Category Archives: cognac

Yes, Virginia, there is a Hennessy shortage!


Hennessy Cognac Sales Growth in U.S. Strains Supplies

Earlier this year LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), a luxury brand conglomerate and owner of Hennessy cognacs, warned that due to significant increases in Hennessy sales, the availability of cognac stocks may be impacted for the rest of the year. The warning was part of LVMH’s first quarter earnings release that reported record revenues of €9.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 16% from the first quarter of 2016.

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Lauren Holland

So what happened at the end of 2016, beginning of 2017 that made the U.S of A want to drink just a little bit more???

Hennessy Pays Tribute to the Roots of its Savoir-Faire With the Master Blender’s Selection Nº1

Master Blender Selection No1

Every artist, composer and master craftsman has a secret project on the side, an endeavor pursued simply for creativity’s sake. For Hennessy Master Blender Yann Fillioux, it was “Master Blender’s Selection N°1”, which in contrast to the many celebrated Cognacs he has composed throughout his distinguished career, this latest blend is a very personal signature that was only ever meant to be produced in a single, limited batch.

In French, a project like Master Blender’s Selection N°1 is called a “coup de coeur” — literally, a heart-stopper, love at first sight or, as in this case, a passion project. It began in Maison Hennessy’s reserves, one of the largest, most extraordinary reserves of eaux-de-vie in the world.

As the guardian of Hennessy’s reserves for half a century, Yann Fillioux knows every eau-de-vie stored there. Master Blender’s Selection N°1 came to life during a blending session, a moment of unbridled creativity. Innovative, robust and completely devoid of artifice, it is a truly bespoke creation.

MASTER BLENDER’S SELECTION N°1: A unique signature

Creating Cognac requires patience and a constant dialogue between time, the elements, raw materials and skilled hands and minds. Little by little, each exchange gives rise to something precious that can only be realized through passion and a savoir-faire honed over 250 years of Cognac making.

With Master Blender’s Selection N°1, Yann Fillioux captures the essence of his art. This one-of-a-kind blend captures a particular moment in time and embodies his constant quest for excellence, extraordinary sensory memories and a perfect knowledge of Hennessy’s reserves.

Yann Fillioux and the Tasting Committee structured the Master Blender’s Selection N°1 by defining a first selection of eaux-de-vie. They then narrowed their selection down to 80 to 100 eaux-de-vie and grouped them according to their elegance, character and suppleness. The eaux-de-vie were then aged in both young and old French oak casks. When the time was right, the Cognac was bottled at 43°C – “cask strength” – in order to release its powerful aromatic tones as well as delicate, lingering spicy notes. Crafted as a single batch, it is a limited edition Cognac with a round and rich subtlety that has a bright amber color with a golden sheen. When it embraces both nose and palate, there is an unmistakable presence of lightly grilled, unshelled almonds and candied apricots with a faintly sweet flavor. It is recommended that it be tasted neat or with three bright ice cubes.

For the introduction of Master Blender’s Selection N°1, the Maison Hennessy wished to celebrate its time-honored ties with the United States, which became its very first export market over 200 years ago. This made-to-measure blend will therefore debut exclusively in the U.S. in October 2016 and will be available in two sizes – 375ml ($45) and 750ml ($80)

For our Hennessy fans

H250_Collector_Blend_white_2Moët Hennessy is marking the 250th anniversary of its flagship Hennessy Cognac brand with a special limited blend. Hitting U.S. retail shelves in April, Hennessy 250 Collector blend is priced at $600 a 1-liter bottle and packaged in a decanter and collectible gift box. Renaud de Gironde, a member of Hennessy’s six-person tasting panel and part of the family that’s been overseeing the brand’s blending since 1802, told SND the 250 Collector edition is a blend of eaux-de-vie ranging from about 15 to 40 years in age.

Hennessy created 250 special barrels at its own cooperage to house the blend—each barrel holds 250 liters (compared with the standard barrel size of 279 liters)—with the resulting liquid translating into a release of the equivalent of about 7,000 cases for worldwide distribution. Moët Hennessy expects the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend to be on shelves for about a year before selling out.

Branded Spirits Ltd. Expands to U.S. Market


Branded Spirits raises a glass to the introduction of its five premium alcohol brands to the U.S. this July following three successful years of distribution in Hong Kong and China. The sourcing and distributing company of small-batch artisan liquors launches five spirits in Chicago: Ice Fox vodka, Hana gin, Motu rum, HM The King blended Scotch whiskey, and two cognacs – Majesté XO and Majesté VSOP.

“After extensive test market research in Hong Kong, we knew our products were ready for the U.S. market by way of Chicago, a city with a prominent cocktail culture,” says Nick Chen, chief of staff for Branded Spirits. “Chicago can often influence trends in the spirit industry for the rest of the country, making it the perfect location for our brand launch.”

The distinctive flavor profiles of each of the spirits launching in Chicago include:

Ice Fox is 100% American product that has been triple-distilled from premium American ingredients, including corn from the Corn Belt and pristine water from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Branded Spirits’ master distiller watches over the production of every batch on Treasure Island, CA, where it is bottled in small batches. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

Hana is named after the Japanese word hana, meaning “flower,” which is the inspiration for the gin’s botanical profile of juniper and lemon citrus, among notes of lavender. The bottle design features an etched glass orchid on the back. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

Motu, rested in French Oak and created using Polynesian sugar cane molasses, provides this rum with its signature sweet nose and taste. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

HM The King, produced in the Highlands of Scotland, provides notes of vanilla and honey on the palate that give way to a smooth and round aftertaste with light smoke and peat. The HM on the bottle stand for “His Majesty” the King, as the final blend was signed off on by the late King of Tonga. 40% ABV, 750ml, $24.99 SRP

Majesté XO, made in Cognac, France by one of the region’s most storied families, Dupuy Bache-Gabrielsen, the spirit is aged for 10 years or more. The spirit won the Gold Medal award from the 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2009 International Wine and Spirits Competition. 40% ABV, 750ml, $109.99 SRP

Majesté VSOP is matured for four years before being bottled and offers a discreet, well-balanced bouquet with both fruit and floral notes. It is available in limited supply. 40% ABV, 750ml, $47.99 SRP

Branded Spirits’ premium beverage alcohol line is now available, and can be purchased at Cardinal Wine & Spirits (multiple locations throughout Chicago area), Tony’s Finer Foods (multiple locations throughout Chicago area), Brookhaven Market (located in Darien, Mokena, and Burr Ridge, IL), among many other individual liquor stores.

Branded Spirits initially launched in Hong Kong in 2010 after CEO and Founder George Chen, who has worked successfully in distribution in Asia for more than 25 years, decided to branch into production. In late 2010, Chen founded Branded Spirits with the goal of creating a product line, then he and his team spent the next two years in research and development of every aspect from the packaging to the types of liquors in the portfolio. After three successful years of in the Hong Kong and China markets, Branded Spirits began distributing to the U.S. with the goal of launching in 10-15 states by the end of 2014.