Maison Courvoisier has announced the second edition of Courvoisier Mizunara, a rare and wholly unique blend combining French tradition and Japanese craftsmanship to create a style of cognac unlike any other.

Following the success of the inaugural edition of Courvoisier Mizunara, Maison Courvoisier’s Seventh Chief Blender Thibaut Hontanx has carried the pioneering collaboration into its second edition alongside the House of Suntory’s Fifth Generation Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo. Drawing on their collective expertise in the art of blending, Hontanx and Fukuyo have shared the traditions of their crafts to create the second edition of a unique and rare cognac that embodies the belief that truly visionary blends are born when the best of two cultures come together as one.

Given the unprecedented rarity of Mizunara casks and the Master Blenders’ meticulous attention to detail, an extremely limited release of only 500 bottles of Courvoisier Mizunara will be available in selected countries, at a suggested retail price of USD$2,500. Of those 500, 99 have been allocated to global travel retail. Within the channel, this prestige limited edition will be available from October in Shanghai, Hainan, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris, Bangkok, Taipei, Seoul, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles.

The 2023 Courvoisier Mizunara edition is an evolution of Maison Courvoisier’s most precious and exclusive blend to date, a pinnacle in its ongoing dedication to crafting premium cognac. This year’s Courvoisier Mizunara blend showcases an even more pronounced overture of the Mizunara wood than its predecessor, yet its heart and soul of Cognac remain unmistakably intact. Each blend within this extremely limited experimental series is entirely unique and features only the most exquisite eaux-de-vie of the house from the region’s top crus—Grande Champagne, considered to be the most prestigious of the Cognac region, meticulously blended with Petite Champagne and Borderies for added complexity, depth, and a long finish.

Courvoisier Mizunara begins its journey ageing in casks hewn from the region’s finest oak before being transferred to rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks, which Suntory has spent multiple decades studying and mastering. This particular wood is famously difficult to work with as the tree itself grows sideways and gnarled. The high moisture content requires the wood to be over 200 years old before it can be tamed into a cask, which requires the utmost time and care.

“As we continue to explore the possibilities of oak, we’ve learned that time is crucial when working with Mizunara oak. It’s important to be patient to achieve its full potential,” says Hontanx, echoing one of the Maison’s core philosophies—one of many shared by both houses. “Born out of our desire to experiment with oak sources and harness its impact on Cognac, the 2023 edition of Courvoisier Mizunara pushes the boundaries of traditional cognac even further.”

This year’s Courvoisier Mizunara blend features a distinctive harmony of exotic fruits, jasmine and cherry blossom beautifully juxtaposed with the house’s signature notes of rich fruits, layered with an elegant floral finish. The understated elegance of the bottle allows the golden mahogany of the liquid to shine through, providing a canvas for the legendary Japanese Mizunara oak tree.

The GTR launch of the 2023 Courvoisier Mizunara edition will be supported by a series of high-profile pop-up activations and events, starting in October with Changi Airport Group’s World of Wines & Spirits (WOWS) showcase, in partnership with Lotte Duty Free.

The first airport hero activation will take place in November, in London Heathrow Airport T5, in collaboration with Dufry. This immersive installation will feature both the new Mizunara edition and the full Courvoisier Prestige collection. November will also see airport activations take place in Paris Charles de Gaulle, and in New York JFK T4.

In December, there will be a shop-in-shop animation in Macau and a Level 1 activation space at the Zhuhai Duty Free Shopping Mall. Finally, next February, following Lunar New Year 2024, the new Mizunara edition will be highlighted in the Courvoisier stand-alone boutique at the cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex.

“We are very much looking forward to showcasing this prestige limited edition to our travelling consumers,” noted Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail Manuel Gonzalez. “It is such an exciting time for Maison Courvoisier. Following its successful brand relaunch in 2022, Courvoisier is now entering a new era, and we think this is the perfect moment to introduce this exciting new expression in selected global travel retail doors. We were thrilled with the performance of the Courvoisier Mizunara first edition, released in 2022, and are confident this second edition will be just as sought after and successful.”

He continued: “At Beam Suntory, we pride ourselves on being pioneers, and this exceptional blend, which combines the absolute best of French tradition and Japanese craftsmanship, is truly unique. It also answers the growing demand in the channel for ultra-premium expressions – and reflects our wider premiumisation strategy.”

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*Based on 20 top spirits competitions since 2019.