How Hennessy Became The Undisputed Leader In Cognac
How did Hennessy become the top-selling cognac in the world ? During the 1920s and the height of Prohibition, Hennessy was actually sold as a medicine by William Schiefflin at his family’s drugstores, per Maxim. Next, American soldiers got a taste as they traveled through France during World War I and II, per Slate. Then, Hennessy did something other spirit brands at the time were not.
After World War II, “Hennessy placed advertisements in black publications a decision that was rare given the times,” VinePair reported. It became one of the first brands to feature ads in magazines such as Ebony and Jet during the 1950s. As a result, Hennessy became the “most consumed cognac in the American Black community,” according to VinePair.
Then, in 1968, Hennessy made history by promoting former athlete Herbert Douglas, a mentee of Olympian Jesse Owens, to vice president of the company. This made Douglas one of the first African-American vice presidents in corporate America, according to Maxim. “I was able to lay a foundation,” Douglas told Ebony, “and by laying a foundation, I was also able to bring other African-Americans in. When I retired in 1987, I left three African-American VPs with our company.”
How Is Cognac Made
The first step in the production of Cognac is the creation of a white wine. The wine that goes into making Cognac has been described as very acidic, dry and thin. Although it starts life as an apparently disgusting white wine, it eventually turns into a delicious spirit.
There is a very strict list of grapes that can be used to produce the wine that goes into Cognac. For it to be considered the highest quality Cognac, it must contain at least 90% 90% Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche or Colombard grapes. The remaining 10% can be Folignan, Montils, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Sélect, or Sémillon.
The grapes are pressed and left to ferment for between 2 to 3 weeks using yeasts that are native to the region. This produces a white wine that contains between 7 to 8% alcohol.
This stage of the Cognac process is very different to the whiskey production process. Whiskey starts with a mash made from one or more grains, most commonly malted/un-malted barley, corn, wheat, or rye. This mash is fermented before moving onto the distillation stage. There are no grapes involved anywhere in the whiskey production process.
The next stage for Cognac is distillation. Cognac distillation uses Charentais copper alembic stills, which must be of a specific size. It is distilled twice to create a colorless spirit that contains about 70% alcohol.
What Does Hennessy Do To You
Now, the final question is what does Hennessy do to you which is to say what are the effects after we have a glass or two of it. Usually, Hennessy is used for relaxation purposes and for one to enjoy their time. For example, a group of ladies sitting in a club, around a table, playing cards while sipping the Hennessy from their glasses occasionally perfectly depicts how this drink should be enjoyed.
Hennessy is counted in the top ten strongest liquors in the world which means it can certainly get you drunk very quickly. If you chug them fast, you will end up with the best after-effects. However, this luxurious beverage is not one to use for simply getting drunk. It demands your attention and appreciation.
A benefit of having Hennessy cognac after dinner, on a full stomach, is that it works as a digestive. It speeds up your metabolism. This can be helpful as you can have an easier and more peaceful sleep at night.
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What About Age Is Cognac Older Than Whisky
Both Cognac and Whiskey are aged in casks. The youngest Cognac is referred to as a VS, or *** . The minimum age of such a product is two years. However, some are aged for much longer than this in some very special cases, over a hundred years old.
Cognacs tend not to denote age by numbers. Instead, they use the terms VS , VSOP and XO . However, many Cognacs have components that are far older than this. We explain in more detail these terminologies and others in our article about understanding Cognac ages and labels.
While Cognac and Brandy use age terms such as VS, VSOP or XO, Whiskey shows the exact age of its content. For example 3, 5, 10, 12 or 15 years. There are also Whiskies at 18 years, but older ones somewhat rarer.
So actually, its really not a clear cut answer as to which is older, Cognac or Whisky. A 15-year-old Whisky is older than a VS Cognac. But an XO Cognac may well have some eaux-de-vie within its blend that could legitimately be 50, 80, 90 or even 100 years old or more.
Whiskey, on the other hand, certainly didnt fall foul of such a conservative image in recent years. Although it has to be said, its still a truly traditional drink. But Whisky doesnt seem to have suffered the fall in popularity that befell Cognac a couple of decades ago. Thankfully, the world has now rediscovered its love affair with Cognac and about time too!
World’s Strongest Liquor Brands
The recession may be over, but it has certainly left a mark on the drinks industry. During the period, the biggest alcoholic brands found their market dominance increasingly challenged by newer, cheaper brands, according to the findings of brand consulting firm Intangible Business. The company collected 200 experts on the drinks industry and researched nearly 10,000 brands in the spirits and wine sectors to come up with a list of 2010’s 100 most powerful spirits and wine brands. The ranking is based on market share, brand growth, price, market scope, brand awareness, relevance, heritage and perception. So what did they find? Despite the market share gains made by smaller brands, they still haven’t cracked the top of the industry: The top brands remain large ones. Click ahead to find out the power certain brands wield around the world. Posted 1 April 2011
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The Alphabet Is Your Guide To Hennessy
The letters that come after the name Hennessy are actually straightforward, useful ways to gauge a brandys impact on your palate and your wallet. Fortunately for brandy drinkers, and the brandy curious, we wrote up a handy guide. But the gist of the letters is a guide to aging Very Old, Very Special, Extra Old, and so forth.
The Untold Truth Of Hennessy
Hennessy lovers, we don’t have to school you on the proper way to drink your fascinatingly-layered, golden-hued nectar of choice. No doubt, you have that much down to both a science and an art meaning that there’s no “right” way to drink it. Still, Hennessy is commonly served straight in a snifter, tulip glass, or balloon glass . Most drinkers pass on the ice and instead enjoy their cognac neat and hand-warmed.
But there’s a lot you may not know about Hennessy cognac, which has become so iconic in American pop culture that even teetotalers will probably recognize the name and draw associations when they hear it mentioned. In fact, Hennessy is name-dropped in the lyrics of so many songs, there are actually playlists celebrating the spirit, per Spotify.
So, what is it about Hennessy that has made it the icon that it is? The smooth, rich beloved cognac has a fascinating history.
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Why Isn’t Hennessy White Sold In The Us
White HennessyAmerican11 of the Best Brands of Cognac to Drink
- Hardy XO Rare Cognac.
- Kelt Cognac XO. Courtesy.
- Pierre Ferrand Cognac Selection des Anges. Courtesy of Pierre Ferrand Cognac.
- XO Gold & Blue. Courtesy.
So without further ado, here are the 10 best affordable cognacs you can buy for under $100.
- Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal.
- Courvoisier VSOP Exclusif.
- Paul Giraud Vieille Reserve XO.
- Hennessy Privilège VSOP.
Is One Better Than The Other
So, as you can see there are some major differences between Cognac and Whiskey. But is one better than the other? Well, thats something that can only be decided by you. We, of course, are biased towards Cognac, as you can read here. But if forced, well taste the occasional Whisky , it has to be said. In fact, we dont think you have to be a Cognac person, or a Whiskey person. You can simply enjoy the best of both. Well be shot down in flames by many for that comment, were sure.
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Best Apple Brandy: Osocalis Apple Brandy
Region: California, USA | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Crushed apple, Orange zest, Vanilla bean
Some apple brandies can be cloying, while some too tart. But this bottle from distiller Dan Farber is the perfect balance between the two. An American brandy pioneer, Farber studied in Cognac and other regions back in the 1980s before he founded Osocalis Distillery in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Desoblin describes this bottle as having a very, very calvados-like nature. In a blind tasting, you would think this is a 20-year-old brandy from Normandy, he says. He likes its blending of richness with vibrant, fruity, crushed-apple aromas, and the many-layered complexity that comes in waves of apple expression.
What Does Hennessy Cognac Taste Like
Each of Hennessy’s cognacs has a slightly different taste determined by the eau-de-vie blend that goes into them. Overall, they have a classic brandy taste, with a sweet fruitiness similar to burnt wine mellowed by a pleasant oakiness. You’ll find floral and fruit notes in these cognacs, and hints of spice, vanilla, and chocolate are common.
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Hennessy: Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hennessy a whiskey or a brandy?
Hennessy is 100% Cognac, which is a type of brandy. It is a strong spirit like whiskey, but it is firmly in the brandy category.
Why is Hennessy so expensive?
Cognac is typically more expensive than other spirits. The main reason is that the distillation process itself is more expensive. The spirits base ingredient is grapes, rather than grains, and distilling wine from juice is also an expensive process.
How expensive is Hennessy?
Hennessy can range from less than $50, to over $2000, and in some cases far more than that. There are plenty ofdifferent types of Hennessy Cognac, so theres sure to be one to suit your budget.
Is Hennessy an alcohol?
Cognacs Are Expensivefor A Reason
The reasoning behind the higher average price point can seem elusive but can really be pinned down to one thing: specificity of ingredients. Cognac must be made in the Cognac region of France. It is required to be made from white wine grapes grown in the region.
While other spirits can be made with inexpensive products like wheat, barley, or other cheap grains and products, cognac requires the premium ingredient of grapes grown in a very specific place. In addition, cognac features blends of multiple types of fermented product varying in age. Simply put, cognac is expensive because it is made from expensive things.
Hennessy narrows the ingredient list down even further by using the Ugni Blanc grape exclusively. The Ugni Blanc is described as fruity, with some citrus notes, lending itself to being ideal for production into the Eaux-de-vie blends that will become cognac.
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In Case You Forgot Heres What Cognac Is
Cognac, and its older cousin Armagnac, are two glorious products of mans eternal desire to turn anything and everything into alcohol. Both Cognac and Armagnac are grape brandies or, essentially, distilled wines with higher ABVs. Basic Hennessy is a combination of 40 distillations, which is then French-oak-barrel-aged and sipped ideally with extreme classiness out of a tulip-shaped snifter. The oak definitely has an impact on the brandy, but its subtler, often nutty or toasty, drying out richer Cognac notes like tender fruit, vanilla, and spice.
What Is Hennessy Cognac Made From
Richard Hennessy founded a cognac trading house in 1765. By 1794, the first shipments of cognac hit New York, and the global distribution of Hennessy grew exponentially from there. The company played an integral role in many key pieces of cognac history that continue today. For instance, they fulfilled a royal request for a “very superior old pale” cognac in 1817 and contributed to cognac’s star rating system in 1865. The tradition lives on in the production of Hennessy Cognac.
To be labeled as cognac, Hennessy must follow the standards set out by a protected appellation of origin. Among other things, this states that the grapes are grown, and all production of the cognac must happen within the Cognac region of southwestern France.
It all begins with sustainably grown Ugni White grapes that are mechanically harvested at their peak for Hennessy. The grapes are then pressed and the juice fermented into wine. Using the traditional Charentais copper alembic stills for which Cognac is famous, the wine becomes eau-de-vie through a double distillation process.
The clear spirit only becomes cognac after aging in wood casks and blending. Hennessy has 350,000 barrels in production at any time, utilizing a network of 65 cellars . The cognac is rotated in barrels as it ages, and the barrels are placed in particular cellars depending on the desired characteristics. For instance, a humid cellar will produce mellower flavors, while a drier cellar results in more flavor.
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Incredible Hulk Hennessy Green Christmas Crossbreed
We advise you make this shooter in front of your guests to surprise them!For that, first, take a large glass bowl and throw plenty of ice cubes in it. Now, pour equal parts of each of Hpnotiq and Hennessy, one by one. Interestingly, the combination of the cyan Hpnotiq and the yellowish Hennessy will render a bright green coloration to the resultant cocktail. Serve chilled in shot glasses and say cheers!
Incredible Hulk Hennessy Green Shot Shooters
What About Blending And Aging
After distillation, the liquid is blended and aged, which is what really makes cognac special. At Hennessy, for example, a tasting committee of 7 people meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to taste about 40 different samples of “eaux de vie,” as the individual distilled spirits are known before blending. It takes 10 years of training before one can join the committee, according to the brand’s ambassador Jordan Bushell.
Cognac must be aged for at least 2 years in French oak, at which point it’s labeled “V.S. .” After that, these distinctions that break down a bottle’s age and quality:
- V.S.O.P. : the youngest brandy in the blend must be aged at least four years in oak
- X.O. : the youngest brandy in the blend must be aged at least six years in oak
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What Is Hennessy Cognac
Hennessy is basically a liqueur manufacturing company, situated in Cognac, France, and is the worlds largest producer of cognac. Their products are a favorite among all, whether those who drink Hennessy every day, or who have tried for the first time. Hennessy is a gluten-free cognac drink with a total calorie of 69. As cognac is distilled wine, Hennessy tastes quite similar to wine, with a richer taste of alcohol. The proof and the percentage of alcohol vary between their products, and so does the question whether you can drink it neat or not.
Top 10 Hennessy Mixed Drinks with Recipes
Best For Sipping: Camus Xo Borderies
Region: Cognac, France | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Floral aromas, Figs, Walnuts, Fruit zest, Velvety
Perhaps the greatest cru, or vineyard area, for growing the grapes that are distilled for French brandy is Borderies, an area of the Cognac region. Camus has always specialized in Borderies cru,” says Flavien Desoblin, owner of New Yorks The Brandy Library. “And this brand flagship is the benchmark for the cru.
Bright, floral aromas come through in this brandy, but the palate is far more wintery, fruity, round and mellow. Notes of fig and walnuts balance out the zest. Desoblin, who also describes the texture as quite velvety,” says it’s ideal for sipping without breaking the bank.
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What Does Hennessy Taste Like Unique And Heavenly
If you are a fan of alcohol, Hennessy is something you should most definitely know about. It is an iconic drink and goes well with many soft drinks. Hennessy is also the primary ingredient in many cocktails making them more delicious than they would have been otherwise. It is so widely recognized that be it the young people in nightclubs or the old people sitting around in an elite meeting, it is loved and consumed by all.
Although most people believe Hennessy to be a whiskey, that is not the case. It is a cognac which is another kind of brandy. Has all this left you wondering what Hennessy tastes like? Then you should read on to find out all about it.
Background And Early Life
Richard Hennessy was born in 1724 to James Hennessy and Catherine Barrett at Ballymacmoy House, Killavullen, a small village in County Cork, Ireland. His paternal family were of Gaelic Irish stock the Hennessys were anciently of the Laighin and claimed descent from a junior branch of the O’Dempsey family. Specifically with Richard’s family, his family were able to restore themselves to a level of prominence through his grandfather’s marriage to a daughter of the Norman descended Sir Richard Nagle.
Growing up an Irish Catholic to a family of some ambition, in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1688, whereby Anglo-Protestant hegemony was operative in Ireland, the young Richard Hennessy at the age of 19 elected to leave the country for Bourbon France. Here he joined the Clare Regiment of the Irish Brigade in the French Army, serving as an officer. This was in the service of king Louis XV of France. Shortly after the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 he became familiar with the Charente region, famous for its cognac production. Using money he had earned in his military career, he decided to become involved in cognac investment from afar, without much success initially.
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