Crafting the Future with
Hennessy 250 Collector Blend
Cellar Master Yann Fillioux created the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend as a tribute to his predecessors, and to mark the 250-year milestone for the house of Hennessy. Founded in 1765, Hennessy has long established its reputation as one of the finest cognacs available, and earned its place as the celebratory drink for high and intimate occasions alike.
No easy feat, the delicate and long process of Cognac-making begins with growing and fermenting the appropriate grapes into white wine, followed by a double distillation. Then, the eaux-de-vie is transplanted into barrels to mature for at least two years before the characters of the cognac can be revealed. After which, it takes another 30 months for the cognac to be blended and bottled before it can reach the discerning consumer’s palate. To achieve the perfect blend, each and every detail throughout this course is calculated and carried out with impeccable vigilance.
Hennessy 250 Collector Blend was designed as a limited edition, in line with the privileges associated with its brand name. With only 250 barrels (of 250 liters each, instead of a standard 279 liters) available, even the barrels had to be specially sourced and crafted with tremendous foresight. Hennessy only uses large-grained French oak that had been ‘seasoned’ by the sun, rain, wind and snow for three years, and have to be carefully toasted by a strong fire before they can be considered fit to be made into Hennessy barrels.
Distinguished by a bright, warm shade of amber, and a rich, expressive note that develops complex aromatic tones both vegetal and spicy, with hints of bitter orange, freshly grated nutmeg, licorice, dried peppermint leaf and delicate saffron, the 250 Collector Blend is truly remarkable, joining two seemingly contradictory dimensions in a seamless union; a strong structure married to an unmistakably elegant finish. An impeccable blend is not concocted via sheer luck or magic. Rather, it is the outcome of centuries of successful selections in the past that allows for exceptional creations in the present. And, thus, only prudent choices in the now can yield quality in the future.
In the world of cognacs, where age matters – Yann can take pride in his lineage; his family has been associated with Maison Hennessy as blenders of eaux-de-vie for some 200 years. Today, his nephew, Renaud De Gironde also sits on Hennessy’s exclusive Comité de Dégustation or, tasting committee, at the Hennessy headquarters in Cognac, France.
At precisely 11am every morning, Yann leads the Comité of six in what seems like a solemn ritual. They sip through 40 to 50 samples of eaux-de-vie, thoughtfully and often, wordlessly, or, according to Gironde, ‘We have our own vocabulary – words that may not mean anything to anyone else.’ Hardly surprising, since it is reputed to take more than 10 years to sufficiently hone the subtlety of one’s senses for the job. Esoteric and seemingly impenetrable to the uninitiated, however, the result is always one of unanimous embrace; perfection and consistency – a testament to Hennessy’s commitment to quality throughout the ages.
‘Some people think Hennessy is all about tradition,’ Gironde impressed, as he expertly swirls the liquid in his tulip tasting glass, ‘But really, it is a celebration of the present, and it is all about the future.’
As part of the celebration of Hennessy’s 250th anniversary, a multi-country Hennessy art exhibition will kick off in China, follow by stops in Russia, South Africa, United States, and France. For more information, including purchase information for the limited edition 250 Collector Blend, please visit: http://www.hennessy.com/us/collection/gifting/