"Building The Future With Hennessy VSOP", that's the tagline for the latest new bottle and packaging designed for Hennessy by Chris Bangle, one of the great designers for BMW. I had the opportunity to attend the launch the other day, together with some really good food pairing with cognac tasting after that.
|Hennessy V.S.O.P latest and greatest bottle|
"Legends are shaped over time. The legend of Hennessy VSOP began on 7 October 1817, when the future King George IV of England asked the French cognac House to supply him with a special cognac described in the records with the words "Very Superior Old Pale"
|Beautiful ladies unveiling the latest Hennessy VSOP bottles|
We were given a very detailed explanation by the master designer himself, as Chris Bangle picked up his electronic pencil and showed us why and what was changed in the designs. A couple of changes were made, being inspired by the Hennessy VSOP bottle created in 1954. A few points were explained out especially on the curves and design of this new bottle.
|Chris Bangle himself drawing on the electronic tablet while explaining to us the new design|
Chris Bangle accentuated the curves on the sides of the bottle, reinforcing its silhouette's dynamics, then he lengthened its neck and straightened its shoulders, stretching it vertically. The new bottle had an upward movement with an enriched base resembling a pedestal to distinguish itself uniquely while maintaining its stability.
"Designing for Hennessy gave me the same sensations as working on designs for fast BMWs or a great Rolls Royce. It is the experience of a unique emotion,"
- Quoted from Chris Bangle
|Chris Bangle introducing Hennessy VSOP's latest bottle design|
With a carefully designed optical effect, the front of the bottle is akin to a pyramid, suggesting an upward vanishing point to draw the eye toward the top of the bottle, where Chris Bangle chose to engrave the legendary arm and axe of the Hennessy family into the glass itself. The symbolic Hennessy VSOP opal label is in dark grey ennobled with golden embossing. Personally I felt the box that came with the bottle was an art in itself, with hints of "black tie" and dragon-like symbolism.
|Hennessy ladies showcasing the Hennessy VSOP's new box that came with the bottle|
The box that the bottle comes in has also benefited from this renewal, giving its edges over to a more modern vision. Anti counterfeiting techniques for the Hennessy VSOP bottle were also developed which came in forms of laser stamp for the 35-cl, 70-cl and 3-litre bottles, and a rather complex hologram seal the cap ensuring product integrity.
|Hennessy VSOP tasting session with food pairing|
What came next was rather nice, as we were all ushered to another sophisticated room for the Hennessy VSOP tasting session with food pairing. We were introduced to the food pairing experience by Olivier Paultes, a member of the Hennessy House's Tasting Committee. It was truly an informative session for me as I got to try out the different taste of Hennessy after being paired with 3 very different tasting fine food.
|Food pairing menu|
|The really professional Olivier Paultes from the Hennessy House Tasting Committee|
I really liked the way the dishes were prepared, from the Scallop Trilogy, to the Wagyu Beef and the roasted Poultry with vegetables doused in VSOP cognac. Check out the below on what we had. There were various tastes involved, which was explained in depth by Olivier Paultes.
|Experience #1: Scallop Trinity: Scallop carpaccio, Scallop topped with toasted almonds and rice, Plain pan-seared scallop|
|Experience #2: Wagyu Beef tournedoes with candied ginger and sauteed shiitake mushrooms|
|Experience #3: Poultry, roasted with Casserole vegetables, ivory sauce with VSOP Cognac|
Overall, it was a good launch, with the new bottle being introduced, one which I'm pretty sure will attract a bigger audience among the cognac loving community. Naturally, such an iconic cognac should be presented in a bottle whose curves signify the elegance of its content. After the initial modernization of the bottle in 1989, VSOP is moving resolutely into the 21st century, as can be seen in the work of designer Chris Bangle, a legendary figure in the automobile world.