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|Type||Co-leader of LVMH|
|Headquarters||1, rue de la Richonne
BP 20, 16101 Cognac
|Key people||Bernard Peillon, Chairman & CEO|
|Revenue||€954.2 million (2012)|
Jas Hennessy & Co., or more simply Hennessy, is a cognac house with headquarters in Cognac, France. Today, the company of Jas Hennessy & Co. sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, or more than 40 percent of the world’s Cognac, making it the world's largest Cognac producer.
The Hennessy cognac distillery was founded by Irishman Richard Hennessy in 1765. During the 1970s, Kilian Hennessy, a fifth generation direct descendent of Hennessy, became the CEO of Hennessy. Kilian Hennessy spearheaded the company's 1971 merger with Moët et Chandon, which created Moët Hennessy.
Moët Hennessy became part of Louis Vuitton in 1987, creating one of the world's largest luxury brand conglomerates, Moët-Hennessy • Louis Vuitton or LVMH. Kilian Hennessy remained on the company's advisory board until his death in 2010 at the age of 103.
Recent innovations include trying to broaden the appeal of the drink beyond its traditional base of older drinkers, by introducing new products such as "Pure White," "Hennessy Black" and "Fine de Cognac" and marketing them accordingly.
In 2009, a limited edition bottle of Hennessy VS was released in honor of the inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th president of the United States of America. The bottle featured a black label with gold lettering. Also, the circle seal towards the base of the neck featured a large 44, the phrase "In Honor of the 44th President" and the date of President Obama's inauguration. A percentage of the proceeds made from the sales of the limited edition bottles will go towards the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Hennessy's popularity in the younger generation has increased in recent years, due mainly to it being referenced in numerous rap and hip-hop songs. Mac Dre was the man who put a Hennessy dent in the cultural landscape among hip-hop and was an avid fan of the company and product, being included in many of his songs. Other rappers such as R. Kelly, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Xzibit, Nas, Azealia Banks, Dr. Dre, Krayzie Bone, Snoop Dogg, Onyx, Trey Songz, Wu-Tang Clan, Eazy-E, MC Ren, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, The Weeknd and Tech N9ne, Bohemia (musician) and J.Cole who mentioned it in "Lit Ft. Bas" "Neverland" "Quote Me" and "They Ready" have mentioned the liquor in their songs. A song titled "Hennessy" was written by Tupac discussing the liquor and referring to it as "that dark shit." Nate Dogg mentions Hennessy in Eminem's song "Shake That" - "Let me tell you how I made her leave with me Conversation and Hennessy..."
Hennessy has been cultivating its appeal among urban youth by issuing special edition bottles designed by famous graffiti artists. The 2012 edition features a label and matching Converse sneakers designed by seminal graffiti artist Futura.
Hennessy was also mentioned in the 1993 movie Schindler's List as a highly valued black market item used by Oskar Schindler (portrayed by Liam Neeson) as a way to gain favor with Nazi officials and officers.
Hennessy is also advertised in a lot of Crooks & Castles clothing lines merchandise.
Hennessy has won substantial critical acclaim. According to Proof66.com, an aggregator of critical reviews for cognacs and other liquors, two of the ten best spirits in its brandy/cognac category are Hennessy offerings.
- Hennessy Black
- Hennessy White
- Hennessy V.S
- Privilége V.S.O.P
- Fine de Cognac
- Hennessy X.O
- Deutschland Moet Hennessy
- Pure White
- Private Reserve
- Hennessy Paradis
- Hennessy Diptyque
- Richard Hennessy
- Timeless: (only 2000 bottles produced)
- Ellipse: (only 2000 bottles produced)
- Beauté du Siècle (only 100 bottles produced, comes in chest)
- Hennessy VVVV (1860)
- Hennessy No.1
- Hennessy Silver Jubilee (1977)
- Hennessy First Landing 1868
- Hennessy Prive (bottled for Japan)
- Hennessy Library decanter
|Collector bottle||Year Released|
|Hennessy VS "44"||2009||Honor of 44th president|
|Hennessy VS "NUL"||2010||National Urban League|
|Hennessy VS "BOA"||2010||Blending of Art (5 different bottles with 2 designers per)|
|Hennessy VS "KAWS"||2011||New York graffiti artist KAWS design|
|Hennessy Fine De Cognac and Tea||2011||Tea House Maison de Thé Théodor|
|Hennessy VSOP Helios||2011||Gold Bottle (Named after Greek god of sun)|
|Hennessy VSOP "NyX"||2011||Platinum bottle (label glows under black light)|
|Hennessy VSOP Kyrios||2013||Black bottle (3D label)|
|Hennessy XO Odyssey||2007-2011||Released every year since 07 (2011 bottle sits on rock formation)|
|Hennessy Kenzo||year?||Fashion designer Kenzo (subsidiary of LVMH)|
|Hennessy Red Book||2011||Levandovka filling|
|Hennessy X Futura||2012||New York Graffiti artist Futura|
|Hennessy Luminous||2013||(Brand name on label has luminous glow)|
Hennessy Literary Awards
Hennessy sponsors the New Irish Writing competition in the Irish Independent, and the associated annual Hennessy Literary Award, that has launched some of Ireland’s greatest writers, including the likes of Joseph O'Connor, Dermot Bolger, Patrick McCabe, Colum McCann, Frank McGuinness, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton and Neil Jordan.
- "Cognac magnate Kilian Hennessy dies at 103". Agence France Presse. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Introducing Hennessy Black", Cocktail Enthusiast, June 2, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
- Hein, Kenneth. "Cognac is in the house." Brandweek. September 22, 2003.
- MacLean, Natalie (2004-12-16). "Hurley tying the knot?; R. Kelly's battle with Jay-Z heats up; Gyllenhaal and Dunst caught smooching". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Hennessy Cognac Marketing". Cognac Expert. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Top Rated Best Brandy/Eau de Vie.
- Vanessa O'Loughlin, "New Irish Writing", Writing.ie.
- "Your chance to join the ranks of our best writers", independent.ie, 24 March 2012.
- "New home for New Irish Writing and the Hennessy Award", Writing4all.ie.