6 Lavish Hennessy Cognacs For Special Occasions


This article contains affiliate links that allows us to earn a small commission on purchases made though the links (at no extra cost to you). We appreciate your support!

Cognac is a highly misunderstood brandy with roots deep in French traditions and protected by strict laws. The best Hennessy Cognacs range from the vibrant Hennessy V.S to the rich Hennessy X.O. No matter which Hennessy you choose, prepare for the ultimate brandy experience.

Hennessy cognac was founded in 1765 by an Irish Jacobite military officer named Richard Hennessy, who joined King Louis XV’s service in France. He retired in the south of France in the Cognac region and started the Hennessy legacy.

What is Cognac?

Cognac is a type of brandy made in the Cognac region of France. Fermented white grape juice must be twice distilled in copper pot stills to produce eau-de-vie and then aged for at least two years in French oak barrels.

How Is Hennessy Cognac Made?

Hennessy cognac is made from fermented Ugni grapes found in the South of France and then double-distilled into eau-de-vie and then barrel-aged. Several blends and ages of eaux-de-vie are blended together to create Hennessy cognacs.

Best Hennessy Cognacs

The best Hennessy cognacs are incredibly well-blended, rich and complex. Here are 6 popular Hennessy cognacs to delight your tastebuds.

1. Hennessy V.S

Hennessy V.S
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Timeless yet on-trend, Hennessy V.S (Very Special) Cognac has become a much-loved spirit with well-known rap artists and a-listers. Its slick design looks great when backlit to ensure this bottle stands out in bars and clubs.

Made from the finest Ugni white grapes, this cognac blends from several different eaux-de-vie aged between two to eight years. The blend is aged and rotated in young oak barrels in specific cellar conditions to achieve the desired quality.

On The Nose

Its initial fragrance is toasted almonds supplemented with its second wave of fruity notes.

On The Palate

Its initial dry taste of oak is replaced with waves of creamy vanilla and hints of floral bouquets. It finishes with sweet caramel, hints of spice and violet blooms.

Best Served

Hennessy V.S Congac should be enjoyed neat, with or without ice, or as flavoursome brandy & coke (ahem… cognac and coke). You may also want to check out our article on 7 Metaxa Brandies too!

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Hennessy Black

Hennessy Black
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Pale Gold

Review

This modern addition to the brand is for those who what to experience the new and exciting. Created as the perfect accompaniment for cocktails and mixers, this cognac debuted in 2009 and is exclusive to the United States market.

To create the brand’s newest launch, Hennessy Black is made from a blend of several white grape eaux-de-vie aged in old oak barrels for at least two years.

On The Nose

The aromas of jasmine infuse the senses and give way to a sweet, honeyed citrus aroma.

On The Palate

The taste of fresh grapes blends with the hints of citrus, and it finishes off with sweet hints of honey balanced with zesty fruit.

Best Served

As Hennessy Black is the rebellious younger sister of the cognac universe, enjoy this mixed with classic cocktails such as a Sidercar, Sangria, or Cognac Margarita.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Mahogany

Review

This blend is a limited edition for the 200th anniversary of the original order placed by the future King George IV of England. He requested a ‘very special old pale’ that derived the abbreviation V.S.O.P. The first batch was shipped to England in 1818.

Blended from a selection of different eaux-de-vie aged four to fifteen years. It is matured in seasoned French oak barrels in specific cellar conditions for the perfect blended cognac that balances patience with smoothness.

On The Nose

Its initial wafts of vanilla give way to the toasted aroma of oak and the scent of clove and aromatic cinnamon.

On The Palate

It has a smooth taste of gingersnap biscuits dripping with honey notes with a slight twist of orange and melon undertones. The finish is rich vanilla pod essence and the subtle smokiness of hickory.

Best Served

I recommend Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège should be enjoyed neat but you can add a tiny splash of water to release more aromas. Also works well in a Sidecar or French Connection cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Hennessy X.O

Hennessy X.O
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Coppery Amber

Review

Hennessy X.O represents the anniversary of 150 years since the original cognac was created in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy, the grandson of Richard Hennessy, as an exquisite blend for his circle of family and friends. The first X.O. (extra old) was created.

This beautifully crafted cognac is a blend of eaux-de-vie aged for a minimum of ten years to thirty years, from the appellations of Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, and Fin Bois. Cognac has a rich history, and Hennessy X.O celebrates this.

On The Nose

A rich, fruity scent of plum, with hints of faint spice and the lingering aroma of chocolate orange.

On The Palate

A wave of warmth gathers as it invigorates with plum, rich chocolate tones, plus oak interlaced with vanilla essences. The finish echoes spices of nutmeg and cinnamon intertwined with the fruitiness of dried fruit.

Best Served

Hennessy X.O Cognac should be enjoyed neat with a couple of rocks of ice. As the ice slowly melts, the melted water releases more flavour from the cognac. If you are feeling really Moneysupermarket this beauty would create an unforgettable Cognac Old Fashioned.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection N°4

Hennessy Master Blender's Selection N°4
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Light Amber

Review

Selection N°4 is an exquisitely hand-crafted cognac by Hennessy’s eighth-generation Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde that will not be replicated. This is an exclusive blend that expresses the distinctive craft of Hennessy.

Perfectly selected from a number of different blends of eaux-de-vie, of which the youngest is five years old, is chosen to compliment the French red oak barrels that it is aged in.

On the Nose

Sweet aromas of fresh apricot with slightly candied orange zest and the spiciness of fruity essences.

On The Palate

Contrasting crispness vs spice, plus the characteristics of young red oak barrels. The finish has a tingle of spiciness, leaving behind a growing feeling of warmth.

Best Served

Rumour has it that if you drink N°4 Cognac in any other way than slowly sipping neat to savour its kaleidoscope of flavours, Hennessy’s Master Blender will hunt you down.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Hennessy Paradis

Hennessy Paradis
Credit: Hennessy

Overview

  • Distiller: Hennessy
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Gold

Review

Hennessy Paradis was orchestrated by Maurice Fillioux, 6th generation Master Blender. His love of classical music and symphonies inspired him to create the perfect mix of power and smoothness with elegance and style.

This cognac is blended from a mix of eaux-de-vie aged between 25 and a staggering 130 years. Its amber colour is due to the old French oak barrels that it has matured in.

On The Nose

The scents of rose blossoms and honeysuckle dissipate to reveal the fragrances of dark berries and mentions of spices.

On The Palate

The complexity of dried floral and sweet honey mellow into the nutty truffle flavours and spicy cinnamon before giving centre stage to a burst of red berry flavours. The finish is a long, smooth, well-rounded affair that builds up from the very centre of your soul.

Best Served

Although Hennessy Paradis should be enjoyed neat at just under room temperature, I recommend a single rock of ice to release a little water to unlock additional flavours.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Ingrid’s Top Pick

best Hennessy cognacs

Hennessy X.O

My top pick is Hennessy X.O Cognac. The richness of plum and chocolate works well with the smooth oak and sweet vanilla. The finish is lightly spiced with touches of dried fruit.

How Do You Drink Cognac?

Drinking cognac is an art form that you learn and become better at identifying the subtle telling signs of different quality spirits. Older cognacs such as V.S.O.P or X.O are well suited for an aperitif drink best served neat, in a tulip or balloon glass. 

These specific types of glassware allow you to warm the cognac up with your hand. Swirling the glass will funnel the aromas for you to sniff, making the palate ready for a smooth sipping experience.

Understanding Cognac Age Lettering

A simple lettering system displays the age of the cognac; 

LabelMeaningDetail
V.SVery SpecialThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 2 years
V.S.O.PVery Special Old PaleThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 4 years
X.OExtra OldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 10 years.
X.X.OExtra, Extra OldThe youngest eau-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 14 years

Conclusion

Much like calvados, cognac making is a skill handed down from generation to generation. The best Hennessy cognacs blend a mixture of aged eaux-de-vie to create liquid perfection.

An Irish man may have founded Hennessy Cognac, but it is as French as the roots that bury themselves deep in Cognac country. Ruled by strict laws to protect cognac and the production of this art is the reason why Hennessy can be sired with the title Cognac.

Don’t forget to check out my article on 5 Flawlessly Blended Rémy Martin Cognacs

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

Author Bio

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!