The Hennessy Privilege VSOP Cognac is a spirit produced by Jas Hennessy & Co., which is the biggest producer of Cognac today. Founded in 1765, they currently bring out more than 45 million bottles each year. Hennessy Cognac has been famous as far back as 1817, when the then Prince of Wales asked Hennessy House to come up with what he called a “very superior old pale cognac”. This set off a category, which would eventually be referred to as “VSOP”.
Hennessy's Privilege VSOP Cognac is made from Ugni Blanc grapes grown in the Cognac region of France, and the wine is double distilled in copper pot stills before being aged no less than 4 years in oak casks.
In the Bottle: 9/10
The bottle better suits a rum or scotch, although it does come in a beautiful box. The labeling could use some more trimming, at least as a way to educate on the brand. It would not have hurt to throw in a mention of the copper pot stills and the oak casks either.
In the Glass: 8.5/10
The liquid is bronze, like a penny, with a tilt causing slight thickening, and then medium-sized droplets trailed by thickened legs. The aroma reminds one of vanilla and oak spice, along with cedar accents. The oak does somewhat obscure the scents of raisin and green grape. A bit of breathing, and the spirit starts giving off impressions of rich tobacco, brown sugar, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, apricot brandy, sticky marmalade, and bits of maple. The nose has a bit too much of oak in it, and yet remains inviting.
In the Mouth: 9/10
You get congruent flavor considering the breeze, with maybe a bit more fruit becoming apparent as the oaks take a bit of a backseat. The two meld well, and you get a spicy component as well. You also get hints of caramel and honey, baking spices, and walnuts and tobacco.
In the Throat: 8/10
The gulp leaves abundant oak spice, with very little burn to detract from this experience. You also notice flavors of raisin, green grape, maple, and tobacco, with the oak serving as a stout background.
The Afterburn: 9/10
This is an excellent cognac, and one of the reasons for that is the way it leaves you feeling after a sip and swallow. With enough time to breathe, it provides a wealth of fruit flavors.