Few people in the spirits industry command quite as much respect as Yann Fillioux, who spent the better part of his life creating liquid gold at Hennessy, the world’s largest Cognac producer. After 50 years on the job, Fillioux stepped down as Hennessy’s master blender in July, entrusting that duty to his nephew, Renaud Fillioux du Gironde. Ever the gentleman, however, he left us a parting gift.
Master Blender’s Selection N°2 ($92) is Fillioux’s swan song, and a symphonious one at that. This is a true single-batch—blended but once and bottled at cask strength (43 percent ABV). The folks at Maison Hennessy have vowed that this limited release will never be replicated.
Each eau de vie in the Master Blender’s Selection N°2 blend is at least 10 years old and spent a year and a half resting in young French oak before additional seasoning in older barrels. Its fragrance foretells a vibrant spirit that is sweet and spicy. A host of varied flavors are at play on the palate, from honeysuckle to white pepper to dried fig. Notes of cinnamon and coconut reveal themselves as well. Just as he’s done for half a century, Fillioux made certain that all the elements in this Cognac are in harmony from nose to finish.
The bottle’s unique label depicts a surrealistic urban dreamscape and was designed by Paris-born illustrator Ugo Gattoni. Master Blender’s Selection N°2 will be available exclusively in the U.S. beginning October 2 and will appear on shelves by October 25.