Hennessy, one of the world’s largest and most famous Cognac Houses is celebrating their 250th year of existence. A quarter of a millennia old… It just boggles the mind!
To celebrate in true style, the House of Hennessy put together, in collaboration with people from all over the world, an art exhibition to express the heritage, history and rich passion that is cognac making for them. And then they took this exhibition on the road…5 cities to be precise, and our very own Johannesburg was one of the lucky few! Even luckier, Brandy & Ginger had the opportunity to attend this exhibition together with a very special tasting…
Before we get into the reason you are probably reading this article, the Hennessy 250 Special Collector’s Edition, let me share with you a little from the exhibition. The Circa Gallery in Rosebank hosted this truly impressive collection of history, giving us a behind the scenes look into the world of Hennessy.
Various displays showed old letters and ordering documents, interactive digital displays showed Hennessy’s involvement and collaboration with various artists, old advertising posters giving proof that Hennessy was a world brand long before the world even got to know cognac.
The senses were overwhelmed and Hennessy’s world brand status was undoubtedly confirmed.
One of the most impressive exhibitions was a peak into the world of the Tasting Committee… Believe me it is as impressive as it sounds!
The Hennessy tasting committee consist of 6 individuals who under the leadership of the 7th member, the master blender Yann Fillioux, meet every single day at 11am in the same room to taste cognac samples to ensure the quality and direction of Hennessy. If Hennessy has a secret, this is where it is kept.
The most impressive part is that even though you made it onto the committee, for the first 10 years you are only allowed to taste and listen.
Yes, 10 years! This ensures that knowledge and experience is imparted onto the new comer before they can start to weigh in on the things that really matter.
At the end of the tour we had the privilege to attend an exclusive tasting of the 250 Collectors blend hosted by one of the Tasting Committee Members. This elegantly packaged 1 liter bottle which was produced in limited quantities (250 barrels of 250l each worldwide to be precise) was blended to show the character of Hennessy. Strong but elegant… And they did it so well!
The colour is a beautiful golden amber, thick and oily in the glass showing some of its age. The blend consists of over a 100 different eau de vie ranging from 15 to 50 years. It is wonderfully aromatic and gives off almost a perfume to the nose. Very fragrant and pleasant. The first sip reveals that it is truly a special drink. It is incredibly well balanced, composed and complex. And , none of that complexity limits the drinkability. It is smooth and easy with hints of spice and citrus.
The cognac lingers in your mouth and leaves you already dreading the moment it has to stop.
Undoubtedly one of the best spirits I have tasted. A must have for any collector or anyone passionate about cognac! That is if you can casually fork out the R6 000 the price tag demands…
In closing, Hennessy is a world leader in Cognac. It produces beautiful spirits and they deserve the crown they wear. 250 years is a long time to pour into a brand and I can only hope that South African Potstill Brandy will one day be able to show off similar amounts of heritage, history and pride. We definitely have the product, now all we need is time…