Hennessy is one of the oldest Cognac producers in South West France, serving the finest Eaux de Vie like Hennessy VSOP. However, the birth of another liquor brand in Chateau de Cognac provides drinkers new options known as D’ussé.
We spent 48 hours researching D’usse vs Hennessy to determine which one deserves to be on top of the list of the best Cognacs!
Hennessy or D’usse: Which Cognac Is Better?
D’usse and Hennessy are both cognacs. Hennessy is produced by the Hennessy brand, which has been in the industry for more than 250 years. On the other hand, D’usse was only launched in 2012 by Château de Cognac.
Aside from this, the difference in their colors and flavors are quite evident too. D’ussé has a tinge of amber, and Hennessy is more on the “copper” side. Hennessy also comes in several varieties, while D’usse only comes in two types- XO and VSOP.
When it comes to pricing, both Hennessy and D’usse belong to the higher price bracket, with just a slight difference.
Let’s Take A Closer Look At Their Differences
History & Origin
Hennessy has been around since 1765. Founded by Richard Hennessy and in partnership with the Fillioux family, they are known as “Master Blenders” of the said liquor. The man behind Hennessy was born in Ireland and relocated to Cognac later on .
On the other hand, the now-famous D’ussé brand was launched in 2012 by the American Rapper Jay-Z, together with Bacardi. Michel Casavecchia, the Cellar Master of Château de Cognac, who was in the business of producing Cognac for over 200 years, was also with them. .
The base ingredients of both spirits use the best Eaux de Vie extracted from Ugni Blanc grapes (or white grapes). However, for a bottle to be called Cognac, distillers should only use grapes grown from Fins Bois, Borderies, Petit Champagne, and Grand Champagne.
Thus, both companies don’t have much difference in base ingredients since the production of this spirit is regulated.
Hennessy double-distilled white wine aged the extracts in French oak barrels for at least two years. The distillation process lasts around 4 to 6 months until the end of March.
Although D’ussé has so much to prove, this spirits bottle carrying the French symbol Cross of Lorraine indicates heritage. Through the Château de Cognac, the brand ensures to go the traditional preparation method.
Depending on the flavor or VSOP variant, Hennessy and D’ussé differ in color. The D’ussé VSOP, aged for four and half years, has a glossy copper, fair amber color, and D’ussé XO has mahogany or dark amber color.
Whereas Hennessy VSOP has a fair to dark copper color, and Hennessy XO has a deeper and darker amber color.
Flavor & Taste
Château de Cognac D’ussé VSOP has a powerful bouquet blend of cinnamon and floral notes and dominant wood notes. It offers a fine flavor of almonds, spice, honey, and dried fruits.
Hennessy Privilege VSOP has a blend of fruit like apricot and apple and notes of spices such as clove and cinnamon. It offers notes of flavor like vanilla, oak, fruit, candied fruit, cinnamon, and clove spices. But, what does Hennessy really taste like?
Alcohol By Volume Level
Hennessy and D’ussé, carrier of the Cross of Lorraine, does not differ in the slightest bit in alcohol by volume. A bottle of Hennessy has a 40% ABV – the same as a Château de Cognac bottle of D’ussé offers.
Thus, with high alcohol content, both products should be consumed in moderation.
Price & Value
Finding the right bottle blend of Eaux de Vie should also be assessed in terms of price. If you’re into value for money, you can always choose between the two spirits depending on your budget, drink preferences, and taste.
For Hennessy, the price ranges from around $19 to $5,499 for the most premium bottle. D’ussé XO and VSOP cost around $16 to $250, and between $25,000 to $70,000 for D’ussé 1969. But, how do you determine fake Hennessy?
Being one of the top producers, Hennessy offers a wide variety of expressions. Apart from Hennessy VSOP, the company has VS, VS Limited Edition, VSOP Privilege, XO, Paradis, Paradis Imperial, Pure White, Black, Master Blender’s Selection No 2, and Richard.
Nonetheless, Château de Cognac only has two variations, including the D’ussé VSOP and XO.
Is D’usse stronger than Hennessy?
D’usse isn’t stronger than Hennessy cognac. Both spirits can be said to have equal strength considering the fact that a bottle of D’ussé has a 40% ABV which is similar to a bottle of Hennessy. However, the combination of rich and varying notes of oak, honey, cinnamon, black pepper, dark chocolate, vanilla, and apricot, may have a different effect on each drinker.
Why is D’usse cheaper than Hennessy?
D’ussé is cheaper than Hennessy because it has fewer expressions to offer and needs more years to cultivate. On the contrary, the Hennessy XO (offering notes of black pepper, oak, cinnamon, orange, and cocoa) costs around $230 per bottle, while D’ussé XO costs around $250.
Overall, there is a significant difference between D’ussé and Hennessy. Although both companies are on par in creating Cognac, it is improper to compare a more than 250-year-old brand to a less than a decade old company.
However, comparing D’ussé with an aged producer of the spirit indicates that the company has so much to offer despite being new. Whether you prefer to drink straight or mix the rich spirit, choosing an alcohol brand will always depend on your taste and budget. Cheers!
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!