Maurice Hennessy, Yes, That Hennessy, On Cognac & Family Legacy
Maurice Hennessy, the 8th generation family member of the iconic cognac making brand of the same name, recently visited Kuala Lumpur to meet a select few members of the press.
T.Dining took the opportunity to ask him what it was like to come from such a renowned family legacy.
What this jovial cognac master had to say may surprise you.
What does it feel like to come from a family long associated with world class cognac?
I love Cognac because of the beauty of the region and because I work in a firm that makes cognac that bears my family name on the label for more than 253 years. It is an amazing legacy but I do not let it get the better of me.
What would you say is the most difficult aspect of maintaining such a successful family legacy?
I can't say it is very difficult but I will say that you have to be respectable. You shouldn't do anything too silly, such as saying the wrong thing to a journalist, who may then take it out of context, quote you and then leave you feeling embarassed.
What is the most important lesson you've learned from your family?
The most important thing I learned is to respect people, from our workers to our customers. I've been brought up like that as it was very important for my father, my grandfather and so forth.
How has Hennessy X.O and the maison itself managed to remain a symbol of luxury and success after all these years?
Hennessy X.O was created for luxury. It was my great-grandfather that asked his blender to make a special cognac for his dining room, it was not made to be sold but instead to please his guests. So pleased that in fact that they asked for some that he knew he had something great, so he came up with the name X.O. Hennessy X.O is the original X.O, which is even older than the Chinese sauce X.O.
Tell us what memorable moments you've had being a Hennessy?
I've met some amazing people in my job. It can be sometimes be a simple meal with somebody fascinating, usually journalists actually, as they can be some of the most interesting people in the world with great stories to tell.
When it comes to leaving your own personal stamp in the Hennessy family legacy, how would you like to be remembered?
I hope to be remembered in a nice way.
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