Hennessy celebrates Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat, and the 150th anniversary of Hennessy X.O. To mark this auspicious conjunction, Hennessy has partnered with Zhang Huan, one of the most influential contemporary artists from China, to create an original work of art that blends two bold cultures and traditions.
Hennessy is the largest cognac house in the world. Founded by Irish immigrant Richard Hennessy, the House of Hennessy commands approximately 40% of the world cognac market. Hennessy produces a full range of quality products from its V.S. to Paradise cognacs. Hennessy is now owed by French luxury goods conglomerate Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Hennessy is the clear cognac market leader in the category not because of lower prices but rather due to quality, marketing and name recognition. Indeed, Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege is priced at the high end of the V.S.O.P range of most cognac houses‘ V.S.O.P. offerings.
Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege is the first such cognac to be designated “very special old pale”. It was produced in 1818 at the request of The Prince of Wales and future King George IV of Great Britain.
Hennessy VSOP Privilege
We tasted Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilege neat in a cognac snifter. Here is our review.
Privilege is the highest priced of the big four cognac houses V.S.O.P offerings priced about 40% higher than Courvoisier and Martell V.S.O.P. cognacs and about 25% more than Rémy Martin’s V.S.O.P. cognac.
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Age: Hennessy V.S.O.P. is a blend of about 60 different eaux-de-vie made from Ugni Blanc grapes from the Borderies, Fins Bois, Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne appellations that are aged four to fifteen years in French Limousin oak barrels.
Hennessy V.S.O.P. is packaged in an attractive bell shaped bottle with the Hennessy coat-of-arms surrounded by a wreath of grapevines featured on the label with a medallion reading “Maison Fondee 1765” embossed at the base of the neck.
Medium dark copper.
The Nose (Nez)
Apricots, apple, clove and cinnamon.
Mouth (En Bouche)
Classic vanilla and oak tones, light fruit, soft cinnamon, clove, honey and candied fruits.
Medium length, soft caramel and light spice.
Hennessy V.S.O.P is perhaps one of the best known cognacs. Because it is the cognac many are familiar, it is often the benchmark for all other V.S.O.P cognacs. The complexity, distinguished flavors and aromas of Hennessy V.S.O.P. make it excellent for casual sipping and also makes for a versatile cocktail mixer.
Hennessy promotes the use of its V.S.O.P cognac to be used as a cocktail mixer. Indeed, Hennessy’s web site contains a few recommended cognac cocktail recipes with Hennessy V.S.O.P. as the key ingredient. Hennessy recommends its V.S.O.P. as an ingredient in the VIEUX CARRÉ, SAZERAC and SIDECAR cognac cocktails.
Here is Hennessy’s SideCar Cocktail Recipe (note the substitution of Cointreau for Grand Marnier)