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Hennessy X.O gets Frank Gehry makeover to mark 150th anniversary

World-famous cognac house Hennessy is marking the 150th anniversary of its X.O with a celebration befitting its flagship blend.

First created by Maurice Hennessy and cellar master Emile Fillioux in 1870, the "extra old" blend was only intended for Hennessy's inner circle of family and friends - but went on to win hearts worldwide.

As the Maison Hennessy's emblematic blend, the X.O contributed to defining a family of cognacs and was quickly embraced around the globe, starting with the US in 1870, then Shanghai and Hong Kong in 1872.

In 1947 Gérald de Geoffre, a member of the Hennessy family, further enshrined the X.O in the cognac cannon by creating a distinctive carafe for it, far removed from the charentaises that were the most popular bottles at the time. 

Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, the eighth-generation master blender for the Maison Hennessy, said: "Hennessy X.O is the cognac for every occasion. Its timelessness - the fact that its inspiration never changes and never bends to the whims of trends - means that it exists in a realm beyond fashion. As time goes by, we've noticed that people are appreciating a wider array of moments for tasting than they ever have before."

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Hennessy X.O, the bottle has become the focal point for a special partnership with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, who has used his signature sculptural style to reinterpret the bottle. The end result marries gold and glass, to showcase the rich legacy of the Maison Hennessy, with Gehry's charcteristic flair. 

A limited run of 150 of these numbered decanters will be released, entitled Masterpiece and imprinted with Frank Gehry's signature. In addition, a wider-release limited-edition Hennessy X.O bottle has also been created by Gehry and will be available in markets worldwide.

On the collaboration, Gehry said: "It was an honour to be asked to celebrate this milestone for Hennessy X.O. While I was excited, it was also daunting because a bottle of cognac is already a work of art - one you can smell, taste and feel. There's such a powerful history and a serious emotional commitment from the people that make this product. It has a resonance that's interesting to tie into and become a part of."

The Masterpiece and limited-edition Frank Gehry X.O decanters will be available exclusively from Harrods and from 28 September, priced at £15,000 and £178 respectively.

Hennessy will also be celebrating the 150th anniversary with a series of festivities in Cognac on 25 September.

25 September 2020 - Bethany Whymark