On a crisp, mild Spring evening in Johannesburg, an exclusive group of luminaries from all over the African continent, including Dr. Chris Kirubi, celebrated a momentous 250th anniversary with one of the most iconic Cognac houses – Hennessy.
Dubbed the Hennessy 250 Tour, Johannesburg was selected as one of the four cities in the world to host the specially curated art exhibition celebrating the storied Cognac brand’s heritage and its future through treasures from their 5 kilometre-long archives and the installations from internationally renowned artists including the work of South African artist Dineo Bopape.
Aside from being able to leave a message to future generations at the Hennessy Time Barrel that will be stored and then unsealed for the 300th anniversary celebrations in 2065, which has also toured Paris, Gangzhou, New York and Moscow; the crowning jewel of the celebrations was the Hennessy 250 Tour Gala Dinner at the Inanda Club where the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend was revealed in a delectable pairing menu presented by the Hennessy Tasting Committee.
Master Blender Yann Fillioux, 7th generation of his family to be with the Cognac house, and members of his Comité de Dégustation, guided us through an elegant affair. First, there was the box of Saffron Potato Crisp, Scallop and Saffron Cream, Crab and Saffron Maki and Saffron Poultry – which through texture and refreshing notes complemented the aromatic saffron tones of the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend.
The Cacao Salmon, Crab Souffle, Foie Gras, and Chocolate and Mango Pie followed – all accentuating the herbal, bitter orange, nutmeg and caramel notes of the anniversary Blend, which has been aging in 250 handmade and specially commissioned Limousin oak barrels. And to add to the Cognac’s exclusivity and flavour, an undisclosed amount of 200-year-old eaux-de-vie has also been added to the blend.
Also present during the exceptional evening was Maurice Hennessy, eighth generation of the Hennessy family, Bernard Peillon, CEO and Chairman of the house of Hennessy, and Hennessy 250 Tour co-curator and Hennessy heritage expert Raphael Gérard.
With only eight bottles of the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend available in Kenya, if you’re a lover of Cognac, don’t wait too long before you purchase your own to enjoy!