An article I wrote for Chilled Magazine.
It’s been eight years since Hennessy fanatic, Don Henny, began his Hennessy collection. With a total inventory of 387 bottles, he shows no signs of stopping, and it’s not just bottles he proudly displays everywhere in his home in Belgium. This enthusiast grabs anything Hennessy he can get his hands on.
Henny, whose real name is Olivier, began drinking cognac 10 years ago, and immediately fell for the different flavors. Not long after, he found himself storing Hennessy bottles. He started off sticking to his regulars, like the VS, VSOP, XO, and Paradis, and every once in a while, would buy something special, and that’s what fueled his collecting. “I buy different bottles weekly,” Henny says. “I collect everything from Hennessy. I’ve even got the logo painted on a wall in my house.”
His loyalty remains with Hennessy because of their many attractive bottle designs and various tastes. Though it’s difficult to choose, his favorite bottles are Private Reserve 1865, the XO Grande Champagne, and the Napoléon.
There are many rare bottles in Henny’s collection, but the strangest is a mini bottle of 3cl, which has ‘A.B.C, Jamais abaisé’ written on its label. “Nobody knows anything about this bottle, even my contact at Hennessy could not find any info,” he says. He also has bottles from the early 1900s, like Baccarat and crystal bottles which are difficult to find.
With more than enough bottles, and sometimes buying 20 a month, Henny has lost count on how much he’s spent on his passion. As for the other items in his collection, there seems to be a never ending list. From vintage cocktail cards and booklets, to bar mats and cocktail sets, to miniature cars, ash trays, and straws, it looks like nothing will get in the way of this man’s dedication to Hennessy.
Aside from collecting, Henny tastes on a regular basis. So far, he’s sampled about 30 different kinds of Hennessy. His main goal is to purchase one bottle to drink and one to keep. His favorite cocktails are Hennessy Black with Sprite and lime, or a honey tea with Fine. “Hennessy has that aroma, flavor, and finesse,” he says. “No other brand can give me that excitement.”