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The famous Cognac House was founded in 1765 in the small town of Cognac by the Irish-born Richard Hennessy of the family of the Lords of Ballymacmoy. He had previously served in an Irish Guard in the service of the French King Louis XV (1710-1774). He became a captain on the island of Ré, which is part of the Cognac region. He chose "Bras Armé" (armed arm) from the family coat of arms as the company symbol, which can still be found on every Hennessy bottle today. The Hennessy company was the first to introduce abbreviations as a mark of quality. In 1860 the famous stars (three for the simplest cognac and four or five for the better ones) and in 1870 for particularly old distillates XO (Extended Old). The latter was initially produced only for family members. However, the company failed to patent it.

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