Fifty bottles of the single-cask D'Ussé will be given away by Jay-Z himself, but the rest of the barrel will go up for sale next year.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated December 05, 2019
MediaNews Group/East Bay Times v/Getty Images

What do you give the rapper who has everything for his 50th birthday? Why not the chance to give a gift to others? That's the very philosophical choice made by the cognac brand D'Ussé. In honor of Jay-Z's big 5-0, D'Ussé—a partnership between Bacardi and Beyoncé's other half that makes up part of the billionaire rapper's alcohol empire—will be releasing an extremely limited run of just 50 bottles of a new expression called D'Ussé 1969 Anniversaire to coincide with the celebration (which as you may recall from The Black Album, is today). But you can't buy these individually-numbered bottles: All of them will be given away by Shawn Carter himself "to his closest friends and family." I guess you could say he has 49 problems, but saving a bottle for himself ain't one.

D'Ussé explains that these bottles are special for quite a few reasons, even beyond their obvious age and numbered status. This cognac comes entirely from the highly-regarded Grande Champagne region and is a single "eau de vie" aged in a single oak cask. (Most cognacs are blended.) The brand also says that, "several years ago," Jay-Z sampled from this batch with Cellar Master Michel Casavecchia, and "the liquid was found so promising that it was agreed to be carefully saved for a special occasion."

"Its aromas have now developed into an exquisite eaux-de-vie from the Château de Cognac, with characteristics unique to this exceptional batch," Casavecchia said in the announcement. "The color is bright gold with shiny reflections. The nose brings rich aromas of fresh walnut, hazelnut and candied apple. Upon first sip, it reveals a distinct potency with powerful, woody notes and a long stewed fruit finish, with a touch of leather and cigar box."

Greg Alders

Admittedly, providing such delightful tasting notes for a cognac most of us will never get the chance to try is a bit frustrating; however, if you aren't in Jay-Z's inner circle, all is not lost. D'Ussé says, "An additional limited run of the rare liquid will also be available worldwide for public purchase during the 2020 holiday season." There's no mention of how many of these bottles will be sold, but since the supply all comes from one barrel, the stock will be very limited. "Once the barrel is emptied and bottled, there is no way to ever make this exact liquid again," explained Global Brand Ambassador Sullivan Doh, "and that is something we felt was worthy of honoring such a cultural icon."

D'Ussé didn't mention what the price of these bottles might be, either—but knowing how expensive cognac can get, I'm thinking it might actually be more cost-effective to try to befriend Jay-Z and have him give you a bottle for free.