Jas Hennessy & Co., or more simply Hennessy, is a cognac house with headquarters in Cognac, France. Jas Hennessy & Co. sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, or more than 40 percent of the world’s cognac, making it the world's largest cognac producer. It is owned by Moët Hennessy, which is in turn owned by LVMH (66%) and Diageo (34%).
The Hennessy cognac distillery was founded by Irishman Richard Hennessy in 1765. During the 1970s, Kilian Hennessy, a fifth generation direct descendent of Hennessy, became the CEO of Hennessy, succeeding his first cousin Maurice-Richard. Kilian Hennessy spearheaded the company's 1971 merger with Moët et Chandon, which created Moët Hennessy.
Moët Hennessy merged with Louis Vuitton in 1987, creating one of the world's largest luxury brand conglomerates, Louis Vuitton • Moët-Hennessy or LVMH. In 1988, a management crisis led to the group's takeover by Bernard Arnault, owner of the haute couture house Christian Dior, with the support of Guinness. Kilian Hennessy remained on the company's advisory board until his death in 2010 at the age of 103.
Recent innovations include trying to broaden the appeal of the drink beyond its traditional base of older drinkers, by introducing new products such as "Pure White", "Hennessy Black" and "Fine de Cognac" and marketing them accordingly.
- Hennessy Black
- Hennessy White
- Hennessy V.S
- Privilége V.S.O.P
- Fine de Cognac
- Hennessy X.O
- Deutschland Moet Hennessy
- Pure White
- Private Reserve
- Hennessy Paradis
- Hennessy Diptyque
- Richard Hennessy
- Timeless (2000 units produced)
- Ellipse (2000 units produced)
- Beauté du Siècle (100 units produced, in chest)
- Hennessy VVVV (1860)
- Hennessy No.1
- Hennessy Silver Jubilee (1977)
- Hennessy First Landing 1868
- Hennessy Prive (Travel Retail Exclusive)
- Hennessy Library
|Collector bottle||Year released||Description||Notes|
|Hennessy VS "44"||2009||Honor of 44th president Barack Obama|
|Hennessy VS "NUL"||2010||National Urban League|
|Hennessy VS "BOA"||2010||Blending of Art (five different bottles with two designers per)|
|Hennessy VS "KAWS"||2011||New York graffiti artist KAWS design|
|Hennessy Fine De Cognac and Tea||2011||Tea House Maison de Thé Théodor|
|Hennessy VSOP Helios||2011||Gold Bottle (named after Greek god of sun)|
|Hennessy VSOP "NyX"||2011||Platinum bottle (label glows under black light)|
|Hennessy VSOP Kyrios||2012||Black bottle (3D label)|
|Hennessy VSOP Depuis||2013||Red bottle|
|Hennessy XO Odyssey||2007–11||Released every year since 2007 (2011 bottle sits on rock formation)|
|Hennessy Kenzo||1997–99||Fashion designer Kenzo (subsidiary of LVMH)|
|Hennessy Red Book||2011||Levandovka filling|
|Hennessy X Futura||2012||New York graffiti artist Futura|
|Hennessy Luminous||2013||Brand name on label has luminous glow|
Hennessy Literary Awards
Hennessy sponsors the New Irish Writing competition in the Irish Independent, and the associated annual Hennessy Literary Award, that has launched such Irish writers as Joseph O'Connor, Dermot Bolger, Patrick McCabe, Colum McCann, Frank McGuinness, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton, Dermot Healy and Neil Jordan.
In the United States, African American customers make up over half of Hennessy's sales.
American rappers, such as Harvey J (Chef Henny), Mac Dre, Digital Underground, 2Pac, DJ Quik, Biggie Smalls, Kanye, Drake (rapper), Run The Jewels, Nas, 50 Cent, Logic, Mobb Deep, Future (rapper) and The Weeknd have made references to the consumption of Hennessy in their songs. In 2014, Hennessy VS sponsored The Rap Monument produced primarily by Hudson Mohawke, which includes several references to the consumption of Cognac.