After his death, Richard Hennessy’s son James continued the family business and turned it into a well-functioning Cognac house. It was actually him who created the brand Hennessy in the first place and called the company Jas Hennessy & Co., the name it carries to date. Under his leadership, the company expanded rapidly with a range of products and was passed on to the next generation within the family, until in 1971 Kilian Hennessy created the group Moet Hennessy in a merger with the Champagne producer Moet et Chandon. Later on, in 1987, this group further merged with the luxury clothing brand Louis Vuitton, creating the largest luxury product conglomerate in the world: LVMH. Kilian Hennessy was part of the advisory board of the company until his recent death in 2010 (at the age of 103 years!).
There is another family tradition that goes hand in hand with that of the Hennessy's. Namely the seven generations of Hennessy cellar masters from the Fillioux family. This tradition has allowed for the Cognac house to uphold the most exquisite quality and pass on its expertise from generation to generation. The Fillioux cellar masters have built the most extraordinary reserves of vintage eaux-de-vies in the world. Today, Yann Fillioux is the head cellar master at Hennessy and therefore conitinues to represent this family tradition. He created the timeless blend "Beaute du siecle" for the brand and is Managing Director of the company.
Hennessy has always been at the top of international trade, with an establishment of the first agency in London in 1840, the first deliveries of bottles to Japan in 1868. In 1872 Hennessy reaches China. In 1992, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first shipment of Cognac to Asia, Hennessy chartered a an old-fashioned sailing ship and called it “Spirit of Hennessy”. The aristocratic family of Hennessy is a fascinating story of success. Other family members, who did not get involved in the Cognac business were successful in different fields such as affairs of the state or other commercial enterprises.
Today, Hennessy is the leader in the Cognac business with international sales of around 50 million bottles a year. The company realizes its biggest percentage of profit through international export.
With the consistent launch of new products like the bottles “Pure White”, “Hennessy Black” (European launch in Sept 2010 in Frankfurt) or “Fine de Cognac”, Hennessy continues to open up new markets. The US Hip Hop scene is perhaps the best example. By making Cognac popular amongst Afro-American musicians, the drink has taken on a younger and more trendy image. Mix drinks such as Hennessy and Red Bull (Crunk Juice) or cocktails like Sin (Cognac and Gin) have introduced a whole new customer range. Rappers like Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, P. Diddy and Kanye West are proclaimed Hennessy fans.
Hennessy prices differ a lot. Let's have a look at a selection of bottle prices (in order): The youngest Cognac VS can be purchased for € 25 ro € 30. Hennessy Pure White should be sold at a price of about € 30 to € 40, and a bottle of Hennessy Fine VSOP Champagne price is about € 50, XO Price of Hennessy is at € 150. Hennessy Richard is at a price of about € 2000 and Hennessy Prestige Ellipse price at a massive € 7600. FInally, the price of luxury flagship Hennessy Beauté du Siècle is € 180 000.
See all products above, you also find the prices of Hennessy cognacs.
News, Products, Anecdotes and Labels
An interesting anecdote is that Maurice Hennessy, who was the CEO of the company at the end of the 19th century created the Cognac appellation XO – a blend of very old eaux-de-vies. Today, most of the cognac houses produce an XO bottle, it has become somewhat of a standard product to offer.
The rarest products are Cognac Ellipse, the Cognac Richard and of course the “Beaute du Siecle”, a particular blend of reserves designed by the artist Jean-Marie Othoniel in an edition of 100, which is worth 180.000 Euros on the market today.
In 2009, a limited edition of Hennessy VS was launched in honour of USA’s first colored president Barack Obama. The bottle was designed with gold lettering on a black background and carried the slogan “In Honour of the 44th President”.
One of the Hennessy offshoots, Kilian Hennessy (named after his famous ancestor), today uses his established name to produce perfumes in the luxury market. In late 2008 the charismatic businessman launched his first scent: “Prelude to Love”, which comes bottled in a miniature cognac flacon as a little nod to the family’s history.
In addition to the commercial success of the brand on every continent in the world, Hennessy has received a number of industry awards over the years, like recently at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010: Silver Medal for Hennessy Black Cognac.
With the launch of Hennessy Black in September 2010 in Frankfurt, Hennessy has further targeted the Club scene, commissioning DJs to create individual master tracks.
This museum has been entirely refurbished to give visitors the most exciting tour through the world of cognac. Your visit begins with a boat trip across the river Charente in the town of Cognac, before discovering the different stages of cognac production, from the grape to the distillation to the ageing. The Hennessy museum boasts a large collection of bottles, etiquettes, pictures and a large array of historica material to visualize the impressive history of this cognac house.
Visits take place from Nov 1 to Dec 31, from Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) and from April 1 to Oct 31, 7 days a week (except May 1). Closed from Jan 1 to March 31 (reservations possible from Monday to Friday from 10 to 12 am and from 2 to 4 pm).