Hennessy: A quick History

Born in 1765 at the hand of an ireland military man named Richard Hennessy, the Hennessy brand name has controlled to stay fairly relevant because that over 250 years. Purchased gradually by other high-end brands prefer Moet et Chandon, louis Vuitton, and even having actually connections through Christian Dior, Hennessy remains fixed in the lap of luxury.

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Background on Cognac

Many will call Hennessy a brandy; however, the is technically a cognac. Brandies, typically speaking, are any kind of distilled soul made from fermented fruit. Cognac is a form of brandy do from grapes or wine.

Made in a an ar called Cognac, France, Hennessy is official a cognac. By rule, cognac have to be double distilled making use of a copper pot still. Cognac is frequently a mix of multiple Eaux-de-vie (literally meaning water of life however referring come the distilled wine product with really fruity flavors). Cognac will spend time aging in Limousin or Tronçais oak casks and also the finished product have to be 40% ABV.

Cognacs are Expensive...For a Reason

The reasoning behind the greater average price suggest can seem elusive but can really be pinned down to one thing: specificity the ingredients. Cognac have to be made in the Cognac an ar of France. That is required to be made indigenous white alcohol grapes get an impression in the region.

While various other spirits can be made with inexpensive commodities like wheat, barley, or various other cheap grains and also products, cognac calls for the premium ingredient of grapes get an impressive in a very specific place. In addition, cognac functions blends that multiple types of fermented product varying in age. Just put, cognac is expensive since it is made from expensive things.

Hennessy narrows the ingredient list down even further by utilizing the Ugni Blanc grape exclusively. The Ugni Blanc is defined as fruity, v some citrus notes, lending chin to being appropriate for production right into the Eaux-de-vie blends that will become cognac.

Supply and Demand

In addition to expensive basic ingredients, cognac is finding one more reason to have actually a higher average price suggest than other spirits. It is the old rule of supply and demand. If demand outweighs supply, then the supplier deserve to charge more for its product.

Cognac producers, consisting of Hennessy (who wake up to make 40% that the total cognac supply), have started having to hold earlier supplies together the need has climbed to virtually impossible proportions. For fear of running out, cognac equipments are limiting supplies being sent out out and also are allocating offers to places like China that consume the most.

With the said, Hennessy does ensure to create offerings that are affordable to “normal” people. V the Hennessy VS and also newer Hennessy black color renditions, Hennessy renders itself accessible to those who cannot bought a multi-thousand disagreement bottle.

The huge Boys

Speaking of party of Hennessy that expense thousands of dollars, let’s take a look closer in ~ a couple of those offerings. Carry out not fear, over there is no fee for just talking around them...I hope.

Hennessy Paradis


Coming in simply under the $1000 price point, Hennessy Paradis is called after a classic cognac term. The ax “Paradis” is supplied to define the distinct hiding ar cognac producers have to keep their oldest, many prized vintage cognacs. Imagine a cellar filled v old, dusty barrels teeming through aged cognac. This is Paradis.

Given that name, one might assume the this mix features numerous old, prized Eaux-de-vie amongst its ingredients. That would appear that the an ext finesse and also consideration a cognac requires, the greater its price may be. With that, stop look in ~ the older, wiser, an ext expensive (about 2 grand more expensive, the is) brother to Paradis: Paradis Imperial.

Hennessy Paradis Imperial


The Paradis imperial comes through a ton of historical strings attached. This mix traces its roots all the way back to 1818. At the inquiry of the Dowager Empress of Russia, Hennessy created this distinct blend as a gift for her child - a details Tsar Alexander I.

How go this relate to the existing Paradis Imperial? Well, understand blender (and apparent background buff) Yann Fillioux chose he would choose to recreate this as soon as made masterpiece. After much research and utilizing part precious and also old Eaux-de-vie, he was able to recreate the one time gift to the Tsar.

As we can see, rare blends, tough work, and also historic background deserve to really ramp the price of a cognac up rather a bit.

Richard Hennessy

Everyone desires to recognize what the many expensive party of Hennessy is. Well it’s no a secret! Richard Hennessy tops the charts in ~ a chuck $4000+. As explained by Maurice Richard-Hennessy, one time CEO of the Jas Hennessy & Co., the is a blend of the Grands Siècles (a unique and special mix of 100 Eaux-de-vie) some of which may date ago to the 1800s.

Its namesake is clearly THE Richard Hennessy, founder that what is currently the most popular cognac and largest producer in the world. Produced in 1996, to honor the tradition of Richard Hennessy, it attributes blends from 40 - 200 years of aging. All that aging means only one point - it is expensive...and most likely quite a great cognac.

The Alphabet Explained

If we have all had a moment to record our breath from few of those prices, stop talk around the letter that spell out some mysterious password on the bottles. In reality, the is not that tricky of a code. If girlfriend look in ~ the price chart below, you deserve to see numerous Hennessy varieties complied with by some letters. These letters room utilized transparent the cognac industry, for this reason you may see castle on other brands of cognac together well. Stop look at what those letter mean:

Hennessy VS: Very Special; this indicates that the youngest in the blend is at the very least two year old.

Hennessy XO: Extra Old; Be certain not to speak to anyone XO the end there! together of April 2016, this way that the youngest in the blend is at the very least ten years old.

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Hennessy VSOP Privilege: Very Special Old Pale; indicates that the youngest in the mix is at least four years old; however, these are often much older blends.