As the Maison’s emblematic blend, Hennessy X.O quickly contributed to defining an entire family of cognacs, setting a standard for excellence that lives on to this day, across cognacs. Hennessy X.O was embraced all over the world – starting with the US in 1870, followed by Asia (Shanghai and Hong Kong) in 1872. Most of all, it became synonymous with elegance and quality, thanks to a graceful yet complex blend of eaux-de-vie. This alchemy gives the cognac its intense amber hue, a rich layering of flavors with extraordinary persistence on the palate.
“Hennessy X.O is the cognac for every occasion. Its timelessness – the fact that its inspiration never changes and never bends to the whims of trends means that it exists in a realm beyond fashion. As time goes by, we have noticed that people are appreciating a wider array of moments for tasting than they ever have before. Its versatility is what I think makes Hennessy X.O so contemporary and relevant today,” notes Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, the 8th generation Master Blender for the Maison Hennessy.
In 1947, Gérald de Geoffre, a member of the Hennessy family, further burnished the Hennessy X.O legend by creating a distinctive, instantly recognizable carafe that was as sensorial and powerful as the cognac it contained. A revolution at a time when cognac still came in bottle known as charentaises, this Hennessy X.O bottle marked its era. Although subtly adapted over the years, the essence of the original design remains, its curves inspired by the contours of a cluster of grapes, an homage to the blend’s origins.
EACH DROP OF HENNESSY X.O IS A SENSORIAL ODYSSEY
To fully describe the cognac’s many facets, the Hennessy Tasting Committee has singled out flavors, sensations and emotions and charted the sensorial odyssey that defines the Hennessy X.O experience.
Every sip of Hennessy X.O offers a rare “taste-scape”: a distinct sensation and an extraordinary story. Seven chapters are divided into sweet notes, rising heat, spicy edge, flowing flames, chocolate lull and wood crunches, leaving a lasting impression – a sensation Renaud Fillioux de Gironde calls “an infinite echo”.
Seven chapters flow seamlessly into one another:
Sweet Notes – Candides fruit embraces the palate, the faint sweetness of orange fused with the subtle tartness of apricots.
Rising Heat – An intense, rising heat slowly reveals the complex taste of eaux-de-vie that have patiently aged in oak barrels.
Spicy Edge – A strong spicy note tantalizes the lips and palate with its distinct peppery flavor intertwined with a hint of chocolate.
Flowing Flame – A wave of warmth grows, crests and then breaks, creating a sensation of roudness, a robust presence and voluptuousness.
Chocolate Lull – The familiar, well-rounded flavor of a rich, dark chocolate caresses the palate with slighty sweet, silky smoothness.
Wood Crunches – A striking sensation of oak notes interlaced with vanilla. Bold and complex, a powerful presence surges and recedes.
Infinite Echo – Evanescent oak notes leave an extended finish that echoes all of the subtlties and sensation that have preceded it, a reflection of Hennessy X.O’s complex blending and long aging process.
Though these descriptions reflect the concertation of the Hennessy Tasting Committee, each Hennessy X.O experience is by definition a unique and personal sensorial odyssey.
HENNESSY X.O: INSPIRING THE ARTS
Hennessy X.O has long been celebrated by artists and icons in their own right.
The Hennessy X.O odyssey is one that the internationally acclaimed filmmarkers Ridley Scott and Nicholas Winding Refn each have explored. Commissioned in 2019 and 2016, respectively, their films harnessed the emotions this blend arouses and rendered them in unforgettable cinematic sequences.
The Hennessy X.O odyssey has been celebrated through exclusive artistic events. In 2017, Hennessy mounted an exhibition at selected points along the Silk Road, retracing its adventure through the artwork of seven artists in seven cities and countries the famed route traverses, from Istanbul, Turkey, to Shanghai, China.
In keeping with the legacy of the distinctive carafe Gérald de Geoffre designed for Hennessy X.O in 1947, the Maison Hennessy has become synonymous with bold and daring contemporary desing. Leading deisgners on the international scene – Marc Newson and Tom Dixon among them – have reinterpreted Hennessy X.O’s multifaceted story in highly sought-after collector’s editions. Exceptional sizes, notably the six-liter Mathusalem, have inspired artisans and artists to create limited editions.
“Not only is Hennessy X.O an icon among cognacs, it’s a beautiful symbol of Hennessy’s ability to last. Then, as now, we always looked toward the horizon,” notes Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde.
For more details and an interview with Hennessy Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, please download the Press Kit.