Hennessy V.S. Cognac Review

The Perfect Cognac for Cocktails

Hennessy V.S

Moet Hennessy

Hennessy is one of the big names in Cognac and their V.S (Very Special) bottling is one of the most popular. As the youngest of the portfolio, Hennessy V.S is, of course, the least expensive and price-wise, it remains in line with (if not less than) comparable Cognacs.

Overall, this is a decent Cognac that is worthy of mixing into any brandy cocktail you choose. At around $30 a bottle, this is a reliable Cognac that is always there when you need it. It does not disappoint and is a fantastic base for both new and old drink recipes.

The Review

Hennessy V.S is the modern rendition of the famous Hennessy 3-Star Cognac. It is the flagship of this storied brand and has certainly played a large role in making the Hennessy name as well-known as it is today.

This Cognac is a blend of approximately 40 Cognacs, each of which has been aged up to eight years in Limousin French oak casks. It is bottled at a standard 40 percent ABV (80 proof).

This is certainly not the most refined Cognac you will taste, though it is a fantastic representation of the French brandy and a nice introduction to the style. If you're looking for a Cognac of distinction, Hennessy has you covered. Beyond V.S, they offer some of the best sipping-worthy brandies available and you can spend as much as you like to fill your snifter.

The V.S, on the other hand, is a great everyday Cognac. It is worthy of mixing into almost any brandy cocktail you could think of and is fantastic on its own or over ice. Some people may say it's priced a little too high if you're just going to make drinks. However, when compared to what many spend on top- or mid-shelf vodkas and gins today, this argument is outdated.

Tasting Notes

Hennessy V.S. Cognac is very bold and opens with sweet wood and nutty fragrances to remind you that it is in the room. The palate is warm and filled with grape, citrus, and apple notes, along with a considerable amount of wood, which is not overpowering but eminently pleasing. The medium-length finish is marked with a spice that has a slight heat and leads into a lingering melt of wood and almonds.


The boldness of Hennessy V.S is ideal for mixed drinks. The mixers often tame that aspect and the result is a very enjoyable drink. For just a little more, an upgrade to Hennessy V.SO.P can result in even better tasting cocktails.

Classic Cognac cocktails are good starting points for mixing Hennessy V.S. Specifically -- try it in a brandy sidecar, the Japanese cocktail, or the Champagne bowler. The simplicity of these recipes allow the Cognac's wood to shine and the simple accents of flavor do a fine job of softening some of the harsher aspects of the spirit.

Hennessy V.S is not just for classic recipes. It works equally as well—if not better—in modern cocktails. It is a fantastic companion for unique flavor combinations and is surprisingly versatile for all seasons and occasions.

  • It pairs very well with orange in the jack-o-lantern cocktail. While the garnish makes it an ideal Halloween cocktail, this sparkling brandy and orange juice drink is a delight year-round.
  • On the hot days of summer, try any Hennessy Cognac in this ginger tea. Not your average spiked iced tea, this one adds fresh mint and ginger to the sweetened mix.
  • Winter may be a more natural time to enjoy Hennessy. For that season, enjoy a soothing Hennessy Hot Cocoa. This recipe also plays up the spice via a syrup and vanilla extract. The heavy cream topping and grated nutmeg and chocolate finish it off and create a perfectly indulgent drink.
  • For parties, mix up the apricot sunray. Featuring the delightful flavor of apricots and blood oranges, this sparkling Champagne punch with a Cognac base is sure to be a hit with all your guests!