Hennessy uses grapes grown in four of the six sub-regions of Cognac: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, and Fins Bois. Their Privilège VSOP is said to have been created in 1817 after the then Prince Regent of the UK and later King George IV requested a VSOP from Hennessy be created. This is a blend of up to 60 eaux de vie aged up to 15 years.
BRANDY DISTILLED IN A DELIMITED REGION WITHIN FRANCE FROM SPECIFIC GRAPES. MUST BE DOUBLE-DISTILLED TO NO HIGHER THAN 72% ABV. REQUIRED TO BE AGED IN OAK FOR AT LEAST 2 YEARS. ALSO, IF LABELED AS THE FOLLOWING, MINIMUM AGING IS: VS-2 YEARS, VSOP-4 YEARS, NAPOLÉON 6 YEARS, XO-10 YEARS (AS OF APRIL 2018).
“The highly aromatic cognac begins with fruits, but they have moved into the dried fruit territory with raisins, apricots and dates. Floral aromas are strong as well leaning towards violets. A mulled wine aroma lingers about with the baking spices of cinnamon and clove standing out in particular. As you move into the palate, there’s a tangy liveliness to the brandy with the notes from the aroma still present. There’s a noticeable sweetness present, but it isn’t cloying. There’s just enough of a bitterness at the finish to make it interesting. This is a good step-up for beginners just getting into cognac as it isn’t just all about fruit.”