Hennessy: A quick History

Born in 1765 in ~ the hands of an ireland military guy named Richard Hennessy, the Hennessy brand surname has regulated to stay quite relevant for over 250 years. Purchased in time by other high-end brands favor Moet et Chandon, louis Vuitton, and even having actually connections with Christian Dior, Hennessy continues to be fixed in the lap of luxury.

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Background ~ above Cognac

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

Made in a region called Cognac, France, Hennessy is officially a cognac. Through rule, cognac need to be double distilled making use of a copper pot still. Cognac is regularly a blend of multiple Eaux-de-vie (literally definition water the life but referring to the distilled alcohol product with really fruity flavors). Cognac will spend time aging in Limousin or Tronçais oak casks and also the perfect product have to be 40% ABV.

Cognacs are Expensive...For a Reason

The thinking behind the higher average price allude can seem elusive but can yes, really be pinned under to one thing: specificity that ingredients. Cognac should be do in the Cognac region of France. That is forced to be made native white alcohol grapes grown in the region.

While other spirits deserve to be made through inexpensive commodities like wheat, barley, or various other cheap grains and products, cognac calls for the premium ingredient that grapes get an impressive in a very details place. In addition, cognac attributes blends that multiple species of fermented product varying in age. Just put, cognac is expensive because it is made from high value things.

Hennessy narrows the ingredient perform down even further by utilizing the Ugni Blanc grape exclusively. The Ugni Blanc is explained as fruity, with some citrus notes, lending itself to being ideal for production right into the Eaux-de-vie blends that will become cognac.

Supply and Demand

In enhancement to expensive base ingredients, cognac is finding one more reason to have actually a higher average price allude than various other spirits. It is the old ascendancy of supply and demand. If need outweighs supply, then the supplier have the right to charge more for that is product.

Cognac producers, including Hennessy (who wake up to do 40% that the full cognac supply), have started having to hold back supplies as the need has increased to virtually impossible proportions. For are afraid of to run out, cognac equipments are limiting supplies being sent out and also are allocating provides to places like China that consume that most.

With the said, Hennessy walk ensure to develop offerings that room affordable come “normal” people. V the Hennessy VS and newer Hennessy black renditions, Hennessy provides itself easily accessible to those that cannot bought a multi-thousand dissension bottle.

The big Boys

Speaking of bottles of Hennessy that price thousands of dollars, let’s take a look closer at a couple of those offerings. Carry out not fear, over there is no charge for just talking about them...I hope.

Hennessy Paradis


Coming in simply under the $1000 price point, Hennessy Paradis is called after a timeless cognac term. The term “Paradis” is provided to define the one-of-a-kind hiding location 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 its name, one might assume that this mix features plenty of old, prized Eaux-de-vie among its ingredients. That would show up that the much more finesse and consideration a cognac requires, the greater its price may be. V that, stop look at the older, wiser, an ext expensive (about 2 grand more expensive, that is) brother to Paradis: Paradis Imperial.

Hennessy Paradis Imperial


The Paradis royal comes with a ton of historic strings attached. This blend traces that roots every the means back to 1818. In ~ the request of the Dowager Empress that Russia, Hennessy developed this special blend as a gift for her child - a certain Tsar Alexander I.

How does this relate to the present Paradis Imperial? Well, grasp blender (and apparent background buff) Yann Fillioux chose he would favor 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 deserve to see, rarely blends, hard work, and also historic background deserve to really ramp the price that a cognac up fairly a bit.

Richard Hennessy

Everyone desires to understand what the many expensive party of Hennessy is. Well it’s not a secret! Richard Hennessy top the charts in ~ a lining $4000+. As described by Maurice Richard-Hennessy, one time CEO that the Jas Hennessy & Co., the is a mix of the Grands Siècles (a unique and special mix of 100 Eaux-de-vie) some of which may date back to the 1800s.

Its namesake is obviously THE Richard Hennessy, founder that what is currently the most renowned cognac and also largest producer in the world. Created in 1996, to honor the legacy of Richard Hennessy, it functions blends from 40 - 200 years of aging. All that aging method only one thing - it is expensive...and most likely quite a an excellent cognac.

The Alphabet Explained

If we have actually all had actually a moment to catch our breath from some of those prices, stop talk around the letters that order out some mysterious code on the bottles. In reality, it is no that tricky the a code. If you look in ~ the price graph below, you deserve to see number of Hennessy varieties adhered to by part letters. These letters space utilized transparent the cognac industry, so you may see castle on various other brands of cognac as well. Stop look in ~ what those letter mean:

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

Hennessy XO: Extra Old; Be sure not to speak to anyone XO out there! together of April 2016, this means that the youngest in the blend is at the very least ten year old.

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Hennessy VSOP Privilege: Very Special Old Pale; suggests that the youngest in the blend is in ~ least 4 years old; however, these are often far older blends.