Richard Hennessy founded his namesake maison du cognac back in 1765. Over the ensuing 257 years, his creation ballooned into the world’s biggest-selling producer of the famed French brandy. To honor his legacy, Hennessy eventually developed an annual ultra-premium release consisting of 12 barrels’ worth of the rarest eaux-de-vie in its warehouses—some dating back to the 19th century. It first arrived on shelves in 1996. Today, it’s a prized gem among the most discerning of cognac connoisseurs, typically retailing for upwards of $5,000. That seems like a bargain considering what Hennessy just unleashed. This September, Hennessy partnered with Berluti, the legendary Parisian leather house (and sister brand within the LVMH portfolio of luxury goods), to introduce an even more limited run of Richard Hennessy: The Richard Hennessy x Berluti Carafe.
It comes complete in its own handcrafted attaché, wearing a $40,000 price tag. The case is cut from Venezia calf leather and features a standalone platform, which showcases the decanter in a snug embrace, echoing its graceful contours.
Only 150 total units are available of The Richard Hennessy x Berluti Carafe. Compare that with the 70 million bottles the brand sells overall each year and you’ll get a sense of how exclusive this release really is.
“These prestigious maisons both have an equal desire for excellence and precision,” Hennessy CEO Laurent Boillot tells Men’s Journal. “They strive for tomorrow, are enriched by yesterday, and combine audacity and expertise in every moment. This creation is the perfect example of the bond that unites them: a bottle of Richard Hennessy cognac housed inside a case designed by Berluti.”
That bottle happens to be a Baccarat decanter designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. As for the liquid within, it’s the same bright and elegant cognac Hennessy’s been creating since its 1996 debut: clinging to the tongue with stewed stone fruit and rich rancio.
As part of Hennessy’s “Editions Rares” collection, it represents an assemblage of eaux-de-vie long ago set aside for their exceptional ability to withstand extended maturation.
So, to be clear, the significant upcharge—compared to a standard bottle of Richard Hennessy—is primarily on account of packaging and scarcity. The maison is actively courting high net worth consumers who prefer their home bars to hold keepsakes rather than just cocktail mix-ins. And Hennessy is finding great success in speaking directly to them.
“I can say that this collaboration will continue next year,” adds Boillot, “and we are looking forward to seeing other precious creations [in the near future].”
Even if you’re especially eager to part ways with $40K, your local liquor store can’t help you on this one. The Richard Hennessy x Berluti Carafe is only attainable through private sales and at Houses of Hennessy worldwide.
Be sure to invite us over for a drink if you hunt one down.