Fernet Stock is the best-selling herbal bitter liqueur brand in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the fourth biggest herbal bitter brand in Europe.1 Over a third of spirits drinkers in the Czech Republic claim to drink the brand regularly, an indication of its strong appeal to Czech tastes.2
Fernet Stock is still distilled at Prádlo and bottled in Plzen-Bozkov in Bohemia, just as when it was first produced there by Lionello Stock in 1927. The legendary herbal bitter has now been crafted in Bohemia for more than 90 years, surviving both the Second World War and post war nationalization of its production during its years behind the Iron Curtain. From its launch it was consistently supported by heavy weight marketing investment, becoming an early pioneer in radio advertising and the first Czech spirits brand to have its own television commercials, with the memorable sales line “exceptionally bitter, exceptionally good!”
The secret of Fernet Stock’s unique taste cannot be replicated. The original recipe is stored in a safe and its secrets are known only to two people in the world. Fourteen carefully selected herbs of exceptional quality sourced from across the world are used to create Fernet Stock’s unique taste. Under the watchful guidance of our master blender, the herbs are hand-prepared using a purely natural composition. They take several months to macerate fully to achieve the right taste profile for use in the brand.
Targeted at sociable Czechs and Slovaks living or working in cities, Fernet Stock is typically drunk with friends at a bar, sometimes as a chaser with a round of beers, or at home as an aperitif or digestive.
In 2019 the brand was relaunched with additional new flavours covering a broader range of price segments, packaged in a striking new, more modern design celebrating the brand’s commitment to quality preserved since 1927, crafted maceration and manual preparation of its selected herbs.
The relaunched range included a new premium addition, Fernet Stock Barrel, targeting consumers prepared to pay a premium for higher perceived quality from trusted brands. It competes credibly in the same price territory as premium local and international competitors.
The Fernet Stock Barrel herbal bitter base is enriched with a mixture of four cane rums from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Jamaica. The combination is allowed time to macerate together for a perfect combination of flavours from both worlds. Caribbean rum brings tones of vanilla, dried fruit and nuts to the popular herbal taste. The aroma reflects a hint of bitter, chamomile and sweet caramel. Presented in premium matt black packaging, with an alcohol content of 35% abv, Fernet Stock Barrel retails at a price premium of c.28% to Fernet Stock Original.
The relaunch was supported by a new advertising campaign celebrating the central character Lionello Stock, its entrepreneurial inventor, encouraging drinkers to shape their own destinies as he did. It also promoted a revival of the popular Fernet Stock “Bavorak” cocktail, to expand Fernet Stock’s consumption into longer drinks usage occasions, particularly in the summer months. Fernet Stock “Bavorak” is made by filling the glass with ice, pouring in the tonic, then carefully adding Fernet Stock to preserve the top layer, and finishing by garnishing with a slice of lemon.
The Fernet Stock range now includes Fernet Stock Original, Fernet Stock Citrus, Fernet Stock Honey, Fernet Stock Spiced, Fernet Stock Barrel, Fernet Stock Standard, Fernet Stock Pear, Fernet Stock Cranberry, Fernet Stock Lemon Mix and Fernet Stock Zetko.
1. IWSR to end December 2019
2. Kantar/TNS Czech Brand Health Tracker October 2020 – brands consumed regularly or most often