Hennessy Master Blend Selection Nº1 Review

Hennessy master blender bottle

Hennessy Master Blend Selection No. 1 – A Single Batch Cognac

Hennessy Master Blend Selection No. 1 is a cognac released by Hennessy crafted to highlight the skill of the master blender. Hennessy’s master blender and cellar master Yann Filloux along with the tasting committee, selected 80 to 100 eaux-de-vie ranging in age from 5 to 15 years to create the Master Blend Selection 1. According to Hennessy, Master’s Blend Selection No. 1 is the first in a series of “rare and limited offerings”. Hennessy Notes that Master’s Blend Selection 1 was released only in the United States and that “when Selection Nº1 is exhausted, it will not be available again.

About Hennessy Master’s Blend Selection No. 1

Alcohol: 43% (86 proof).

Age: 80-100 eaux-de-vie from 5 to fifteen years old.

Oak: Two- to four-year-old Limousin oak.

Master Blend Selection 1 is a single-batch blend of 80 to 100 eaux-de-vie not found in any other Hennessy Cognac. The Master Blend Selection 1 was crafted to show the skill of the master blender in creating fine cognacs.

About Hennessy Privilège V.S.O.P. Cognac:

Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)

Age: 60 individual eaux-de-vie aged at least four years and up to 15 years.

Oak: Limousin oak.

Hennessy describes its Privilège V.S.O.P. Cognac as “the world’s first and finest V.S.O.P. Cognac”

The Taste Test – Hennessy Master Blend Selection 1 vs. Hennessy Privilège V.S.O.P.

I tasted Hennessy’s Master’s Blend Selection 1 and compared it to Hennessy Privilège V.S.O.P. The tasting notes reveal that the two cognacs share only the name Hennessy and the approximate ages of their eaux-de-vie.

These are two completely different cognacs.

Price

Master’s Blend, released in the fall of 2016, is mostly sold out and sells at a price about 30-50% higher than Hennessy Privilège V.S.O.P.

The Bottle/Label

Hennessy Master’s Blend Selection 1

The Master Blend Selection 1 comes in an unique one liter 1930’s retro drug store style bottle and was designed by Australian illustrator CJ Hendry.

The MBS bottle is numbered and signed by the Master Blender, Yann Fillioux. The total case run is 9,300 or 111,609 bottles

My bottle was #42,084.

master blend bottle number

V.S.O.P Privilège

The V.S.O.P Privilège one liter bottle is a classic bell shaped bottle that has been in production since 2012. Hennessy often, however, issues limited edition privilège bottles as part of its collection series.

The Color

Hennessy Master Blend Selection 1

Bright amber with golden highlights.

V.S.O.P Privilège

Medium dark copper.

The Nose (Nez)

Hennessy Master Blend Selection 1

Grilled almonds, orange/mango citrus blend and cherry.

V.S.O.P Privilège

Apricots, apple clove and cinnamon.

Mouth (En Bouche)

Hennessy Master Blend Selection 1

Candied apricots, citrus with no hint of vanilla or cinnamon.

V.S.O.P Privilège

Vanilla, clove, cinnamon, honey and candied fruits.

Overall

Hennessy Master Blend Selection 1

MBS is a citrus accented, higher alcohol cognac. Bloomberg describes it as reminiscent of bourbon. While the higher alcohol content and lack of vanilla/cinnamon tones makes MBS unlike V.S.O.P Privilège, those differences don’t tip the scale towards bourbon. Hennessy has achieved what they set out to do – create an elegant cognac unlike the others in their current product line.

V.S.O.P Privilège

V.S.O.P Privilège is a consistent favorite among cognac drinkers. The honeyed tones, vanilla and spice flavors and rich copper color defines what many often think of when they say “cognac”.

What’s Next?

Hennessy promises a Master Blend Selection 2 but has not given a date for its release. “In years to come, a new blend, the Selection Nº2 will possess its own unique character, born of the same superlative craftsmanship that defines Hennessy.”

%d bloggers like this: