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“When in Rome.... (or Cognac)”
Review of Hennessy Cognac

Hennessy Cognac
Ranked #2 of 9 Tours in Cognac
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome Backstage and learn how cognac is produced, take a boat trip and visit the company boutique.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“When in Rome.... (or Cognac)”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Take the tour! ......You get taken along the Charente in a comfortable river boat to the warehouses where there is a number of different mediums set up to teach you about the involved processes.
Our tour guide was brilliant, a German lady with a fantastic grasp of both French and English and she explained everything very clearly in English and always checked for understanding. The tour group was small - probably 15 of us. Nice, reserved clientele.
The best bit of course was the tasting back at the bar at HQ. XO with a piece of dark chocolate. Don't mind if we do! The tour takes an hour but give yourself an hour and a half just in case you want to browse and buy afterwards.
Within a 5 minute stroll we were along the cobbled pavements behind Hennessey and in the centre of Cognac itself.
Worthwhile, informative and a fun thing to do!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank nataliastefanos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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249 reviews from our community

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English first
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Go to Martell!”
Reviewed 14 September 2013

The tour was informative and the English speaking guide was very knowledgeable, however we visited the Martell house last year and felt that was more value for money. As mentioned by an earlier TA you are better off doing the 11euro tour and paying for additional tastings at the end. Also we purchased a bottle of the Hennessy Fine only to discover it was cheaper in the SuperU by more than 6euros!!!

Visited September 2013
Thank 481Graeme_Cindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West of London
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“An interesting and well presented cellar tour”
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Having visited a champagne cellar the previous week, this won on presentation; admittedly lots of barrels, but model scenes of cooperage, distillation etc made this more interesting and in our judgement enough so to entertain older children - who get a grape juice instead of alcohol at the end! In line with other commentaries, we would recommend the cheapest tour and determined/non driving drinkers should buy a bottle separately and sample in a more relaxed setting. A visit to Cognac probably doesn't make sense unless you do a tour like this - which does involve a boat crossing of the river.

Visited August 2013
Thank FarmersBoy47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Interesting, informative...buy the cheapest tour”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

An English-speaking tour and tasting at one of the most famous Cognac houses which we all found surprisingly interesting and a really nice way to spend 90mins - I went with my mum (70) and son (13). I left the two little kids (5 & 3) with their mum and would not recommend the tour for kids under 7 or 8.

A key point with Hennessy vs some of the others is that you don't have to pre-book - if there's space on the tour you can turn up and pay.

As other reviewers have said, it starts by crossing the Charente on Hennessy's boat with a brief and interesting summary of the history of the town and distillery, and on into the walk-through museum in the old distillery including an explanation of the soil and growing requirements, distillation, coopery, maturation process and blending which is an art in itself. The most stunning thing for me was seeing casks of 200+ year old 'eau de vie' which are used in the most expensive blends - the 'Richard' (Hennessy) costing €2,400 per bottle!

I would echo other reviewers comments about the pricing - we bought the Discovery tour for €11 each which includes two glasses of cognac, the VS and the Fin de Cognac. The XO tour at €22 only includes an XO tasting (...but it is €155 per bottle). My advice is to buy the cheaper tour - the actual tour is exactly the same, they are all conducted together and if you must try the XO you can buy a glass at the end. Alternatively, if there are two of you, you can by both tours and share the samples.

Visited August 2013
Thank ToyBoy66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Interesting tour, but the prices make no sense”
Reviewed 6 August 2013

This is an interesting, albeit very corporate tour of one of the main cognac houses.
It begins with a boat trip across the river to the main visitor centre, where your guide talks you through the grape harvest, distillation, barrelling and maturation process for brandy. It's all very informative, and presented in a way that is interesting for all ages.
You then cross back over the river to the Hennessy shop/ bar where your tasting begins. It turns out that the management of Hennessy have no grasp of basic mathematics. There are several levels of tour you can buy, depending on the premium of the cognac you would like to taste at the end. My only advice is to buy the cheapest EUR11 tour, which entitles you to a tasting glass of both the Hennessy VS and the Hennessy Fin de Cognac. If you buy the EUR22 XO tour, you go on the same boat and tour the same tour, but only get to taste the XO, not the two younger cognacs. If you want to add additional tastings, or walk in off the street without doing the tour, a glass of XO is EUR11, and a glass of Paradis is EUR19. Until they change their tariff it only makes sense to buy the cheapest tour.
Forearmed with this knowledge I would recommend the tour. They go at different times of day with French or English guides, so if you can pre-plan your visit it's worth checking the times.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Richard A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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