Hennessy has introduced the latest edition to its Master Blender’s collection, Selection No 4. The new offering is the second in the series from Master Blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and finds him exploring new flavor profiles. In short, it’s an inspired effort that pushes the way we think about Cognac.
Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No 4 grew from a moment of inspiration found after a brisk walk in the Cantal mountains. Like all moments of inspiration, however, the seed was planted years before, this time by a single eau-de-vie Gironde had tried during a daily tasting. Its flavor profile stayed with him and has now finally blossomed into the new Cognac.
“When creating this blend, I was inspired by the contrast of a ‘thermal shock,’” explains Gironde. “Going from feeling one’s smallness in such a wide open space to being inside, passing from daylight to the darkness of night, from solitude of the forest, being completely exposed to the elements in nature, to an environment of complete comfort and cozy abandon surrounded by friends.”
Crafted with eaux-de-vie at least five years old and taken in almost equal parts from Cognac’s four original regions (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois), Master Blender’s Selection No 4 possesses a crisp, fresh flavor not often seen in Hennessy’s offerings–or in Cognac expressions in general. Perhaps that’s due to its aging in young French red oak barrels or because it uses grapes from Borderies (a region that doesn’t often make its way into the iconic house’s blends).
Whatever it is, the Cognac manages to offer something truly inspirational that is only heightened by the world’s current state–one filled with limited human interactions. It speaks in terms of energy, and, more specifically, in potential. There is an electricity in its aromas, and flavors of fresh apricots, candied orange peel, and spice are delivered to the palate.
The new Cognac is a true single batch offering: blended only once, never to be replicated again. It is bottled at 43% ABV and should be enjoyed neat or over large rocks.
Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No 4 arrives March 2021 for the price of $89.99 and can be found at fine retailers nationwide.