Blending, an art handed down through the generations
For over a century, every morning at eleven-thirty, a group of men have met in the same room at Hennessy Maison headquarters in Cognac to taste and smell, discuss and decide. These men are the members of the Hennessy Tasting Committee, dedicated to the different phases of blending that lead to creating Hennessy cognacs. They imagine, create and "feel" the perfect harmony. They choose and then blend eaux-de-vie to give Hennessy cognacs their unique and consistent quality, after an ageing process that sometimes takes decades. Within the Tasting Committee, one man stands out: the Master Blender. He is Hennessy Maison's sensory memory as well as the advocate of a long history. In 1800, the very year Richard Hennessy died, Jean Fillioux joined the company. His ambition: compose the greatest cognacs, one that continues to evolve and adapt to changing tastes. Seven generations later, this passion still runs in the family. Each Master Blender takes the art of blending inherited from his ancestors a little further, in a quest for perfection. Mr. Yann Fillioux, the present heir states "The blend must be perfect." It takes at least ten years in the Hennessy Tasting Committee to develop expertise, really understand cognac and be able to discuss it. Becoming a Master Blender is the demanding work of an entire lifetime.