Hennessy: A brief History

Born in 1765 at the hand of an irish military guy named Richard Hennessy, the Hennessy brand surname has controlled to stay quite relevant because that over 250 years. Purchased in time by other luxury brands favor Moet et Chandon, luigi Vuitton, and also even having actually connections with Christian Dior, Hennessy remains fixed in the lap that luxury.

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Background on Cognac

Many will speak to Hennessy a brandy; however, the is technically a cognac. Brandies, typically speaking, are any type of distilled spirit made indigenous fermented fruit. Cognac is a type of brandy make from grapes or wine.

Made in a an ar called Cognac, France, Hennessy is officially a cognac. By rule, cognac must be twin distilled using a copper pot still. Cognac is often a blend of many Eaux-de-vie (literally meaning water of life but referring come the distilled wine product with very fruity flavors). Cognac will spend time aging in Limousin or Tronçais oak casks and the perfect product have to be 40% ABV.

Cognacs room Expensive...For a Reason

The thinking behind the higher average price point can seem elusive however can really be pinned under to one thing: specificity the ingredients. Cognac must be make in the Cognac an ar of France. It is forced to be made indigenous white alcohol grapes get an impression in the region.

While other spirits deserve to be made v inexpensive assets like wheat, barley, or other cheap grains and products, cognac needs the premium ingredient that grapes get an impression in a very certain place. In addition, cognac features blends that multiple species of fermented product varying in age. Simply put, cognac is expensive due to the fact that it is make from expensive things.

Hennessy narrows the ingredient perform down also further by utilizing the Ugni Blanc grape exclusively. The Ugni Blanc is described 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 Demand

In enhancement to expensive basic ingredients, cognac is finding another 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 more for the product.

Cognac producers, including Hennessy (who happens to make 40% of the total cognac supply), have actually started having to hold back supplies together the demand has climbed to almost impossible proportions. For fear of running out, cognac makers are limiting supplies being sent out and also are allocating offers to locations like China who consume it most.

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

The large Boys

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

Hennessy Paradis


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Coming in just under the $1000 price point, Hennessy Paradis is named after a timeless cognac term. The hatchet “Paradis” is provided to define the special hiding location cognac producers need to keep their oldest, most prized vintage cognacs. Imagine a cellar filled with old, dusty barrels teeming with aged cognac. This is Paradis.

Given that name, one might assume the this mix features many old, prized Eaux-de-vie among its ingredients. The would appear that the more finesse and consideration a cognac requires, the greater its price may be. Through that, let’s look at the older, wiser, more expensive (about two grand much more expensive, the is) brother to Paradis: Paradis Imperial.

Hennessy Paradis Imperial


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The Paradis royal comes v a ton of historic strings attached. This mix traces its roots all the method back come 1818. At the inquiry of the Dowager Empress of Russia, Hennessy developed this special blend together a gift because that her son - a specific Tsar Alexander I.

How does this relate to the current Paradis Imperial? Well, grasp blender (and apparent history buff) Yann Fillioux determined he would like to recreate this as soon as made masterpiece. After much research and also 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, rare blends, difficult work, and also historic background have the right to really ramp the price the a cognac up quite a bit.

Richard Hennessy



Everyone wants to know 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 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 might date back to the 1800s.

Its namesake is clearly THE Richard Hennessy, founder that what is currently the most famous cognac and largest producer in the world. Produced in 1996, to respect the legacy of Richard Hennessy, it features blends from 40 - 200 years of aging. All that aging means only one thing - it is expensive...and probably quite a an excellent cognac.

The Alphabet Explained

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

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

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

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