Cuvée: VS End of Year
1x bottle 70cl
Eye: Deep golden color with ruby reflections.
Nose: Wild Limousin oak comes out of the glass, accompanied by roasted almonds, hazelnut and vanilla. Vanilla is well present at the bottom of the glass, with a hint of ground ginger.
On the palate: Fresh grapes and green apples in the foreground, representing the youngest elements of the blend, followed by more ripe orange and woody flavors. The ginger on the nose slowly develops into a finish of warming winter spices - cinnamon and cloves.
Hennessy VS: A Cognac tour de force
Representing centuries of Cognac making, Hennessy VS (Very Special) Cognac is a timeless icon: faithful to its origins, but always looking to the future. 40 different eaux-de-vie, from all regions of Cognac, are used in the blend, with a minimum age of two years and some up to five years.
To create the eaux-de-vie of the Hennessy signature, the best Ugni Blanc grapes are selected, fermented and distilled twice in copper stills, known locally as Charentais stills. While some producers choose to distil their brandies with grape skins and other types of sediment, Hennessy eliminates them to create a lighter, more delicate Cognac. After distillation, only the best eaux-de-vie are selected during tasting sessions organized by a select committee of experts, with the final blend being made by Hennessy's master blender, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, who is in his eighth generation.
Hennessy uses oak barrels from the French Limousin region to age its VS Cognac, giving it a robust hazelnut note that complements the light, fruity characteristics of the grape. Before the brandy is even touched, the wood in the barrels has been left outside for several years, exposing it to the change of season to reduce bitter flavors and develop a natural vanilla sweetness.
Every little detail in the production of Hennessy Cognac is deliberate; the location of their cellars on the banks of the Charente River was chosen to provide a humid environment, with a relative humidity level of at least 90% to accelerate the angel's share of alcohol vapors and create a sweeter spirit.
Although all parts of the blend must be at least two years old, the master blender also chooses older casks to give depth and balance - the aim is certainly not to produce the cheapest cognac available.
It may be a French icon, but the House of Hennessy was in fact founded by an Irishman named Richard Hennessy in 1765. Today, it is the world's largest producer of cognac, with an impressive 40% market share.
Richard's great-grandson, Maurice, created a star system in 1865 to signify the quality of cognac, which was quickly adopted by other producers as the industry standard. The beloved Hennessy 3-star cognac later became Hennessy VS - or simply "Henny". - an icon as famous as the people who drink it.
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