How One of the World’s Most Premier Spirits Gets Made
Over the course of a year, Hennessy’s master blender samples hundreds of casks to craft the most exclusive Cognacs possible.
Like the alchemists of yore, Hennessy master blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde mingles art and science to render the liquid treasure so beloved by Cognac connoisseurs and kings.
The story of Cognac, the world’s most renowned brandy, begins with a wish for longevity. When Dutch and English traders brought wine back to their homelands, they dosed it with brandy as a preservative. Cognac as a distilled wine thus became the immortal deity to wine’s mere mortal state. While some wines may age well for a few decades, eaux-de-vie (the distillates blended to become a Cognac) can remain viable long past the century mark. Many of the most refined Cognacs are finessed by master blenders, such as Hennessy’s Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, using as many as 100 eaux-de-vie, some up to 150 years old.