The original XO.
Did you know that the founder of Hennessy was actually an Irishman? Richard Hennessy was an Irish aristocrat who moved to France in the mid-18th century, served 12 years in the French Army to gain his citizenship, and then opened his distillery in 1765. The rest is history. The talents of seven generations of cellar-masters from the Fillioux family have enabled Hennessy to constitute the most remarkable reserves of rare Eaux-de-vie in the world. Hennessy is a giant in the world of Cognac. The company produces more than fifty million bottles of Cognac each year — more than 40% of the entire market. It’s pretty obvious they know what they’re doing.
Every little aspect of the brand suggests we’re talking about the Cognac top dog. Did you know that the designation XO didn’t even exist before Hennessy? The term* was coined for this very type of Cognac by Maurice Hennessy in 1870. But even among such eminent XO crowd, the Hennessy XO stands out as it incorporates over 100 Eaux-de-vies with ages up to 30 years. It was first intended as a special Cognac for friends and family of dear Maurice, so you know we’re talking about the good stuff right here.
The Hennessy XO Cognac is created from the Ugni Blanc grapes which have been harvested from the four great crus of the Cognac region. The wine produced is then double distilled in the Hennessy copper pot still, and the selected eaux-de-vie is set down to age in French oak casks. The stylish decanter designed all the way back in 1947 is an indication of the possible gratification, but the contents will surprise you nevertheless. The smooth character of the Spirit provides and extravagant yet balanced experience for the senses. It more than lives up to its price and reputation. The flagship of the biggest Cognac brand in the world better be great.
And it is.
The XO designation is a characterization standard used in the industry that denotes an “extra old” Cognac style which must meet the minimum age requirement of 6 years for all of the eaux-de-vies within the blend.
Up to 30 years