Is Hennessy Brandy? Don’t Miss Out (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Most people mistake Hennessy as whiskey because of Hennessy’s Irish-sounding name and light hue. However, many drinkers claim Hennessy as brandy because of its alcohol strength. Well, to set the record straight, is Hennessy brandy?

Our team did a thorough run-through of everything about Hennessy to provide you with a solid answer. 

Hennessy: Is it Brandy? 

Hennessy XO

Hennessy is a very special type of brandy called cognac. The rules attached with the creation of cognac make it not just an ordinary brandy. The first rule is to ensure the product is manufactured in the regions of Cognac, France.

Second, specified breeds of grapes are the only ones allowed for use. These are Folle Blanche, Sémillon, Colombard, Monfils, Folignan, and Ugni Blanc [1]. In addition to these requirements, they must ensure that the fermented fruit is double-distilled in copper stills. And lastly, the aging process should last at least two years. 

Who Makes Hennesy?

Richard Hennessy, an Irish aristocrat, in 1765 made the first Hennessy. Since then, he was already serving the rich and classy individuals with this specially concocted spirit. However, in 1987, a merger was formed between Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, thus creating the French luxury conglomerate LVMH. 

Up to these days, they continue to own and manufacture bottles of Hennessy cognacs along with their partner Diageo. They manufacture these bottles in their headquarters in Cognac, France. 

Also Read: Is Hennessy Whiskey?

What Makes Hennessy Brandy (Or Not) 

Hennessy Bottles

The method of creating Hennessy is the same method used in making brandy. The only difference is that there is a specific process and requirements in making Hennessy. 

It belongs to the Cognac region brandy style since this spirit is categorized as a cognac. Other regional brandy styles are Armagnac, pisco, and grappa which are also very flavorful. 

On the other hand, brandy is a distilled spirit from fermented fruit. Manufacturers commonly use grapes, especially if these are easily available in the area of their distillery. These fruits are fermented, distilled, and then aged. 

Is it Cognac or Brandy? 

Hennessy is a cognac brandy. It has created a special type of brandy that its creator intends to serve the king. The complex method of manufacturing this wine takes more than a regular brandy, making it more expensive. More on Cognac and brandy here

Hennessy uses the highest quality Ugni Blanc grapes and is double-distilled to ensure a smooth texture. They age it for a minimum of two years, but most of its varieties are aged longer. Cognacs are better when stored in barrels because the bittersweet savor intensifies as it contacts the wooden casks. 



Does Hennessy taste like brandy?

Yes, Hennessy somehow tastes like brandy. You will find the typical sweet taste of grapes. Only it is enhanced with notes of spice and oak but very balanced. The longer it is aged, the smoother and softer in texture. 

Can Hennessy be substituted for brandy?

Yes, Hennessy can be substituted for brandy because the main components found in Hennessy are, in a way, the same ingredients you will find in a brandy. However, the flavors are more intense and complex because of the quality ingredients used and the special process utilized in its making. 

Final Thoughts 

Hennessy is a cognac, a special breed of brandy, starting from its classic look down to its complex yet flavorful taste. It has proven numerous times how superior it is among many brandy names. Compared to regular brandy, Hennessy offers more. 

Hennessy has a different bittersweet, spicy, and oaky kind of savory. The intent of Richard Hennessy to create a drink for the rich and famous continues up to this day. It surpassed his dreams because he could make the champagne of brandy. 



Lydia Martin

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! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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