The year was 1818, and the Dowager Empress of Russia Maria Feodorovna had just commissioned Hennessy to create its finest cognac for her to gift to her son, Tsar Alexander I. James Hennessy, son of founder Richard Hennessy created just that. Nearly two centuries later, it was this exact incident that inspired Hennessy to replicate this brand. Thus, the Hennessy Paradis Imperial was born.
While it’s not a new release — it first debuted in 2011 — the Hennessy Paradis Imperial still continues making its rounds in the universe of extremely fine cognac. At first glance, its distinctive crystal decanter immediately catches the eye. It was created by French designer Stephanie Balini. The only direction she was given? To capture the elegance of the gowns and dresses of the ladies of the Russian Imperial court.
Once you have gotten around to cracking open the decanter, the true gold lies in the amber liquid within the crystal. Hennessy’s master blender Yann Fillioux was in charge of creating the blend since its debut in 2011. So fine is the Paradis Imperial blend that only 10 out of every 10,000 eaux-de-vie can be considered for inclusion in the cognac. The final blend will consist of more than 100 eaux-de-vie, aged between 30 to 130-years-old.
The true aim of the Paradis Imperial’s blend is to create a cognac that is as subtle as it is elegant. Mellow on the nose, one gets a hint of floral freshness of jasmine and orange blossoms, citrus, and stone fruits with a tinge of smokiness. To truly appreciate the taste, one must not immediately gulp on the cognac — after all, it’s 40% abv and the alcohol may overwhelm your senses.
Instead, take a small sip to wet your tongue. Then, take another sip and let the liquid roll from the front to the back of your tongue, and swallow it. The act of allowing the liquid to roll throughout your tongue lets you further taste its complexity. You’ll find that the Paradis Imperial is dry and thin on the palate, yet structured and full-bodied.
One good way to experience the Hennessy Paradis Imperial is to pair it with food. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Hennessy will be partnering with Chef Darren Chin, and the latter has created a special tasting menu at DC Restaurant that will complement the intricacies of the Paradis Imperial. Priced at RM998 per pax, the menu will be available to the public for dinner from 26th June to July 31st 2018.