Hennessy: A quick History

Born in 1765 in ~ the hands of an irish military man named Richard Hennessy, the Hennessy brand surname has regulated to stay fairly relevant for over 250 years. Purchased gradually by other luxury brands choose Moet et Chandon, louis Vuitton, and even having connections v Christian Dior, Hennessy stays fixed in the lap the luxury.

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Background ~ above Cognac

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

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

Cognacs room Expensive...For a Reason

The reasoning behind the higher average price point can it seems ~ elusive but can yes, really be pinned under to one thing: specificity that ingredients. Cognac must be make in the Cognac an ar of France. The is compelled to it is in made indigenous white wine grapes get an impression in the region.

While other spirits deserve to be made through inexpensive products like wheat, barley, or other cheap grains and also products, cognac needs the premium ingredient of grapes get an impression in a very certain place. In addition, cognac features blends that 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 perform down even further by using the Ugni Blanc grape exclusively. The Ugni Blanc is described as fruity, v some citrus notes, lending itself to being best for production right into the Eaux-de-vie blends that will become cognac.

Supply and Demand

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

Cognac producers, consisting of Hennessy (who wake up to make 40% that the full cognac supply), have started having to hold ago supplies together the demand has risen to nearly impossible proportions. For are afraid of to run out, cognac equipments are limiting gives being sent out and are allocating gives to areas like China that consume that most.

With the said, Hennessy does ensure to produce offerings that are affordable come “normal” people. With the Hennessy VS and newer Hennessy black color renditions, Hennessy renders itself obtainable to those who cannot afford a multi-thousand dissension bottle.

The huge Boys

Speaking of party of Hennessy that cost thousands the dollars, let’s take it a look closer at a couple of those offerings. Do not fear, over there is no charge for simply talking about them...I hope.

Hennessy Paradis


Coming in simply under the $1000 price point, Hennessy Paradis is called after a traditional cognac term. The ax “Paradis” is supplied to explain the unique hiding ar cognac producers need to keep your oldest, many prized vintage cognacs. Imagine a cellar filled with old, dusty barrels teeming with aged cognac. This is Paradis.

Given the name, one could assume the this mix features countless old, prized Eaux-de-vie amongst its ingredients. The would appear that the much more finesse and also consideration a cognac requires, the higher its price may be. With that, stop look at the older, wiser, more expensive (about 2 grand much more expensive, the is) brother to Paradis: Paradis Imperial.

Hennessy Paradis Imperial


The Paradis royal comes through a ton of historical strings attached. This mix traces its roots all the method back come 1818. In ~ the inquiry of the Dowager Empress the Russia, Hennessy developed this one-of-a-kind blend together a gift because that her kid - a particular Tsar Alexander I.

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

As we deserve to see, rarely blends, hard work, and also historic background have the right to really ramp the price that a cognac up fairly a bit.

Richard Hennessy

Everyone wants to recognize what the many expensive bottle of Hennessy is. Well it’s no a secret! Richard Hennessy top the charts at a chuck $4000+. As described by Maurice Richard-Hennessy, one time CEO of the Jas Hennessy & Co., it is a blend of the Grands Siècles (a unique and also special mix of 100 Eaux-de-vie) several of which may date back to the 1800s.

Its namesake is clearly THE Richard Hennessy, founder of what is now the most famous cognac and also largest producer in the world. Developed in 1996, to honor the heritage of Richard Hennessy, it features blends indigenous 40 - 200 years of aging. All the aging means only one point - the is expensive...and probably quite a an excellent cognac.

The Alphabet Explained

If we have actually all had actually a minute to catch our breath from some of those prices, stop talk around the letter that spell out some mysterious code on the bottles. In reality, it is no that tricky of a code. If friend look in ~ the price graph below, you deserve to see numerous Hennessy varieties followed by part letters. These letters room utilized throughout the cognac industry, therefore you might see them on other brands that cognac as well. Let’s look at what those letters mean:

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

Hennessy XO: Extra Old; Be sure not to speak to anyone XO the end there! as of April 2016, this way that the youngest in the mix 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 blend is in ~ least 4 years old; however, these are often far older blends.