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Fine de Cognac and tea

Fine de Cognac and tea

Yann Fillioux, master blender for Maison Hennessy, tells us about the innovative alliance of Fine de Cognac with the world of tea.

"The passion that comes with being Hennessy's master blender is one you are never without. It is a passion for the land, for nature, for the pioneering craftsmanship. You have to walk through the vineyards at daybreak to understand it. The pleasure from the gentle early morning sunshine, the concern caused by a heavily overcast sky, the pungent fragrance of the grape-harvest. And there is the respect - the enormous respect when you’re faced with selecting an eau-de-vie, to create a cognac. The respect you feel at those moments when time stands still and you marvel at the long path that has brought the eaux-de-vie to you… This emphasis on the land, which is an intrinsic part of the world of cognac, is echoed by other professions that are rooted in the countryside. I have always felt drawn to the world of tea. It is a mysterious coded world, which expresses itself in ways that I feel are both easy to understand and completely unfathomable. Of all the cognacs in Hennessy's “collection”, I felt that Fine de Cognac shared the greatest affinity with this enigmatic sensory world and was best suited to complement it. Fine de Cognac could bring out unexpected notes in the tea without undermining its distinctive identity. The cognac's plant notes would match the tea's plant notes, while the spicy, full-flavoured notes of the tea would heighten the floral notes of the eaux-de-vie. With this in mind, I invited tea experts to collaborate with me on this alliance, creating cocktails to showcase the beauty of Fine de Cognac while at the same time allowing the flavour of the tea to develop in the mouth. This experiment brings out the delicate character of Fine de Cognac, redolent with fruit and citrus notes, whilst the tea’s woody aromas and hint of spice enhance its mellowness. The key to this association of flavours is subtlety." Yann Fillioux, master blender for Maison Hennessy