Cognac' Same as previous bottle, but with a paper duty seal on it from Spain. 1L Same as previous bottle, but with a number on the capsule (possibly for a lottery; on the box: 'win a very special gold medaillon'. ) 'Old Fine Cognac' in a frame very low on the label; 1.13L different bottle form; smaller medaillon; notice distance of Martell in blue to the edge; 70cl e stated different bottle form; smaller medaillon; notice distance of Martell in blue to the edge; 70cle and 40%vol stated 70cl old fine cognac, red cap, small medaillon  750ml very fine cognac, red cap, small medaillon Different cap; content not stated (70 or 75cl) 1L; different cap 70cl stated; different cap; small médaillon 1L, stated on the box

3g2. VSOP-Médaillon, red label blue cap:

New type, blue cap and the head in the medaillon has disappeared; 70cl New type, blue cap and the head in the medaillon has disappeared; 700ml stated New type, blue cap and the head in the medaillon has disappeared; 750ml 1L bottle with blue cap Blue cap with a thickening (Singapore); 70cl 70cl Malaysian import

3g3. VSOP-Médaillon, green label:

Old fine cognac; with a green label 700ml; Asian market

3h. VSOP and VSOP-Medaillon flasks:

end of 1950s Same as previous, with a paper seal on top

 full bottle, 70cl (1990s)   full bottle, 70cl  full bottle, 70cl; with 'VSOP' above 'Martell'

4. Noblige and Cordon Rubis

Cordon Rubis, old emblem:

Left of cognac is written 70cl e; right of cognac it says: 40%vol (click to see detail) Left of cognac is written 70cl e; right of cognac it says: gradi 40%vol (click to see details); with a paper seal on top Only text to the left of cognac; on the top right is probably printed: Duty Free only. Only text (70cl e) to the left of cognac (click to see it); with a paper seal on top Content and abv not stated on thelabel; paper duty seal with 0,700 stated (1980s) Cordon Rubie; 750ml, 80 proof 1L bottle, Duty Free Only

Cordon Rubis, new emblem:

different shoulder emblem and part of text in subdued colour Same as previous but with a paper duty seal on top.

Noblige, old type bottle:

Noblige, new type bottle, shield with mallets:

Noblige, 70cl stated on the back 750ml stated 1L (not stated on front) Said to be 700ml; different capsule 750ml stated; different capsule, newer swift and shield. 1L, not stated, different capsule, smaller emblem

Noblige, new emblem:

Different emblem, 70cl Different emblem; said to be 750ml 1L bottle, stated on the box

5. Napoléon Cordon Noir and Napoléon Special Reserve

 

70cl and 40% stated on left and right side of 'Martell' No content stated on left bottom (1980s) No cordon and no Eagle (fallen off?); with a sticker: specially packed for Singapore Airport with content stated on left bottom, aslo: 'duty not paid' Martell & Co. (instead of just Martell) and letters in italics With D.F. printed in the lower right corner Clear glass and bold typeface Cognac is in much smaller letters; said to be 70cl on auction.

old model, with 70cl stated on botton left (1980-90s) 700ml stated old model, no content stated (1980-1990s) old model, no content stated. Duty Free Only stated underneath. (70cl, stated at auction)

Special reserve, brown label; 70cl Special reserve brown label with 'Martell' in blue; 70cl Special reserve gray-green label and 'Martell' in blue 700ml Special reserve 1L 1L Duty free, Bangkok Airport

6. Cordon Bleu

Some features to determine the age of Cordon Bleu bottles:
– Cordon Bleu started in 1922 (prerunners exist since 1912, but they are called ESOP or VVESOP, not Cordon Bleu).
– First CB bottles have white labels.
– Cordon Bleu stated only on crescent till 1929.
– Bottle shape changes to short wider model in 1933 with a riveted ribbon.
– spring caps in use from 1933 – 1962 (not in US); from around 1950 till 1959 capped corks were also used.
– Cordon Blue in white on a blue background in the US only.
– ribbons not riveted anymore as of 1960.
– capped cork from 1962 till 1966.
– screw cap from 1966.
– US importers: 1933-1955: Par & Tilford; 1955-1969: Browne Vintners; 1969: Joseph Garneau.
– in green frosted glass with gold and beige labels from 1976 on.
– tapered bottles from 1985 on.
– back to the short, wide bottle with clear glass and white label from 1992.

6a. Old model bottles (1922-1933)

On the neck "Cordon Bleu" in quotation marks; with extra text: 'Guaranteed over 35 years in oak by'; on the main label is 'fine liqueur brandy' stated in stead of cordon bleu; 1922-1928  Many people think this is a first edition, around 1912; but it is a 1928-1930 bottle: it already states 'cordon bleu' on the main label. Cordon Blue on neck label; plus de 35 ans en futs (ca 1929-1930) Cordon Blue on neck label

6b. White split-up label, rounded corners (1933- ca. 1977)

(These labels with rounded corners seem to have been in use in all countries)

a. with spring caps and the cordon riveted to the foil (1933-1960):

Garanti plus de 35 ans en fut; 35 ans also stated on the wax seal; spring cap (1934-1935) spring cap, first half of the 1950s 42%; spring cap, first half of the 1950s Produce of France on a separate label at the bottom (1950s) 0,730 stated; Italian import Carlo Salengo, Genova, stated on a separate label underneath (1950s) 0,730 stated; Italian import Carlo Salengo, Genova, stated on a separate label underneath (1950s); with a stamp on the label.

b. corked caps and no riveting (1960-1978):

With crimped foil cap (1950s?)  garanteed over 35 year in cask; old liqueur cognac brandy Liqueur brandy Liqueur brandy; importer data not readableLiqueur brandy; imported by Dodwell for South-China (box dates it 1960-65) short label; no text underneath Very little differences with last bottle: letters on capsule less bold, tear-line somewhat higher; colour of tect on label is different; little differences in the shield with swift. Short label; no text underneath; with a paper seal on top With 40% on bottom right (1960s) short label and 40° in the middle below (France - Ecosse 1910-1960) Produce of France and 700ml stated below 0.700L stated 'Produce of France'; 75cl (not stated) 80 proof stated; Joseph Garneau import, prob 750ml (1969-1975) With DF stated on the lower right (click for detail); 70 (stated at auction)  750cc stated (early 1970s); Italian import (Spirits, Genova) 730cc stated (minimo garantito); Italian import (Carlo Salengo, Genova) 730cc minimo garantito stated a little lower (early 1970s); Italian import (Carlo Salengo, Genova) 730cc stated; Italian import (Carlo Salengo, Genova) 730cc stated; Italian import (Carlo Salengo, Genova); 5 lines of text underneath  with 24 US FL.OZS underneath (ca 1969)

6c. White split-up label, sharp angled corners (ca. 1933- ca. 1978)

(These labels with sharp angled corners have only been in use in the UK and the US; in the US they had Cordon Blue written in white letters on a blue background)

a. UK import, Cordon Bleu printed in blue letters; they all state ‘fine liqueur cognac brandy’:

Spring cap and ribbon riveted to the foil. Content not stated. (pre 1960s) Capped cork, no riveting; fine liqueur cognac brandy stated; 24 fl ozs stated; rather yellow label Not less than 24 FL OZS stated and 70 proof Almost same as previous, but whiter label and slightly different type face (1970s) Almost the same as previous one but a thinner and darker typeface (box dates it to 1966-1978) 24 FL OZS stated; 'Fine Liquor Cognac Brandy' is printed in letters with the same size as 'Cordon Bleu'.   Produce of France, 70 Proof stated
b. US import; Cordon Bleu in white letters on a blue background; they all state ‘fine liqueur cognac brandy):

old type capped cork (label with Martell on it has fallen off). Park & Tilford import (1950-55) old type capped cork; Browne Vintners importers; 1955-60s with an extra line in red: produced and bottled in Cognac France (under produce of France); Browne & Vintners import (1955-69) Browne Vintners import; with the Federal law sentence on the glass; it look like the label is glued to the back of the bottle (1955-1964) Jos Garneau importer; (ca 1969-78)

6d. Beige label, Cordon Bleu in blue letters (around 1976-1985)

Cognaçaise type bottle with '70cl' in bottom left and 40% in bottom right Same as previous, but with a paper seal on top different typeface 24 fl ozs stated in the bottom left 24 fl ozs 68cl stated in the bottom left 0,70L stated; abv not stated No content or ABV stated; said to be 68cl on auction (1970s) 0.700L and 40% GL stated in the top right corner; different capsule and with a paper seal on topdifferent grouping of label; 700ml stated 700cc stated; Italian import, Spirit SPA long label, 750cc, 40 gradi; Italian import, Spirit SPA

6e. Beige label, Cordon Bleu in golden letters on a dark blue rectangle (for US market around 1978-1985); also seen for Italian market

Content and abv not stated (said to be 70cl on auction) Cordon Bleu in blue band; DF in lower right corner With 750ml in lower left and 80 proof in lower right corner With 750ml in lower left and 80 proof (in bigger letters) in lower right corner Cordon Bleu in blue band; 750ml in the left below, different typeface and color of label 4/5 quart on the low left and 80 proof on lower right Cordon Bleu in blue band; longer label With '70cl e' in bottom left and 40% in bottom right With '70cl e' in bottom left and 40% in bottom right; with a paper seal on it With '70cl e' in bottom left and 40% in bottom right; with dark cap and a paper seal on it With 70cl in bottom left and 40%vol (not 40%) in bottom right 700cc stated in bottom left; Italian import by Spirit S.P.A. With '24 fl oz' in bottom left corner With '24 fl oz' and '68cl' in bottom left and 70 proof in bottom right '24 fl oz' and '68cl e' stated on the lower left and 70proof in the bottom right

6f. Tapered bottles, dark labels (ca 1985-1990)

dark blue label; 70cl stated in the left bottom corner Sames as previous, but with a paper top seal dark blue label without alcohol percentage or content Same as previous bottle, but with a paper duty seal Dark blue label; also with content and percentage stated; 70cl stated a bit higher in the left corner below; bottom line: "Produced and bottled in Cognac France" Same as previous; bottom line: "Elevé et mis en bouteille en Conac France"; no content or ABV stated Same as previous but with content (70cl) and ABV (40%) stated Same, but with a paper top seal; gradi 40% stated and 70cl Same, but gradi 40% and 700cc; and they are placed a little lower No additional text wathsoever (70cl; 1985) Frosted green glass, 70cl Blue label with silver frame around label and silver cap Dark label; liqueur cognac; 70cl and ABV stated Dark label; liqueur cognac, no content or ABV stated Liqueur cognac; wit text underneath Dark label; old liqueur cognac; a swallow twice, on the main label and the emblem

6g. Tapered bottles, cream coloured labels

Elevé et mis en bouteille à Cognac France below Martell & Co Cognac; 70cl e stated Produced and bottled in France above Martell & Co Cognac Somewhat different typeface and layoutLight label; Martell & Co Cognac above produced and bottled in Cognac France Only 80Proof stated in lower right (ca 1985) Only 80Proof stated in lower right, a little bit higher (ca 1985) 750ml and 25.4 floz stated in the left below and 80 proof on the right

6h. White label, Martell in white letters on a blue band (from early 1990s)
a. ‘old liquor cognac’, ‘grand classic cognac’ and ‘extra old cognac’:

Old Liquor cognac in red, 70cl Old liqueur cognac in red; printed below is: Hong Kong & China Grand classic cognac in red; 750ml stated Grand classic cognac in red; no content or ABV stated Grand classic cognac in red; different escutcheon and signature; 750ml Grand classic cognac in red; different escutcheon and signature; 750ml and text underneath in bolder print 1L Grand Classic Extra old cognac in red Same as previous but with a paper seal on top Extra old cognac in red; different escutcheon and bottom line

b. ‘old classic cognac’:

Old classic cognac; old escutcheon Old classic cognac; old escutcheon; with a paper top seal. 1L Old Classic Cognac, old escutcheon; Malaysian Duty not paid 700ml stated, old escutcheon Old classic cognac; modern escutcheon and with a signature; 70cl Old classic cognac; modern escutcheon; 70cl; with a paper top seal. Different colour blue is used 700ml stated and 'Produce of France' obliquely With Cont. Net. 700ml stated in bold lettertype 1L old classic 1L old classic; with DFS sticker 1L old classic; with HKDNP mark

Aberrant caps:
70cl e stated 70cl Old Classic Cognac, Malaysian text underneath; different cap 70cl old classic in red; with a special cap. The colour of the cap is really green-yellow. Notice also the Cordon Bleu printed over two lines. 70cl, Malaysian import by Harpers Trading 1L old classic in red; with a Malaysian mark and with a special cap

6i. White label with straight upper edge; new swift

Extra old cognac in blue; the top border of the label is straight Extra old cognac in blue, thinner typeface 700ml stated, Extra Old Extra old cognac in blue; different cap; mengandungi 40%; 700ml 750ml stated; grand classic cognac

Several different escutcheons used on the labels:

7. Cordon Argent

Garanti plus de 60 ans en fut; with 60 ans stated in the wax emblem too (1933-40) Garanti plus de 60 ans en fut; 60 ans stated in the wax emblem too; waxed cap (re-waxed?) This bottle had probably also a ribbon riveted to a aluminium foil cap Very Fine liqueur cognac brandy; US import by Browne Vintners (1955-60) 73cl stated; cordon riveted to the foil; imported by Carlo Salengo (said to be 1955) Cordon is riveted to the foil; 40% in the middle (pre-1960)  Crimped foil cap text Martell and Cordon Argent in black outline typecorps    Very Fine liqueur cognac brandy; somewhat different typeface and different text on bottom; 80 proof; US import by Garneau (post 1969) Very Fine liqueur cognac brandy; 70 proof written in bottom right corner Fine liqueur cognac brandy; 75 proof79 proof No additional qualifying text; 750cc and 44gradi stated; imported by Spirit (1976) No additional qualifying text; 730cc and 40% stated; imported by Carlo Salengo (1972) No additional qualifying text; somewhat different typeface and different bottom label No additional qualifying text; no bottom label  44%

8. Extra and Cordon Argent Extra

Guaranti plus de 70 ans en futs; 70 ans also stated in the wax seal Without an address line on the label (1960s) Same as previous, but with a paper duty seal (1960s) below left on one line: 24fl oz 68cl; below right: 70 proof; upper label has fallen off 24 FL OZS, Extra Fine Liqueur Cognac Brandy, 73 proof (1960s) Longer label; 24 fl.ozs. 750cl, 42%; 1971 (Dalla Spirit s.p.a.) Around 1974, 43%. (Dalla Spirit s.p.a.) Same as previous, but now 44% 'Fine Liqueur Cognac Brandy'; 75 Proof (42.85%), 24 fl.oz (68cl)

New design: different colour of letters and emblem 700cc stated With 70cl on the bottom left and 43% on bottom right With content (750ml and '25.4ml') and alcohol percentage stated on left and right bottom 700cc, gradi 43%, imported by Spirit SPA (1978).

No content or ABV stated 70cl stated, ABV not stated (said on auction to be 40%) Only content 750ml is stated Product of France stated underneath; only abv or content is stated on the right below (difficult to read) 42 procent 42%; contenuto idrato 70cl e and gradi 42% stated (1980s) 750ml, 42%alc/vol stated (US import for Brown Forman Beverage, Louisville) 750ML and 43%alc/vol 43% 43 procent; with a paper seal on top43% different typeface, gradi 43 procent 43% stated in the top left and 700ml in the top right. 43% stated in the bottom right and 700cc e in the bottom left. 750ml; Louisville Kentucky import, 43% 90 proof (43,5%) 90 proof; 43.5 procent 44%, 70cl stated 44%, 700cc stated 45 procent 45%; 700cc stated 45%; 700cc stated; Italian import data underneath: dalla Spirits, Genova 24.5 fl.oz and 90 proof stated Cordon Argent is not stated! 43% and 24 fl.ozs Cordon Argent is not stated! 90 proof (45%)

9. Cordon Supreme and XO Cordon Supreme:

Cordon Supreme 'Extra Old'; content very vague (700ml?) 70cl stated and Produce of France XO Cordon Supreme; 70cl stated (1980s) and 'produced and bottled in France' 70cl, with a paper duty seal on top XO Cordon Supreme Duty Free, stopper not original; 70cl stated

Cordon Supreme Duty Free with no content or alcohol percentage stated XO Cordon Supreme For Sale in Hong Kong Airport, HKDNP; 1Litre stated on box.

10. XO Supreme:

70cl brownish emblem 70cl greyish emblem and whiter label70cl, greyish emblem more yellow label 70cl. The band below is in red (or is this an optical illusion?) 700ml, with text on front label: approx. 22 standard drinks; Australian import by Seagram 750ml left below and right below: 40%alc/vol; reddish emblem 750ml and 40%alc/vol; greyish emblem and white label 750 ml left below and right below: 40%alc/vol; greyish emblem; yellow label 1L 1L with a paper duty seal on top 1L with HKDNP in top left

I am a little bit in doubt here: are these differences in colour real or is it the lighting?


11. XO:

Extra Old, 700ml stated on lower left Extra Old, Cont. Net. 700ml stated on lower left extra old, on the left: 700 ml and 22 standard drinks extra old, on the right: 70 cl Extra old, on the right: 70 cl; on the left 40%vol; on the back a UK duty seal extra old, on the right: 70 cl; on the left 40%vol; on the back '28 uk units' and a duty seal Extra Old, 40%vol stated on the left; content 70cl stated on the box   Extra old, no content nor alcoholpercentage 1 Liter, Extra Old extra fine, on the left: 750 ml  extra fine in much finer print; on the left: 750 ml  Extra Fine; on the left bottom: 5 ml (?); it is a full bottle, miniatures have a comparatively wider neck.

12. Vintages:

1694 vintage, bottled in 1874 Vintage 1717; not an emblem I have ever seen before... 1739 vintage (modern emblem of a swift) 1760 vintage (modern emblem of a swift) 1780 vintage, selectd in 1900 (modern emblem of a swift) 1816 vintage bottled in 1970 for Maxim's restaurant 1830 1877 1905 Very Choice Old Vintage Cognac 1906 Very Choice Old Vintage Cognac; landed 1907, bottled 1938 1906 Very Choice Old Vintage Cognac; landed 1907, bottled 1938; with content stated 1906 Grande Fine Champagne (landed 1908) 1921, landed 1960, bottled 1962  1929 Grande Champagne (genuine? stange label without the normal emblem) 1939; landed 1974 and bottled 1982 1940 Cordon Bleu Collection 1968 Collection 1971 Collection 1972

 

 

 

 


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