Ep. 100 - Eighth-Generation Hennessy’s Last Time In The US | Exclusive Interview With Maurice HennessyOct 11, 2023
Eighth-Generation Hennessy’s Last Time In The US | Exclusive Interview with Maurice Hennessy
On this special 100th episode of “What's Your One More?”, Quinton sat down with cognac legend Maurice Hennessy for an exclusive tasting of Paradis Impérial, the crown jewel of the Hennessy private collection. Alongside the SVP of LVMH USA, Marc Nicolosi, and Private Client Director of LVMH USA, Rhonda McDonald, Maurice took listeners on an intimate journey through the brand's rich history and the art of cognac blending.
The Evolution of a Luxury Brand
Maurice traced the origins of Hennessy back ,and laid the groundwork for the company we know today. Over eight generations, the family transitioned their small cognac outfit into a global luxury goods powerhouse, merging with brands like Moët & Chandon before being acquired by LVMH in the 1980s.
According to Maurice, while LVMH brought a more business-minded approach, Hennessy itself remained largely family-run. Cognac sales steadily grew over the decades, aided recently by global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its growth into an international icon, Maurice emphasized that Hennessy still relies on a vast network of local winegrowers, with the cognac blending process staying true to tradition.
The Making of an Heirloom Cognac
The key to Paradis Impérial's depth and complexity lies in Hennessy's expert blending process. Each bottle comprises a symphony of dozens if not hundreds of different cognacs, sourced from countless vineyards across the Cognac region and spanning various vintages.
5th and 6th generation Hennessy Master Blenders carry on the tradition pioneered by their ancestors, using their honed palates to hand-select and meticulously marry these liquid ingredients. It is a nonstop quest to achieve a consistent signature profile release after release, blending just the right harmony of aromas, flavors, and textures.
Each component cognac lends its own grace note, but unified together, they create something greater - a cognac that is at once complex yet approachable. This “symphony in a bottle” reveals why Paradis Impérial stands out.
As Maurice Hennessy prepares to conclude his family’s long legacy guiding the House of Hennessy, this rare tasting provided a poignant look both backward and forward. By blending heritage with innovation, the Hennessy name promises to keep evolving and inspiring new generations.Yet some traditions remain untouched by the passage of time. The commitment to quality materials and expert craftsmanship stays constant.
Most of all, the joy of savoring an exceptional drink endures. For it is moments like these, sharing Paradis Impérial with dear friends, that cognac was made for. We are reminded just how precious these moments are. The subtle aromas that transport you through time, the elegant flavor profiles, the enriching conversations—some things cannot be bottled, only treasured.