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

Hennessy - Firmengebäude und Flasche

In 1785 son Jaques joined the company. In 1792 he increased the sales volume to almost three million bottles. The family also miraculously survived the French Revolution despite the nobility and the "citizen Hennessy" was highly respected. Until 1969 the management of the company was always passed from father to son. Although the company is still under the influence of the family, it was merged with the champagne house Moët et Chandon in 1971. Today both belong to the LVMH group. Hennessy has the largest reservoir of distillates, resting in 230,000 barrels in 35 warehouses. The oldest distillates from Paradis are a hundred years or more old. The Fillioux family has been responsible for this for seven generations. The barrels are made of French oak in our own cooperage (Taransaud).

The extensive product range includes the VS (Very Superieur) with three stars (from two and a half to ten-year-old distillates), the VSOP "Privilège" (from four and a half to 25-year-old distillates, first delivered to the English royal house in 1817), the XO (distillates between 10 and 70 years of age, for which the first carafe used for a cognac was created), the "Paradis", and as a showpiece the VSOP "Davidoff Extra" (deliberately chosen name in connection with the famous cigar brand). There is also a "Davidoff Classic" variant of the latter, which is assembled from distillates aged in barrels for up to 40 years. The product then matures in barrels for a further 18 months before being bottled. The Hennessy cognac has a special relationship to the mysterious "Poe toaster," which visited the writer's grave for decades.

Picture left: From Taxiarchos228, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Picture right: From AlMare - Own Plant, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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