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Hennessy VSOP Privilege Limited Edition by John Maeda

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Cognac age

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Growth area

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Bottle size
Hennessy Cognac

Tasting review

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Eye: A deep burnt orange, copper-like color that harmonizes perfectly with the bottle’s design and packaging.

Nose: Vanilla, clove and cinnamon with delicate woody and roasted notes.

Palate: Natural, smooth and balanced. Hints of freshly pressed grapes.

Growth area & soil: Blend

Bois Ordinaires
Bons Bois
Fins Bois
Petite Champagne
Grande Champagne


A Modern Masterpiece: Creative industries meet with this Limited Edition Hennessy VSOP Privilège

Hennessy’s recent collaboration with John Maeda and his creative partners sees the already legendary VSOP transcend industries with the Hennessy VSOP Privilège John Maeda Limited Edition.

Working alongside musician Kaki King and illustrator Giorgia Lupi, the trio have been involved in every step of the creative process, travelling to Cognac and distilling a unique blend of eaux-de-vie with music, art and design. John Maeda is one of the world’s leading digital and artistic visionaries, his vision mirrors that of Hennessy, a burning desire to not only make a lasting impression on their respective industries, but on the entire world.

This 2017 limited edition saw John Maeda and his partners travel to Hennessy’s vineyards in Cognac, and “control the chaos” of the production process by mixing not only their creative tastes, but an exquisite selection of 7 eaux-de-vie to create something very special. Like composing a piece of music, every element must be perfected and align perfectly with its component parts. When guitarist Kaki King is writing a song, she uses not only precision but her heart, her passion.

Her composition style draws similarities with Hennessy’s intricate and creative blending and distilling processes; precision, passion and variation are at the forefront and will always result in something beautiful, even inspiring. The VSOP itself is typical of its kind, with pleasant aromas, a delicate balance and a long-lasting finish. 

The maturation in French oak barrels creates a secondary scent of toasted notes. When sipping this limited edition, strength and smoothness converge in a beautifully orchestrated blend of flavors, followed by a softer note of freshly pressed grapes before a lengthy finish.

VSOP’s origins are as grand as impressive as John Maeda’s design, inspired from an order placed by King George IV of the United Kingdom in 1817 for a “Very Superior Old Pale” Cognac. It is a reflection of the expertise of the Hennessy Tasting Committee, and a true example of the artisan methods of their Master Blender. The 7 eaux-de-vie present in this limited edition are between four and fifteen years old, matured in French oak barrels to a 40% ABV.

What renders this VSOP even more superior is the bottle’s unique design, a true talking point for any Cognac collector. John Maeda’s work with his collaborators are examples of when art meets technology, so he is no stranger to blur the boundaries between industries. Cognac meets design with this truly inspirational labelling, combining John’s creative instinct, Giorgia’s precise illustration skills and Kaki’s musical ability to create a visual symphony, a masterpiece.

After visiting Cognac and the Hennessy vineyard, Kaki began to write a song about her experience and the knowledge she had gained of the craftsmanship that goes into making Hennessy Cognac. When written down, this song is exactly 200 beats, with each beat representing a year of Hennessy’s savoir-faire. Illustrator Giorgia took these song notes, which include musical notes, hand movements and specific instructions for playing the song, and squeezed them together, as if pressing the Ugni Blanc grapes to create eau-de-vie.

Once combined together to be printed onto the VSOP Privilège label, the long thin strips are reminiscent of the elongated, intricately designed wood found on Hennessy’s French oak barrels, used to mature this beautifully special Cognac. The combination of rich colors on the bottle’s label are a perfect representation of the 7 eaux-de-vie blended into the product within, a true masterpiece and a celebration of this era of design that is transforming the 21st century.

The elegant, copper tones are a subtle nod to the tradition techniques used in Cognac’s production, bridging the gap between modern art and traditional heritage.

How to Serve

Enjoy neat or on the rocks with a dash of water, specific John Maeda tumblers are also available with this limited edition. Serve at room temperature.

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About Hennessy Cognac

You may think, that with Hennessy’s ability to innovate and push boundaries, they are a thoroughly ‘modern’ Cognac brand. This is a large part of their immense success and influence. The very French brand based in the Charente region, in fact, dates all the way back to 1765 - to Ireland - but have managed to shapeshift enough times to remain more relevant than ever before - with current Master Blender Renaud Fillioux. Their range of uber-trendy products is ever expanding, and their marketing campaigns all the more captivating. There is no doubt that ‘Henny’ culture is alive and kicking: both Cognac and a fifth of Hennessy are mentioned in what seems like hundreds of songs. 

Read more: History, News and Interesting Hennessy Facts

Read more about Hennessy Cognac

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