Hennessy Global Brand Ambassador, Cyrille Gautier Auriol was recently at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel to talk about all things Hennessy cognacs. Consequently, he took us through a tasting of the Hennessy VS, VSOP and even the XO.
For all cognac enthusiasts or anyone looking to learn more about this drink, here are the three grades you need to understand:
- VS (Very Special)
This “Very Special” cognac is mainly used as a cocktail base with sprite or ginger ale, and it pairs perfectly with creme brulee. It is quite vigorous and full bodied on the palate with fruity notes of tangy freshness and vanilla nuances contributed by new wood. It is a blend of 40 eaux-de-vie aged 3-8 years.
2) VSOP (Very Special Old Pale)
This is a blend of 60 eaux-de-vie aged up to 15 years, and can be enjoyed on the rocks, in cocktails like The Alexander, or Mr. Auriol’s personal favourite; the Hennito. It pairs perfectly with fish, seafood and quail.
3) XO (Extra Old)
Aged for 10-30 years, this is a blend of 100 eaux-de-vie. The more a cognac is aged the more complex it becomes, and the XO certainly hits the mark. It is quite elegant and robust with bouquets of dried fruit, chocolate and spices, and a lingering aftertaste with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. It can be enjoyed on the rocks or as Mr. Auriol likes it, with cigars (because they leave the tongue quite dry) while catching up with your mates.