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March 22, 2014

Hennessy - comes from love

Vi Vivo Et Armis - "I live on the sword" it says on the bottle of Hennessy cognac from beneath the famous symbol of a hand holding an ax.

Posted by: Lior Shademati

The history of the Hennessy distillery begins with a young Irishman soldier, and like an average Irishman, wanted to drink some whiskey to quench his thirst, searched the young soldier his drink in France. Whiskey he didn’t find, but he found the cognac and fell in love.

The story begins in 1740 when a young soldier named Richard Hennessy was sent by king mission to Sharnet-River in Cognac region, France, as part of a military mission aimed to protect the French King Louis the 15th. After completing his military service, he received his wages in the form of a plot of land in Cognac.
Following the new love, the young Hennessy decided to leave his homeland and settle down in Cognac, which he received a piece of land there. He changed his name to Richar, a name with French aromas, and established his own cognac distillery in 1765. Hennessy's cognac is considered one of the finest marble, and the fact that he originally Irish helped the brand to be sold overseas - in Ireland and Britain. At 1794 Hennessy cognac was first marketed in the new state, the United States.
In 1800 Hennessy died at age of 76. When Hennessy died His son James (Z'as in French) became the new owner. In a selfish act in 1813 Z'as chanced the Company name: " Z'as Hennessy &Co." and didn’t mention his father Richard on the label. The company’s trademark, a symbol of the beginning of his father as a soldier, Z'as left on the bottle - Illustration of an arm holding an ax and underneath written: Vi Vivo et Armis, meaning "I live by the sword".
In 1817 sent the future king for the United Kingdom, and an alcohol lover, George IV, a letter requesting Hennessy Jr. a bottle of cognac: "Very Special Old Pale" the king requested. Hennessy Jr. who was an intelligent businessman, decided to put the "king stamp” on the cognac bottle that he sent as a marketing act. Since then, combinations of letters represent the age of cognac, according to the minimum duration of prescription the Eaux de vie (Literally "water of life") contained in it. All cognac aged in barrels over four years bears the inscription VSOP based on the same initials, while cognac aged only two and half years carries the caption VS (Very Special).
Inspired by the engravings of stars on the office window, in 1865, conceived the grandson, Morris (Mourice) Hennessy, the cognac age concept classified by stars. This idea had abandoned because the problematic for cognacs aged for long periods. In 1870 Morris launched his own contribution to cognac heritage when he added a new category-XO (eXtra Ordiner) which signifies the degree of aging of 6 years and older.
More than 220 years after Richard Hennessy started to manufacture his cognac product, in 1987, Hennessy stopped being a family company. Hennessy was acquired by Louis Vuitton world corporate and its name changed to LVMH (Louis Vuitton – Moet&Chandon - Hennessy). Today, Hennessy is the best-selling cognac in the world with sales of more than 40 million bottles a year.
Hennessy brands:
VS-contains 40 kinds of Eaux de vie aged from 3 to 8 years.
VSOP-contains about 60 species of Eaux de vie aged from 25 to 40 years.
XO-mixing of more than 100 different types of cognac aged from 10 to 70 years. In addition, Hennessy XO has 3 “special editions” with high levels of aging, other powerful flavors and with a different design:
 XO Odyssey, XO Opus140, XO Iridescence
PARADIS-mixtures only 5 different blends, aged between 40 and 150 years.
RICHARD-Hennessy's flagship brand, recognition to the company's founder Richard Hennessy. It contains a mixture of more than 100 different Eaux de vie aged up to 200 years. In addition, the final marriage took three years before bottling.

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