The natural balance of strength and smoothness creates a harmonious blend in which the velvety patina of the most-aged eaux-de vie tempers the vigour of the youngest. The powerful structure is softened by the unctuousness of the grapes.
The Style of V.S.O.P
Hennessy V.S.O.P is the world’s first V.S.O.P Cognac that blends over 60 Eaux-de-vie to achieve perfect harmony – a testament to the enduring expertise of the Hennessy Master Blenders. It has a natural balance of strength and smoothness with a long-lasting finish.
Hennessy buys their cognacs from around 5000 small producers and then blend them together. Often, these blends may contain as many as 2000 different cognacs from individual producers. The rules governing cognac are many, but essentially it must be double distilled and the final distillation must be between 67 to 72 degrees (alcohol by volume). It can take several decades for the strength to drop naturally to that which most of us drink cognac, 40 degrees. This natural process is by evaporation, the lost alcohol being known as ‘Part des Anges’, the ‘Angel’s Share’. To avoid waiting and to minimize cost, the producer dilutes the young cognacs, often adding sugar syrup and caramel. These additives give colour and soften the fiery effects. In contrast, cognacs that have aged naturally develop richer qualities and greater individuality of their flavours.
Cognacs must be aged in oak barrels and although distillation is not allowed after 31st March, it is usually finished by around Christmas. Official ageing starts immediately after the last official distillation day, i.e 1st April. V.S.O.P(Very Special Old Pale) cognacs must age in wood for a minimum of 3 years.
V.S.O.P can stand alone neat, on the rocks or with a splash of soda.