Architects of time

The Hennessy Comité de Dégustation.

“Tasting any of Hennessy’s exceptional cognacs should be “a moment of pure pleasure,” says Renaud Fillioux de Gironde.

A world leader in Cognac, Hennessy’s heritage is enveloped with generational legacies. The only cognac producer to have a multigenerational Comité de Dégustation, aka Tasting Committee, at the Hennessy Maison in Cognac, France where all the magic happens.

In a lineage that has remained unbroken for over two centuries, it is there, amidst a sea of cognac samples, that Hennessy’s eight-generation Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and his Tasting Committee work through upwards of 50 samples a day sorting, refining and blending their way towards the ultimate expression of cognac.

Appointed by in-house connoisseurs, the Hennessy Comité de Dégustation has eight members whose responsibility is to carefully select, age and then blend decades and centuries-old eaux-de-vie that will ultimately ensure the consistent quality Hennessy cognacs are known for.

As the leader of the prestigious group of in-house experts, every day at 11am, Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde samples and selects the best eaux-de-vie through daily tastings conducted with discipline and discernment. Only six members of the Tasting Committee, specialised in a facet of cognac making, are permitted to speak. No Tasting Committee member may express their opinion until they have ten years’ experience in Hennessy cognac tasting. The silent members are only there to learn, take notes, observe, and ultimately carry the legacy of the blend forward for years to come. 

Taking cue from Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, the tasting experts use this time to build up a set of references that will constitute their distinct tastes and smells. Their aim at the end of the day is to ensure that Hennessy X.O cognac enjoyed today reflects yesterday and that it will be the same tomorrow.

First bottled in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy for family and friends, for centuries, the Hennessy X.O blend of more than one hundred very old "Eaux-de-vie" from cognac's finest growing regions carefully nurtured in cellars which contain the oldest cognacs in the world, has remained the reference, The Original X.O.

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