Hennessy 8: 250 Years, 8 Generations and $40,000

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Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

Once in a while the spirits world produces something so extraordinary it’s almost shocking.

In terms of cognac the Louis XIII Black Pearl from Rémy Martin last made the world sit up and take notice by packaging an exquisite brandy in an insanely gorgeous bottle, and charging several times the going rate for it. The lesson was not lost on Rémy’s peers, who promptly began bringing out limited edition, expensive bottlings that went beyond mere XO status. But none has yet dared to do what the famed house of Hennessy has just pulled off – produce a spirit so rare in a package so beautiful it’s literally the world’s most expensive and exclusive cognac before a drop has even been poured.

Behold Hennessy 8, which will – well retail isn’t the word, since it won’t be sold in any stores, no matter how posh – sell for $40,000, though we reckon getting your hands on a bottle will be a pretty tricky business, since only 250 will be made available worldwide. It’s the swan song from Hennessy’s soon to be retired master blender, Yann Fillioux, who will pass the baton to his nephew Renaud Fillioux de Gironde later this year. They are, respectively, the 7th and 8th generations of the Fillioux family to hold the coveted post, and Hennessy 8 is a blend of the most precious eaux-de-vie from the family’s 200 year association with the brand.

Artist Arik Lévy created the incredible decanter and box for the elixir, the former designed with the legendary crystal maker Baccarat and consisting of eight glass rings, which sits nestled in an elaborate copper-inlaid chest constructed with 25 layers of the same French oak used to age the cognac – one for each decade of Hennessy’s 250 year history. It took Fillioux and de Gironde, a member of Hennessy’s elite tasting committee, five years to perfect the blend for Hennessy 8. Beginning in May you can try your luck with 40 grand and a very carefully worded mail to hennessy8@moethennessy.com. Better include a note from your banker….

Words by JPS for duncan quinn