Hennessy: A quick History

Born in 1765 in ~ the hands 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 luxury brands favor Moet et Chandon, luigi Vuitton, and even having actually connections with Christian Dior, Hennessy continues to be 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, generally speaking, are any distilled spirit 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 must be dual distilled making use of a copper pot still. Cognac is frequently a blend of lot of Eaux-de-vie (literally meaning water the life but referring come the distilled alcohol product with an extremely fruity flavors). Cognac will spend time aging in Limousin or Tronçais oak casks and the finished product must be 40% ABV.

Cognacs space Expensive...For a Reason

The reasoning behind the greater average price allude can seem elusive but can yes, really be pinned under to one thing: specificity of ingredients. Cognac need to be made in the Cognac an ar of France. That is compelled to it is in made native white alcohol grapes get an impression in the region.

While other spirits can be made through inexpensive products like wheat, barley, or various other cheap grains and also products, cognac needs the premium ingredient that grapes get an impression in a very details place. In addition, cognac attributes blends the multiple varieties of fermented product varying in age. Simply put, cognac is expensive due to the fact that it is made from high-quality things.

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


Supply and also Demand

In addition to expensive basic ingredients, cognac is finding an additional reason to have actually a higher average price suggest than other spirits. The is the old dominance of supply and demand. If demand outweighs supply, climate the supplier can charge much more for that is product.

Cognac producers, consisting of Hennessy (who wake up to make 40% that the total cognac supply), have started having actually to hold ago supplies together the need has increased to nearly impossible proportions. For fear of to run out, cognac machines are limiting offers being sent out and also are allocating gives to locations like China that consume that most.

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

The huge Boys

Speaking of bottles of Hennessy that cost thousands of dollars, let’s take it a look at closer in ~ a pair of those offerings. Execute not fear, there is no fee for just talking around them...I hope.

Hennessy Paradis


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Coming in just under the $1000 price point, Hennessy Paradis is called after a timeless cognac term. The hatchet “Paradis” is offered to describe the distinct hiding place cognac producers need to keep their oldest, many prized vintage cognacs. Imagine a cellar filled v old, dusty barrels teeming with aged cognac. This is Paradis.

Given its name, one might assume the this mix features plenty of old, prized Eaux-de-vie among its ingredients. It would show up that the an ext finesse and also consideration a cognac requires, the higher its price might be. With that, let’s look at the older, wiser, an ext expensive (about two grand much more expensive, the is) brothers to Paradis: Paradis Imperial.

Hennessy Paradis Imperial


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The Paradis imperial comes v a ton of historical strings attached. This mix traces that is roots every the way back come 1818. In ~ the request of the Dowager Empress that Russia, Hennessy created this special blend together a gift for her child - a specific Tsar Alexander I.

How does this relate to the existing Paradis Imperial? Well, master blender (and apparent history buff) Yann Fillioux decided he would prefer to recreate this once made masterpiece. After lot research and utilizing part precious and also old Eaux-de-vie, he was able to recreate the one time gift come the Tsar.

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

Richard Hennessy



Everyone desires to know what the most expensive party of Hennessy is. Fine it’s not a secret! Richard Hennessy tops the charts in ~ a lining $4000+. As described by Maurice Richard-Hennessy, one time CEO the the Jas Hennessy & Co., it is a mix of the Grands Siècles (a unique and also special blend of 100 Eaux-de-vie) few of which may date earlier to the 1800s.

Its namesake is obviously THE Richard Hennessy, founder that what is now the most popular cognac and largest producer in the world. Created in 1996, to respect the legacy of Richard Hennessy, it functions blends native 40 - 200 years of aging. All that aging method only one thing - it is expensive...and more than likely quite a great cognac.

The Alphabet Explained

If we have actually all had actually a moment to capture our breath from several of those prices, stop talk around the letter that assignment out part mysterious password on the bottles. In reality, the is no that tricky the a code. If you look in ~ the price chart below, you can see numerous Hennessy varieties followed by some letters. This letters space utilized transparent the cognac industry, for this reason you might see castle on other brands that cognac together well. Let’s look at what those letters mean:

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

Hennessy XO: Extra Old; Be sure not to contact anyone XO the end there! together of April 2016, this method that the youngest in the mix 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 at least four years old; however, these room often much older blends.