It has been a busy week at the House of Hennessy as it celebrates the 150th birthday of its X.O ‘extra old’ cognac. First, it held its first-ever live-streamed fireworks event in honour of the special cognac created by Cellar Master Emile Fillioux on the request of Maurice Hennessy back in 1870. Now, it has announced the release of a special bottle as well as a wider range of limited-edition bottles created in collaboration with Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Frank Gehry.
“I wanted to personify the hand-made quality of Hennessy X.O with a hand-made bottle – one that feels good to hold, catches the light beautifully, and one that expresses the hand of the artisans who helped make the cognac,” says Gehry of the 24-carat gold-dipped bronze bottle he hopes is unlike “anything people have seen before”.
To recreate the distinctive pear-shaped decanter the X.O cognac is associated with, Gehry drew inspiration from the Charente River, which runs alongside the Hennessy distillery in the town of Cognac, western France. The water of this river is what gave birth to this bottle’s crinkled shape, which is meant to help its owner recall the light reflecting in the river and the craftsmanship that goes into creating the cognac and the drink’s history.
“The existing Hennessy bottle is iconic, so we wanted the new design to respect the history and the brand identity that came before us. A big part of the history of Hennessy is the involvement of the family and the craftspeople that have committed their lives to making this the best product on the market. You feel this when you drink Hennessy. With this design, I wanted people to also feel the human hand by the craftspeople who made the bottle. I wanted to be respectful of the history, but different,” explains Gehry.
Called the Masterpiece, the gold bottle will retail at ₤15,000 and will be available exclusively on Harrods from the 28th of September, 2020. The smaller limited-edition bottles will also be available at Harrods for ₤178.