The Bottom Line
Hennessy is one of the big names in cognac and their V.S. bottling one of the most popular. Being the youngest of the portfolio, Hennessy V.S. is, of course, the least expensive, though it still averages around $30 a bottle, which is in line with (if not less than) comparable cognacs. Overall, this is a decent cognac that is worthy of mixing, though it may be a little spendy for some for that purpose, and it is always there when you need it. It's a reliable cognac.
- A good value priced cognac for cocktails.
- Readily available and very popular.
- Not quite as smooth as comparable cognacs.
- A blend of approximately 40 cognacs aged up to 8 years in Limousin French oak casks.
- Imported by Moet Hennessy USA
- 40% alc/volume (80 proof)
- Retails for around $30/750ml bottle
Guide Review - Hennessy VS Cognac
Hennessy VS is certainly not the most refined cognac. If you're looking for one of that style the brand definitely has that covered with some of the best sipping-worthy cognacs available. What I like about this bottling is that it is great for mixing in almost any brandy cocktail you could think of. Some people say that the $30 is still too much to spend if you're just going to make drinks, but when thinking about what we're now spending on vodkas and gins for drinks this argument somewhat outdated. I find that the boldness of Hennessy VS is ideal for mixed drinks because the mixers often tame that aspect and the result is a very enjoyable drink. For just a little more cash, an upgrade to Hennessy VSOP is an even better cocktail option.
Classic cognac cocktails are good starting points for mixing Hennessy VS. Specifically I think of a Sidecar, the Japanese Cocktail, and the Champagne Bowler. The simplicity of these drinks allow the cognac's wood to shine and the simple accents of flavor do a fine job of soften some of the harsher aspects of the spirit. Also, some of the modern cocktails, which are considerably more complex, are even better uses of this particular cognac. The East Side Press is a fantastic example of this because the spiciness of ginger and the soothing aspects of egg compliment its own complexity to create a deep and balanced cocktail.
Hennessy V.S. Cognac is very bold and opens with sweet wood and nutty fragrances that remind you that it is in the room. The palate is warm and filled with floral notes and a considerable amount of wood, which is not overpowering but boldly pleasing. The medium-length finish is marked with a spice that has a slight burn and leads into a lingering melt of wood.
Cocktails with Hennessy: