Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
Jamaica now has its very own special bottle of the world-famous Hennessy cognac to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its Independence.
The limited-edition bottle was officially unveiled last Monday on the lawns of the French Embassy by Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, and Maurice Hennessy, visiting heir of Hennessy.
On arrival into the venue, guests were greeted by French Ambassador Her Excellency Ginette de Matha, Paul Henriques, managing director at J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Maurice Hennessy, Debbian Spence-Minott, brand manager of Hennessy and others.
During his welcome address, Henriques said it was a privilege that an outstanding world leader in the spirits industry saw it fit to put out a 50th edition product for Jamaica. Henriques also highlighted J. Wray & Nephew's uncompromising attention to quality and re-confirmed his organisation's commitment to continuing to work with the Hennessy brand.
Hanna also agreed that it was an honour that Hennessy had decided to partner with Jamaica in celebration of its 50th anniversary milestone.
She noted that this limited edition package was not just a bottle, it was a tangible demonstration of the high regard in which Jamaica is held.
Heir to the Hennessy empire, Maurice Hennessy, said he was proud to join Jamaica in celebrating 50 years. In his address, he said, "I love your country because you love Hennessy."
He also informed the audience that only 24,000 bottles of the Hennessy VS Jamaica 50 edition were out.
He described the label of the bottle as a revival of the Hennessy label from 1962.
Additionally, a special cartouche was designed for the package that features the number 50 in honour of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary. A touch of green was also added to the traditional black and gold Hennessy colours. Each bottle is individually numbered.
Hanna received bottle number 1993 in honour of the year she won Miss World.
In speaking with The Sunday Gleaner, Henriques described the new label as a "jazzed-up version of a 1962 label that existed on Hennessy bottles in that year".
He said: "There is a limited amount of labels because we wanted to keep the brand select."
According to Maurice Hennessy, Jamaica has a relationship with Hennessy that is not seen in many parts of the world.
"People buy the litre bottles in dancehall, so it was worth making an effort. Jamaicans are really very in love with the Hennessy brand. It has a lot of reputation here," he told The Sunday Gleaner.