Expert's verdict: 5/10

?Cognac is performing well and benefits from the trend towards luxury gifting and home life indulgence. I suspect there is a place for a lighter, smoother drink for younger palate but I am not convinced this niche is large enough to support another cognac brand. There does not seem to be sufficient clarity around the target audience of 25-50 years. I cannot imagine many 25 to 35-year-olds switching from gin and tonic or vodka and Red Bull. The brand appears to be targeted at females but I suspect it needs to appeal to men too. At £34.99 it is probably out of reach for many drinkers.

John Taylor, head of buying, impulse, MBL

Consumer's verdict: 8/10

?I liked the shape of the bottle, which looks like a big perfume bottle, with its heavy base and curves. It looks very feminine, as if it's been designed to appeal to women. But I think the product let itself down a bit with the labelling on the front, which talks about the taste of the brandy. It made me think of a really cheap bottle of plonk. Tastewise, I was quite pleasantly surprised. It was smooth, almost sweet. It didn't have the kick I expected, especially over ice. At £34.99 it's probably more than I'd be prepared to pay.

Alex Kamarowsky, capital markets researcher, Luxembourg

A year down the line... Voyant Chai Company: Outin Drinks Launch price: £12.50 Today's price: £12.50 Acid test verdict: 3/5

Voyant Chai was launched as an alternative to coffee-based cream liqueurs and rising demand for chai tea. The brand has been partnered with Tiger Beer in sales promotions and TV's Britain's Next Top Model. The company is creating cocktail recipes and PoS. "We knew the flavour would take getting used to but demand is rising," said a spokesman.