Hubert Burda Media

How to Savour the New Hennessy Paradis Impérial

Jean-Michel Cochet shows us how to revel in the creation of 250 years of savoir-faire passed down from seven generations.

The year was 1818 when the Dowager Empress of Russia sent a special request to the Hennessy family to create a unique blend of rare cognac with exceptional finesse as a gift to her son, Tsar Alexander I. Inspired by the imperial creation of his ancestor, Yann Fillioux, who is also Hennessy’s seventh generation Master Blender, sought to re-create the exceptional blend using aged 19th- and 20th-century eaux-de-vie. The imperial blend was first recreated in 2011 and the result was a rare cognac that defied all preconceptions relating to old cognacs especially when it came to the taste and colour.

Jean-Michel Cochet, the Ambassadeur de la Maison from the House of Hennessy said: “On average only 10 out of 10,000 eaux-de-vie of a given vintage are eligible for Hennessy Paradis Impérial. It is a perfect alchemy of numerous eaux-de-vie that have reached their ‘point of elegance’, when their finesse is at the pinnacle and is perfectly balanced with the controlled power they have acquired over time.”

According to Jean-Michel, the best way to savour the exquisite cognac is to sip only a few drops on a wet tongue. Upon physical contact with the liquid, revel in the warm touch that slowly travels down your throat and rises up again. The cognac has a drier almost-linen-like touch as opposed to the silkier touch we’re used to. Your glass of cognac should also be enjoyed neat and served at 18 degrees Celsius so it isn’t too warm.

The golden hue of the cognac is exceptionally lighter compared to other cognacs because the eaux-de-vie are matured in old casks to preserve the subtlety of their nuances. Fit for royalty, the rare cognac is housed in a majestic decanter created by designer Stéphanie Balini, featuring a new faceted shape crowed with a crystal and 18ct gold-plated cabochon.