There’s plenty of good reasons why the name Hennessy is synonymous with quality cognac. Their brand is opulent but at the same time seemingly approachable and modern, even though they’ve been crafting their product for more than 250 years. While they’ve explored and executed several successful collaborations and collections worthy of a top spot in anyone’s bar cart, their Richard Hennessy Cognac remains one of their more impressive offerings. The rarest cognac in Hennessy’s collection, it was recently unveiled with a new bottle design. The prodigious legacy of Richard Hennessy, the company’s founder, finds a contemporary incarnation in a striking decanter that is bold yet graceful, inspired by Richard himself and the cognac he originated: visionary, complex, and unapologetically intense. It’s housed in hand-blown Baccarat crystal, designed by Daniel Libeskind, the renowned architect behind Berlin’s Jewish Museum and New York’s Ground Zero.
Libeskind, known for his unconventional and angular works, deigned more than just a functional vessel but rather a true piece of art. “I started with the classic Hennessy bottle shape, but I wanted to push the boundary of the design,” he says in a statement. “We also wanted to create something strong that embodies the legacy of Richard Hennessy. The result was to insert the soft curved shape within the crystalline form that echoes the spirit of Richard Hennessy. The juxtaposition of the organic curves with the bold geometric form of the silhouette gives a new energy and complexity to the liquid inside.”
When designing the Richard Hennessy bottle, Libeskind immersed himself in the rich history of the brand knowing it’s no small feat to create something as exceptional as the man who inspired it. To capture his essence, he started with a “classic cognac bottle shape, imbuing the geometric, crystalline forms of Baccarat crystal with soft, organic curves that bring new energy and complexity to the cognac it contains.”
“Cognac and architecture are not as different as you may think,” he notes. “There is a complexity, process, and structure to cognac just as there is in architecture. My creative process is deeply informed by music, literature, poetry, and philosophy. I relish bringing a myriad of ideas from different backgrounds to the design of kin objects. I believe it elevates and brings new meaning to the design.”
While the bottle grabs you with its beauty, you should know it’s more than just a pretty face. What’s on the inside is worth mentioning too. The unique and remarkable blend of cognac — which has been crafted in an a very limited quantity (12 tierçons) — is made from some of the scarcest eaux-de-vie in Hennessy’s reserves, meticulously chosen, and preserved in The Founder’s Cellar on the family estate.
Aromas of delicate flowery notes, soft spices, nutmeg, and hints of fennel entrance you, notes of leather and preserved fruits appear — presenting a complex yet not too overpowering symphony of flavour. Its glistening amber colour displays a pure and warm intensity that’s both mysterious and inviting.
“The complexity of the Richard Hennessy blend is both nuanced and bold,” says Libeskind. “I can sense the history and rich tradition in the flavours.”
The result of the rich taste, warm colour, and exceptionally striking bottle coming together? Something that is simultaneously spot-on yet inexplicably imaginative — an extraordinary tribute. Whether for its significance, flavour, or the pure craftsmanship of the bottle, there’s no denying that you need to get your hands on some Richard Hennessy Cognac.