Growth area & soil: Blend
Hennessy Extra Old Cognac 70cl
Prepare to be taken on an epic journey exploring each and every one of your senses, with the Hennessy XO Extra Old Cognac. The origins of the age denotation ‘Extra Old’ in fact date back to the Hennessy maison, when Master Blender Maurice coined this English term in 1870 in accordance with its strong connection to foreign countries, such as the US and Great Britain. Each of the eaux-de-vie contained within this fine tapestry of spirits are between 10 and 70 years old, and there are more than one hundred of them contained in this fine blend of Hennessy XO. The average age is around 45 years old, making it an exceptionally fine-tuned selection that is bound to be one of your fondest tasting memories for the rest of your life.
This iconic Cognac maison have married the complexities of each terroir and its finest eaux-de-vie into one carefully constructed blend, to create a stunning Hennessy Old Reserve. It is a symphony of notes hailing from the Fine Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois crus, and the result is quite a masculine Extra Old Cognac. Such finesse in its selection suggests that this is pure craftsmanship at work, and warrants the price tag. Hennessy are well known for dipping in and out of many different terroirs across the region to source the most precious eaux-de-vie.
The Extra Old Hennessy is a truly mosaic piece; as the largest Cognac maison worldwide, we can trust that Hennessy know exactly how to make each eau-de-vie work in tandem with one another to create the ultimate sensory experience.
The Hennessy XO Decanter
The Hennessy XO decanter, a sumptuous and curvaceous carafe, has come to be one of the most recognizable elements of a Cognac from this world-famous estate. It has been reinvented time and time again since 1870 across the various limited editions of this classic blend. It is sure to take pride of place in your drinks cabinet, and is certainly a talking point to enjoy among family and friends.
Limited Editions of the Hennessy XO
For a while now, cinematographers have collaborated with Hennessy to produce feature-length films detailing each of the “chapters” of flavors and aromas that emerge during a Hennessy XO tasting experience. Yes - the notes that emerge have become that revered. Master Blenders at the Hennessy maison have noted that each limited edition is distinctly different to the other, and that while they are continuations in age category, each new XO is different to the next.
In fact, producer Nicolas Wending Refn created a stylish commercial about how to drink the Hennessy Extra Old Cognac, and enjoy each of the seven parts that arrive on the nose and palate. The Hennessy XO has been reinvented time and time again; the decanter growing ever the more sexy and artistically daring.
Take for example Hennessy XO Exclusive designed by Marc Newson. This Cognac bottle is best recognized by its ‘corrugated’ effect that gives it a modern twist on a French Cognac classic.
The Hennessy XO has also transported Cognac to the Far East, with a Limited Edition Extra Old made in honor of Chinese New Year, and to mark the 250 year anniversary of the original blend.
Probably the most prolific of Hennessy XO limited editions have been those released by Tom Dixon, which have proved to bring some of the most show-stopping decanters and blends to the table.
Here on Cognac Expert you can also discover the Hennessy XO Experience Cognac Ice Bucket, which is an innovative decanter that transforms into an ice bucket. It is not to be missed.
How to enjoy Hennessy XO Cognac
The Hennessy XO is the perfect Cognac for all Cognac drinkers, and can be enjoyed by newcomers just as much as aficionados. The fruity character and brand-certified quality means that it can certainly suit a palate that is exploring the world of Cognac for the first time. It can be enjoyed on ice, neat or with a fine cigar.
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Compared in blind tasting
I tasted this classic in a blind tasting. The nose: strong, on the palate: stronger but also a bit flat compared to other XOs.. a nice peak during the finish. Of course a great cognac, a great decanter (one of the best) - but, it's really sort of sweet and complex without a huge burn in the end. If you like less mainstream cognacs, don't go for this one.
A good classic
An interesting Cognac. Quite sour on the nose, and then fairly explodes on first taste - mellowing after the first hit. Aftertaste is long, becoming rounder and more mellow as it evolves.
Hennessy XO is a tota classic, but..
Now Hennessy XO is a total classic. It's the first XO ever, they invented the whole category of Extra Old cognac. The nose is quite intense and rich, the mouth I really like.. and it's slightly smoother on the palate than the Remy XO i'd say. If you like very round, rich, complex, sweet Cognacs with a smooth finish - in a beautiful decanter, this is your Cognac!
I tasted this Cognac review in a blind tasting, compared to other XOs.
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.
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