A look from the release of Hennessy Black, and what I thought of it!
This isn’t as timely here as it was on the site I initially posted it on, but for completion’s sake, I feel like it’s important to preserve. Don’t worry, I won’t be doing other food and drink reviews. Interesting note: the label from a Hennessy Black bottle is what designed the initial logo for “Man in Black Reviews” (later rebranded MiBreviews), though the final style was more like a regular Hennessy label, which has a bit more to it.
The last time I was at the local discount liquor store, I picked up a bottle of my favorite brand, my Very Special cognac, and discovered a new product: Hennessy Black. When I decided I wanted to emulate the catchy logo of the Hennessy brand, I came across more information and images of Hennessy Black. Hearing it talked about around town, I was sure that it would be a rare and expensive beverage.
Naturally, when I stopped in the same store this afternoon and discovered the product cost only $11 more than a same-size bottle of Hennessy V. S., I knew I had to pick it up. I was a bit confused, though- after extensive reading of the bottle and nearby signage, the only difference was 3% more liquor and a list of mixed drinks.
I poured my first glass, and sat down to do some research. Well, apparently, the main difference between Hennessy Black (Done Different) is that it is marketed for young people. Okay, what else is different? There’s a list of mixed drinks. I knew that. I’ve already been known to mix Hennessy with Hypnotiq, Red Bull or Cranberry on occasion, so that’s nothing new to me. Alize is nothing but mixed drinks with cognac. Okay, so what’s different?
After a sip, I was shocked. I was certain after reading about how “smooth” and such this is, that it would be a lighter taste, maybe almost as if sugar or something had been added- more alcohol, sure, but a little less bite. I wouldn’t have been shocked if it tasted almost like it had a slight mix with Coke. Instead, it tasted like Hennessy- only stronger! Far more bite; I was taken aback at first. I’ve been known to sip Henny straight, but I don’t know if it’s been too long since I drank it straight (I usually mix it with something cheap to help out the wallet) or the beverage itself, but I needed a chaser. Of course, I had bought some cranberry for the express purpose of Henny, so I added a shot to that. And read some more.
Well, apparently the “smoother” taste is designed for mixed drinks. It does indeed take a lot less of a chaser to make a smooth drink here. The big “Difference” was that Hennessy black can be mixed. Again, I’ve been mixing my Hennessy for years- it’s not that new! And then, of course, it was marketed to young people. By which I mean it was marketed to young, black or urban, people. The thing about that is, Hennessy has been marketed (at no cost to the brand) to young, black and urban, people ever since rappers like 2Pac started speaking on their love for the drink.
What else is new about Hennessy black? Well, it has a theme song. With Swizz Beatz. So it should be poppin’, right? I am shocked to say that the song (higher on this page) is probably the least poppin’ Swizzy song I’ve ever heard. Seriously, the nameless instrumental on the HennessyBlack.com homepage is more poppin’ than that. That Obie Trice/2Pac/edited voices made to sound like 2Pac song “Hennessy” is more poppin’ than that. Why not let Obie promote the drink?
In the end, Hennessy Black, that drink supposedly available only in high end clubs and bars that I picked up for a score at the local liquor store, is not worth the hype. Or rather, the hype is all there is to the product. You could do any of the same things with Hennessy V. S. that you can with Hennessy Black, but V.S. is cheaper and better drunk straight.
So shame on you, Hennessy Black! You almost earned your place in my logo- if this drink was better than V. S., I was going to update my logo to reflect that. It would have been a sleek, G as can be black and silver color scheme and it would have been epic, but Hennessy Black just did not cut it.
*Sips on his Hennessy Black with a half a shot of cranberry*
It’s still a damned good drink, though.
You wanna know my role model? It’s in the brown bottle. You know our motherfuckin’ motto nigga, Hennessy.
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