What Does Hennessy Taste Like?

Hennessy, a type of cognac, which is a type of brandy, has had its share of pop culture fame. It’s gotten shout-outs in music from everyone from Beyonce to Snoop Dogg to Blackpink. So what does this famous drink taste like?

Hennessy carries several different variants of Hennessy and each tastes somewhat different. However, Hennessy, overall, has a sweet fruitiness, along with a flavor that tastes somewhat like burnt wine. In addition, there are hints of oakiness from the barrels, spices, and notes of vanilla and chocolate.

Essentially, cognac is sort of like wine that has been aged in bourbon barrels.

With many variants of Hennessy, it’s hard to know which one to reach for when you’re in the store. Let’s go through some of the most popular types and see how they differ in flavor and, perhaps, texture.

Types of Hennessy

While Hennessy can, and is, made into cocktails, most Hennessy is also able to be drunk neat or on ice. However, it is fairly strong and should be slipped. This is not a drink for shots.

Hennessy VS

Hennessy VS is smooth and fairly heavy on the spiciness, like good rye vodka. That said, it has a rich, creamy vanilla taste with notes of fruit in the aftertaste. The more noticeable ones are grapes and a variety of citrus flavors.

In addition, it carries hints of brown sugar, roasted almonds, and spices.

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Hennessy X.O

Here, the Hennessy tastes more like candied fruit along with a peppery spiciness. It also has notes of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and wood.

This is less creamy and has a lighter taste in the mouth.

Hennessy Black

Hennessy Black tastes mostly like white wine. It is vaguely grapey and light in the mouth with no hints of spice.

It’s fairly light and refreshing.

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege

This is smooth, strong, and spicy. Most of the flavor comes from fruits, honey, and oak.

It feels somewhat velvety in the mouth.

Hennessy Paradis Extra

This is a Hennessy most of us will probably not get to taste.

 At $500 a bottle, you get a cognac that tastes bright and fresh. It’s heavy on grapes and apricots that are followed up with vanilla and oak.

Richard Hennessy

If you thought $500 a bottle was expensive, Richard Hennessy will set you back $3000.

The Hennessy is more savory than fruity with hints of florals and mushrooms. It’s also fairly spicy and carries some heat. Although it also carries notes of vanilla and grape.


Hennessy has a bold aroma that can permeate a room. It smells mostly nutty and woody. However, it also carries floral notes. 

To Sum Up

Hennessy is a cognac that is often fruit-heavy in flavor. It also tends to be spicy and has other notes such as vanilla and chocolate. 

We’ve only discussed a handful of Hennesy types here., So if it seems appealing to you, there are many others to check out.