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Hennessy X.O.

Iconic Wine

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Hennessy is a household name when it comes to Cognac. Did you know that XO means "extra old"?
The original Hennessy was founded in 1765 by Richard Hennessy who was an Irish Officer in the army of Louis XV. Hennessy XO Cognac traces its development back to 1870 when Maurice Hennessy created a special cognac for him to share with his closest friends. This cognac meant for his ‘inner circle’ was given the name X.O to denote it as an “extra old” cognac. This X.O designation has become a labeling standard used throughout the industry, and today denotes an older Cognac style which must meet a minimum age requirement of 6 years for all of the eaux de vie within its assemblage. The subject of this review is the modern Hennessy X.O Cognac. The spirit is produced from the fruity Ugni Blanc grapes which have been harvested from the four great crus of the Cognac region (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois). The grape wine produced is (of course) double distilled upon Hennessy Distillery’s copper pot stills, and then selected eaux-de-vie is set down to age (some for as long as 30 years) in french oak casks which have constructed from old growth oak timbers.

Tasting Notes

The spirit has a rich bronze colour. The initial aroma displays a strong indication of oak and wood spice with firm scents of caramel and raisin buried within that spiciness. The oak is dominant; however, there is enough sweetness and raisin-like fruitiness to compliment the oak. On the palate it is surprisingly soft with flavors of chocolate caramel that meld with oak sap and rick baking spices. Long finish in the throat with a menthol-like coolness that highlights the caramel, chocolate, and oak spice.

Food Pairing

Smoke a cigar with it!


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