15 things you don’t know about Hennessy, the world’s best selling cognac

  1. Hennessy was founded in 1765 by Irish officer Richard Hennessy who was serving in the army of King Louix XV. Eight generations later, Maurice Richard Hennessy (great-great-great grandson of Richard Hennessy) is still actively involved with the brand.
  2. Every morning at 11am a group of seven or eight skilful blending experts, known as Hennessy Comité de Dégustation (Hennessy’s Tasting Committee) – lead by master blender Yann Filloux who is a seventh generation Master Blender at Hennessy – come together to taste, smell, discuss and decide which eaux-de-vie (spirit before it’s aged into cognac) will be used to create the next blend.
  3. To celebrate its 250th birthday this year, Hennessy created a special H250 Collectors Blend. There are only 250 barrels of the blend available worldwide, which makes it a once-in-a-life-time collectors item.
  4. Master blender Yann Fillioux and the Comité de Dégustation have been working on the H250 blend since 2010.
  5. It takes 10 years before members of the Tasting Committee may share their opinions. Why? A decade of experience is required in order for each member to build up a distinct pallet of tastes and smells that will, ultimately, drive Hennessy’s blending process forward for the next 250 years.
  6. Hennessy blends more than 100 vintage eaux-de-vie (spirit before it’s aged into cognac) for its special blends.
  7. Hennessy is currently the global leader in cognac and the largest producer of cognac – the brand sells more than 50 million bottles a year, making up 40% of cognac sales around the world.
  8. Hennessy is present in over 120 countries around the world.
  9. Hennessy is not the traditional after-dinner tipple many associate it with – in Africa, the luxury cognac is a perfect dinner companion or the drink of choice between a group of young men who are celebrating their journey to success.
  10. Hennessy held its first official tasting in Africa in Soweto in 1994. It was led by Pascal Asin, Marketing Director: Africa and Middle East at Moët Hennessy, who has steering the brand forward in Africa for over a decade.
  11. Since 1947, Hennessy has consciously worked at being environmentally friendly to ensure that the brand and its blends are responsibly passed on from generation to generation. In 1991 the brand formally established its Environment Committee that has ensured that every area involved in the making of Hennessy’s cognac is sustainable.
  12. In 1865 Maurice Hennessy, great-grandson of founder Richard Hennessy, introduced a system for classifying cognacs using one, two or three stars. Since then, the trusted classification system has been adopted by the entire industry and informs consumers to the exact age, category and quality of spirits they are purchasing.
  13. Hennessy believes that an excellent cognac starts with the wood barrels. They, therefore, only use barrels that are made from oak from the Limousin region and from trees that are between 100 and 150 years old – these add the rich vanilla and toast aromas to the brand’s cognac. And Hennessy drinkers can rest assured that these trees are sustainably managed.
  14. In 2004 Hennessy partnered with Hip Hop legend Rakim for their ‘Never Blend In’ campaign and, so, became one of the first luxury brand and alcohol brands to use a celebrity in their advertisements. In 2012, Hennessy continued this legacy by partnering with Nas.
  15. Every year Hennessy collaborates with a contemporary artist or designer to design the label for its Very Special limited edition bottle. Previous artists include Os Gemos, Futura, and Shepard Fairey.

For more information, please visit www.hennessy.com/en-africa and join the conversation on Facebook (HennessySA) and Instagram (HennessySA).

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1 Response

  1. 03/06/2015

    […] In celebration of 250 years of Hennessy, please find a release link on ’15 things you did not know about Hennessy’.  […]

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