From the humble beginnings way back in 1765 to the gargantuan operation that’s boasted today, the Hennessy Cognac story has been analyzed and obsessed over from many different angles. And one of the most fascinating is the visual display of the evolving Hennessy labels over the years.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

From iconic bottle labels to ancient lithograph postcards, posters to showcards, drink mats to images on ashtrays (yes, really—hard as it might seem to imagine today) join us on a pictorial journey of Hennessy advertising through the ages. A feast for the eyes, and one to put you in the mood for which bottle of Hennessy Cognac you might next like to sample…

Hennessy’s much loved VS—then and now

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Henness VS, or 3 Star, Cognac label of old

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
We love the “peel off” instrctions
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

Interestingly, Hennessy haven’t changed the look of their VS label very much over the years, it’s just morphed into the label we know and love today.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
The Hennessy VS label as it is today

Just “Hennessy” alone on the bottle label

Of course, at the very beginning, Hennessy didn’t even state the quality of the Cognac on the label. It was enough just to promote the name.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Destroy the label? Shock horror!
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

The globally adored VSOP Hennessy label

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
The version sold in duty free at Bangkok Airport

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Old Hennessy VSOP Chinese label

Once again, the Hennessy VSOP is not so different from the one we’re more familiar with today. It’s simply had a 21st-century upgrade.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy VSOP in 2019

Another name that Hennessy’s VSOP goes by is Hennessy Privilege. And there’s some great old labels to be seen here.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

Hennessy Napoléon label

Interestingly Hennessy no longer market a pure “Napoleon” quality Cognac that they label in such a manner. But in the past they certainly did.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

Hennessy Bras d’Or decanter label

The interestingly named, Hennessy Bras d’Or was a special cuvee released and sold from 1955 to the late 1960s. The quality was between a VSOP and an XO.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

Hennessy’s world famous XO label

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Advertising from Singapore Aiport duty free shop for Hennessy XO

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
And the bottle label we’re all familiar with now

Hennessy Paradis Cognac label

The luxury that is the Hennessy Paradis Cognac has always been marketed with the simplest of visual displays.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Paradis then….
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
And Hennessy Paradis now…

And last but not least, check out these amazing postcard images

Many of the images shown here are from the man who’s been credited with single-handedly saving the whole cultural heritage of Cognac—Paule Ronne. Over his lifetime he put together a collection of over 24,000 Cognac labels and collector’s items encompassing pretty much every Cognac house that’s ever existed.. Most of what he collated over the years has been gifted to the Musee des Art du Cognac—a must visit if you’re ever lucky enough to visit the town of Cognac in southwest France.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
“Marking the crates before they’re sent off”
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
“Loading barges in front of the main building.”
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
“Controlling the transparency of the Cognac before attaching the label to the bottle.”
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
“A view of the casks feeding the bottling workshop.”
Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages
“A landowner brings the result of the harvest to the main building.”

And if we mention Paul, then we surely have to talk about Simon Goode, a modern day collector who’s the owner of one of the largest collections of Cognac memorabilia and vintage posters. Check out our previous article featuring just some of his amazing objets d’art that include the wonderful Hennessy showcard we show here.

Hennessy Labels: A Journey Through the Ages

Many of the images shown here are from the man who’s been credited with single-handedly saving the whole cultural heritage of Cognac, with a collection of over 24,000 Hennessy Cognac labels and collector’s items—Paul Ronne. Most of what he collated over the years has been gifted to the Musee des Art du Cognac—a must visit if you’re ever lucky enough to visit the town of Cognac in southwest France.

Discover more about the wonders of Hennessy and their wide range of Cognacs on our dedicated brand page for Hennessy Cognac.

Sources: cognac-paul.com

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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