For other uses, see Hennessy (disambiguation).
Jas Hennessy & Co.
Co-leader of LVMH
Founded 1765 (1765)
Founder Richard Hennessy
Headquarters 1, rue de la Richonne
BP 20, 16101 Cognac
Area served
Key people
Kibagendi Ndemo, Chairman & CEO; Boris de Vroomen, International Director
Products Cognac
Revenue Increase €954.2 million (2012)
Parent LVMH (66%)
Diageo (34%)
Website Hennessy.com

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%).


Maurice Hennessy at a presentation of new cognac.

The Hennessy cognac distillery was founded by Irishman Richard Hennessy in 1765.[1] 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.[2]

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.[2] Kilian Hennessy remained on the company's advisory board until his death in 2010 at the age of 103.[2]


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"[3] and "Fine de Cognac" and marketing them accordingly.[4]


Collectors bottles

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) [n 1]
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.[5][6][7]

In culture

In the United States, African American customers make up over half of Hennessy's sales.[8]

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), Young M.A., Mayer Hawthorne 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.

Hennessy was the favorite drink of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Hennessy once reported that Kim spent over $700,000 a year on Paradis cognac.[9]


  1. Produced for the Australian, Hong Kong, Indonesian, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and United States market. Around 18000 bottles were then produced, with the blue version launched in 1997 and the yellow one in 1999.


  1. Time Inc (24 May 1937). LIFE. Time Inc. p. 64. ISSN 0024-3019.
  2. 1 2 3 "Cognac magnate Kilian Hennessy dies at 103". Agence France Presse. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  3. "Introducing Hennessy Black", cocktailenthusiast.com, 2 June 2010; retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. Hein, Kenneth. "Cognac is in the house", allbusiness.com, 22 September 2003; accessed 8 November 2014.
  5. Vanessa O'Loughlin, "New Irish Writing", Writing.ie; accessed 8 November 2014.
  6. "Your chance to join the ranks of our best writers", independent.ie, 24 March 2012.
  7. "New home for New Irish Writing and the Hennessy Award", Writing4all.ie; accessed 8 November 2014.
  8. "Pass the Courvoisier". Slate. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  9. Paul Fischer (2015). A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power. Flatiron Books. p. 169.
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