Hennessy Black Cognac Review and Price

We finally had the opportunity to taste the “Black Henny”. And no, the Cognac itself is not black.

Hennessy Cognac launched a major new product for the first time since 1961 in a big market. And as Hennessy has perfectly understood which relevance the American market has, they called the bottle ‘Black’. In 1961 the Hennessy VS was introduced to the market.

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First of all: Hennessy Black is known to be a mixable cognac. This Cognac is not a brandy you have straight, but good for mixing and cocktails. In a way, Hennessy Black is a premium spirit made for mixing. Find out more about How to drink Cognac.

The Black Cognac has a rather fruity & young character, and comes in a bold, black 750 ml glass bottle.

Hennessy Black

Here are the tasting notes:

The eye: Pale gold
On the nose: Easy and fresh, some orange on the nose
The taste: Some slight sweet honey, grape with a touch of citrus, an idea of jasmine and floral hints
Finish: While the beginning of the palate is relatively smooth for such a young cognac, it gets quite a masculine later on
Blend: Apparently a blend of 45 different eaux-de-vie

Age: We found a quote saying ‘aged in barrels used by Hennessy for at least five years’ which does not mean that the Hennessy Black Cognac is 5 years old, but aged in oak barrels that were used for at least five years.. tricky, hugh?

No, we would assume it’s a VS Cognac: That means it’s round about two and a half years old, matured in oak casks.   That’s not a lot – actually that is the youngest you can get. As it is quite a young cognac, it’s so fruity and rough at the same time.

This does not make it a bad Cognac, it’s probably quite a good Cognac to mix with other ingredients: You would never want to mix a XO or older Cognac with Coca Cola or 7Up because firstly it would be really a shame for the expensive Cognac and secondly you would have less “cognac taste” because older Cognacs are much more smooth and rounder. But in cocktails you want present hints of the basic spirit.

The Price of Hennessy Black Cognac is at around $40

Hennessy Black Cognac

If you are interested in what mixes well with Hennessy Black, see here.

‘Done different’? Yes, the marketing.

Hennessy, the biggest Cognac seller in the world, launched this Cognac in a very special way:

1. It’s supposed to be mixed
2. It’s targeting urban, African American consumers in the USA
3. The product is supposed to be associated with club, nightlife, dance, music.
4. It’s more expensive than other comparable Cognacs

Hennessy has a unique marketing strategy in place: Bringing together music, events and the “cognac-cocktail-trend”. For example, there are several ‘Hennessy Black Launch’ parties; or the DJ Mixmasters and dance parties. Hennessy Black also created a digital nightclub “Hennessy Black Dance Floor” on hennessyblack.com…
It is a virtual dance floor and users can upload their crazy dance moves to the platform, add music and effects, and share it with others.

Mark Cornell explains (CEO Moet Hennessy USA):

“Hennessy Black has been artfully blended to create a spirit that fits into the world of social and high-energy drinking occasions, while still remaining true to the quality and trust of the Hennessy brand heritage. It’s a perfect choice for the young, trendsetting consumer.
It is truly ‘Done Different,’ elevating cognac to a fun yet sophisticated drinking experience.”

Funny. Done different? Well, that certainly does not refer to production – because that’s rather basic and standard. No, it’s more the marketing and positioning of the product.
There are several varieties how you can drink the Black Hen’:

  • HENNESSY BLACK Ice:  lemon juice and simple sugar
  • HENNESSY BLACK Bull: coffee liqueur and Coke
  • HENNESSY BLACK Spice:  ginger,  syrup, lemon juice
  • HENNESSY BLACK Royale: Champagne, lemon juice and syrup

At the beginning (2009) there were about 10 states where the launch was tested, today Hennessy Black is available everywhere in the US.

Receive Hennessy Black availability alert

It’s difficult to find certain cognacs – just subscribe to our bottle alert, and be informed once we’ve spotted a good online shop where you can buy Hennessy Black cognac bottles.

 Sources: Hennessy USA, marketing-professionnel.fr, www.adweek.com

Comments (17)

  1. GrownWoman August 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I enjoy drinking Black with my family. Its perfect for a night out on the town or a card/domino game at home.

  2. freddy franchi August 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Really! What about hennessy white? when it has been launched? Check your data, please.
    The only difference between white and black is the amount of sugar and caramel added! look of the size of the word Cognac compare to “black” and then “hennessy”. Micro producers put forward the word Cognac and in most cases the growth Bon Bois; Fins Bois; Borderies: Petite Champagne; Grande Champagne.
    Don’t be full hearted, it is another crap from hennessy!

  3. Cognac Expert August 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Thanks Freddy
    absolutely true: The Hennessy White was also a new product. we actually meant a major roll-out in the US market. It’s corrected.

  4. Fred September 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm


    Does Hennessy Black is really a good Cognac?
    For french taster, the answer is indubtably no!

    Have you ever taste it? Hennessy black taste as a bad water of live: “trop secondé” in French.

    If you want to buy a Hennesy Black bottle, you will buy only a brand product but not a cognac of quality.
    Do you want a good cognac? So, buy a old single estate but not a product from the huge industry.

    Enjoy Marketing value!


  5. Ole Cigar March 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    “Apparently a blend of 45 different eaux-de-vie”

    What about skipping 44 of the 45 and give us the best eaux-de-vie?
    Alternatively, maybe a mix of 100 industrial eaux-de-vies would be the ultimate marketing THING…

    Cognac must be the only area where it is possible to find excellent products at 1/5 of the price of the Hennesy Timeless, Remy Martin Louis XIII, etc.

  6. RKTHomas March 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, it’s a mixable cognac, but, it is at it’s best when it’s chilled and straight. Much like it’s predecessor.

  7. Ole Cigar March 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    “it is at it’s best when it’s chilled and straight. Much like it’s predecessor.”

    In other words, cooling it down to a level where the real taste doesn’t come forward, the cognac is drinkable…

  8. CognacTruths July 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Isn’t Hennessy Black just a correction of their disastrous strategy around Pure White ???
    In the noughties, Hennessy targeted Black, African-American consumers with a product named Pure White !!
    Anyone could have told them that the Black African-American consumer would be put off by such a name.
    So now they’re back, in the 2010s with a new product with a more pragmatic name for the target Hennessy Black.
    So when will we see Hennessy Gay, Hennessy Asian or Hennessy Hispanic come out … ??
    As if we need Hennessy to tell us who we are !!

  9. freddy August 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Haha you will always find haters! I love Hennessy Black both mixed and straight so does most of my friends I go out with! So fore the haters Keep on drinking what you drinking.this one is for Us, the new generation of cognac consumers;)

  10. Paul September 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    This cognac is pure marketing. A black bottle just looks cool! I tried it, don’t waist your money!

  11. Paul September 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I take back that not buying part. If you collect bottles buy it, an put it on your shelf!

  12. Sim November 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Dear #8 CognacTruths,
    I didn’t think HN White was ever released in the US? I’d double check your data.

  13. MadH8ter January 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    All of you guys on here is a bunch of DRUNKS!! All of ya’ll wouldn’t know quality if it slapped you on the lips and bust in your eye.

  14. Intoxicatedthoughts January 7, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I drink HN because it is the only thing I’ve drank that does not make me sick as hell no matter how much I drink it. I, by far am not a drunk, but i’ve graduated from E&J to Paul Masson, to HN vs to Privledge to XO. And XO is the drink I know better than to mix with anything else. The quality in the XO is very obvious. Now, the HN Black taste very good. And the bottle looks cool. Black is still HN and I will not go drink anything else but HN. Anyone that knows me knows this. I mix mine with white cranberry juice. I call it “racial harmony”. The Black is a good drink. Its not XO, but what is.

  15. John H Hill February 21, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I am new to brandy. I tried Hennessy Black 1765 and Black Watch VSOP, an American brandy. The latter had a better taste and only cost 1/4 as much. Why should I waste money for a brand name?

  16. Ms. Dee April 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    The bottle is a cool look…I’m a HN drinker and just received my HN BLACK today…cant wait to try it…i love brandy but my fav is HN all the way!…

  17. Yuvvii January 15, 2017 at 12:04 am

    I was not a fan of Hennessy until I tried black. Now it’s my absolute number one favorite alcohol out of Grey goose, black label, Chivas, glendfidich, I just love Henny black more than anything. Maybe it’s because of the experiences I have had when drinking Henny black at parties and clubs.

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