The days of the cliché cognac drinker, with a cigar smoker curling up next to a roaring fire while casually swirling a snifter of the amber-colored liquor, are long gone...
The story begins…
In a tiny corner of South West France, a complex and unique process is taking place. Born in Ireland, raised in France, the Hennessy family has for generations crafted the amber-colored spirit, cognac. Founded in 1765, the House of Hennessy originated in the vision of one man, Richard Hennessy. He was an Irish officer serving in the army of Louis XV. This was the beginning of an era and an extraordinary relationship between two families - The Hennessy’s and The Fillioux’s.
A Maison that has always kept on innovating and creating to give birth to the world's finest cognacs. In 1774 the original cellar was built, known as the founder’s cellar, and two years later Richard Hennessy hired Jean Fillioux as the first Master Blender of Hennessy. This is where the relationship between the two families began.
For over two centuries, eight generations of the Hennessy family and seven generations of the Fillioux family have worked together to ensure the quality and consistency of our Cognacs. A beautiful story of inheritance and the importance of passing on knowledge. A family business that has with each generation improved by listening to their fathers and forefathers mistakes and successes.
The result of the values Hennessy has upheld since its creation: exceptional knowledge, a constant quest for innovation and an unwavering commitment to Creation, Excellence and Legacy.
Cognac has many beautiful facets: While its tradition and cultural heritage are closely tied to the French Charente-region, Cognac attracts international customers who are looking for sophistication and a unique experience. What sets cognac apart from other brandies is first of all cognac is only made in the Cognac region in Southwest France, which is known for its superior terroir. Cognac can take anything from a couple of years to centuries to come of age. It’s all to do with the aging process in barrels, and this passage of time is something that can’t be hurried, it’s only the slow passing of the years that will create the great cognacs.
The Master Blenders.
The know-how and personality of Hennessy has remained to date, and Hennessy is today the world’s cognac leader. Selection, maturity and blending is Hennessy’s core expertise to consistently and constantly create the world’s finest cognac. There is a driving belief at Hennessy that looking far ahead, is what it takes to be the best.
“From innovation comes future classics”
In 1979, Master Blender at the time, Maurice Fillioux, created a completely unique cognac that combines more than 100 exceptional eaux-de-vies called Hennessy Paradis, setting the stage for a revolution in ultra-premium cognacs. Possessed of rich successive aromas that only a great Cognac can obtain, Paradis reveals its delicate and velvety character, hinting at the silky texture that will follow. By the taste of this cognac you will immediately find that there is indeed a paradise. This is a gourmet mix of all the good in a brandy. You will be able to taste both honey, mild spices, truffle and much more.
In 1996 Master Blender Yann Fillioux, created ‘’Richard Hennessy’’ - A cognac that approaches perfection. Made especially for true connoisseurs, this masterpiece cognac embodies 250 years of knowledge and history is bottled in numbered, hand-blown crystal carafes. It is today the rarest cognac, as a tribute to the founder of the Maison, Richard Hennessy. An unparalleled range of aromas gives Richard Hennessy its unique complexity with makes up for the price of a bottle of Richard Hennessy Cognac being between 2000 to 5000 dollars.
The renewal of Cognac
Framed as the spirit for old braggart rich men, cognac is experiencing a change. The world-famous cognac producer, Hennessy, has seen a rise in popularity. The main reason for this is the new wave of cognac enthusiasts bringing a more modern approach to the liquor. The Cognac audience now includes the younger generation who are learning to appreciate this fine spirit without all the fineness.
Due to the younger audience the cognac has also seen a significant resurgence on the cocktail scene in recent years. That is partially due to a rediscovered appreciation of the classic cocktails which contain Cognac as the base, but it is also in part because in the age of the internet and social media, both bartenders and consumers are savvier about what they drink.
The use of Cognac in cocktails dates back to the early 1800’s when the cocktail was invented - it was known as a “barman’s best friend”. The cognac gave way to some of the first cocktail classics as the SideCar made with Cointreau and lemon juice.
The problem often with cognac is that people make it complicated. You have to have a fireplace. It has to be cold outside. You have to have a sleeping dog in front of you. You have to have a cigar. There’s a whole scene. Learn how to appreciate the cognac, and explore the vast variety.
You can relish a quality V.S for its power, cheek, and sheer youthful audacity or contemplate the sheer variety of a V.S.O.P. Enjoying it for what it is. A great culinary experience.
The modern gentleman seeks quality rather than quantity. We see the lifelong learners and the story of the many hardworking generations, passing on their expertise. The know-how and passion the Hennessy Family brings to the creation of their famous Cognac is what makes them the worlds best.
Cognac is not made. It is created.
A category-defining cognac:
V.S. or ✯✯✯:Very Special.
The epitome of cognac. The world’s favorite cognac, Very Special exemplifies the Hennessy vision of excellent quality with bold flavour. Stored for at least two years in cask.
V.S.O.P:Very Special/Superior Old Pale.
Privilege is harmony in a glass. The mix of fruit to spice provides a shining and perfectly balanced cognac. Stored for at least four years in cask.
X.O: Extremely Old.
The original and an experience of greatness in the portfolio, is vibrant and many-layered. Made up of all four original crus, there are floral and fruity notes, with spice, nuts and oakiness. Stored for at least ten years in cask.
The most exclusive uses a precise selection of the finest eaux-de-vies to create an unprecedented cognac that stands as the jewel of the collection.