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Artist Refik Anadol turns Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège cognac decanter into art

Through technology, media artist Refik Anadol reveals the inner emotion behind the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège cognac. This ground-breaking encounter of two masteries for a Limited Edition is a celebration of human sensorial experience in the age of AI.

Artist Refik Anadol uses AI to turn Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège decanter into art

Combining tradition and technology, the creation of the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège cognac decanter encouraged the encounter between the Hennessy Tasting Committee and the artist Refik Anadol, so as to shed light on the Maison’s essence, true beauty and savoir-faire.
“This Limited Edition of Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège uses actual, true data from the Tasting Committee, collected in a setting where we could see what they were doing. AI brings out each member’s inner voice, the one that defines taste and yields rich data, and then makes the emotions of the process visible.”

A sensorial experience in the age of AI

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High-tech casque measuring emotions during tasting
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High-tech casque measuring emotions during tasting

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Using technology to reveal the emotions behind the blend
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Using technology to reveal the emotions behind the blend

Enduring mastery and new modes of expression came together in an extraordinary convergence. The Hennessy Tasting Committee consented to “open up their minds” to a completely unconventional experiment borrowed from another realm. Outfitted in high-tech equipment, Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and his colleagues allowed Mr. Anadol to track their emotions in real-time, capturing their experience, sensations, and appreciations of eaux-de-vie, while acquiring 250 years of savoir-faire.

“In our craft, we are constantly classifying, describing, and trying to find exactly the right words to convey our impressions and experiences,” said Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, Hennessy’s 8th-generation Master Blender. “We were all very intrigued to see what elements technology might bring to light.”
During the traditional 11 a.m. meeting, a rare and specialized electroencephalogram (EEG) typically reserved for laboratory research was used to capture sensorial data as each participating Tasting Committee member evaluated a selection of eaux-de-vie destined for the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège cognac. Freshly equipped with sensors, the committee followed a ritual that has remained unchanged for generations. Past and present merged in what Mr. Anadol describes as “a near-future experience, in real-time.”

When tradition meets technology

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The captured sensorial data
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The captured sensorial data

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“A near-future experience, in real time”
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“A near-future experience, in real time”

"Emotion lives in the senses, on the skin, in the heart, and in the mind — and with this hyper- sensitive equipment, we are able to trace everything, down to the movement of the glass,” Mr. Anadol explains. “You can see heritage and savoir-faire become visible and observe how the material actually becomes the wisdom.”
The limited edition unveils the sensorial nature of an iconic blend, lifting the curtain just a little on the immaterial savoir-faire behind the mastery. Blending past, present and future in an extraordinary piece of art, this cognac decanter lets the viewer experience the balance, harmony and emotion behind Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège.

HENNESSY X REFIK ANADOL

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège is a balanced cognac, expressing 200 years of Hennessy's know-how. The fruit of nature’s uncertainties, this unique blend has tamed the elements to craft and embody the original concept of cognac. The emotion awakened by the pleasure of tasting it continually reveals new facets of its personality. 

The savoir-faire of the Maison Hennessy is fully expressed in this balanced cognac: the selection of eaux-de-vie, aging and assemblage. A cognac of remarkable consistency and vitality, Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège conveys all of the savoir-faire of the Hennessy master blenders who have ensured the continued success of this harmonious assemblage for 200 years.