The term luxury applies to many different facets when it comes to a product identification and such is a feat that Hennessy cognac excels in.
On Tuesday evening, Hip-Hop Wired had the prestigious honor of being invited to an extremely private tasting and dinner in Los Angeles’ exclusive neighborhood of Mt. Olympus. Hennessy Global Ambassador Maurice Hennessy eagerly gave guests that included YG, Lance Gross, Terrence J, among others, an in-depth look into how his family’s legacy has been the top choice for refined–and responsible enjoyment of the world’s most trusted cognac.
As the hors d’oeuvres were being served, we sat down with Mr. Hennessy for several minutes to get an overview of how his role as Brand Ambassador helps uphold everything his family has worked for the last 250 years.
“The American public and people surrounded the brand are excited seems excited with Hennessy because it’s a living brand and it’s adapting with the times, and we promote the artists of the time” he explains when asked to put into words how his company is able to continue on with its éclat in an overcrowded market. “For example, we were [promoting with] Josephine Baker in the 1950s.” And today, they have Nas.
Hailing from Cognac, France, Mr. Hennessy admits that he strayed from his initial upbringing as heir to his family’s empire. He simply wanted to be a cattle farmer. (“I was more interested in cows than the vineyards I was surrounded by,” he laughed.) It was only after an internship with the distribution department in Paris did he realize the meticulous process it took to make the beverage and he knew he could make a difference.
“I like this job and it’s mostly because of the people you meet. People who drink cognac or champagne, I’ve realized that they are cut from a certain culture. They don’t drink to get drunk; they drink because they want a good drink,” he replied. It’s all but customary for companies to champion their brand as a rich tradition, but Mr. Hennessy accounts for the fact that his great-great-great grandfather, Maurice Hennessy III created the Hennessy X.O in 1870 for his own personal use and his friends talked about it so much, it would have been a crime in itself for it not to be sold on the market.
Mr. Hennessy isn’t just a family heir who puts on a wide smile for public appearances. His rich knowledge of the various marques was transcended during the tasting and our interview when he was asked to distinguish between the different marques for people looking to indulge in all the brand had to offer.
“Hennessy V.S is the most sold cognac in the world,” he confidently stated. “And then we have the Hennessy Black is aimed for American night life; the Hennessy Privilège is a V.S.O.P. and makes for a great cocktail and the Hennessy X.O is the first X.O on the market; then when have Hennessy Impérial and Hennessy Paradis Impérial, which are made of older cognac and aged in old barrels and are very light, very delicate and very subtle cognacs.”
And then there’s Richard Hennessy which speaks for itself.
Renowned celebrity chef Gary Arabia wowed the guests with a three-course meal that were delicately prepared to compliment the X.O., Paradis Imperial and Richard Hennessy tasting portion of the dinner.
Flip through the gallery below to see the images from the evening.