XO cognacs must be aged a minimum of six years, although many producers use much older spirits in their assemblages. XO cognacs benefit from this extended wood ageing, and are generally extremely smooth and rich in flavour. This means they are unsuitable for all but the most premium cocktails and are generally best served neat after a good meal.
A 20cl bottle of Delamain's delectable Pale & Dry Grande Champagne XO cognac. 'Pale' indicates the colour is paler than similar age cognacs, due to being aged in old casks and 'dry' indicates no sugar has been added.
A 20cl quarter-bottle of A E Dor's magnificent XO cognac, made exclusively with eaux-de-vies from the Grand & Petit Champagne growing areas, and aged around 25 years or older. Rich, yet elegantly structured, with powerful aromas and flavours of apple, muscovado, coffee and fruit liquorice.
A Courvoisier named to celebrate Napoleon's great love for Courvoisier. This is slightly problematic, given that Napoleon I died fourteen years before Courvoisier was founded, but he did apparently tour wine & spirit merchant Emmanuel Courvoisier's cellars once, and Napoleon III did make Courvoisier an official supplier to the Imperial Court in 1869. That's good enough for the marketing department.
A long-aged XO-style aged reserve cognac from the Chez Maillard house of Leyrat, an excellent boutique single estate cognac producer. This is one of their most highly-regarded cuvées, winning a string of medals at international competitions.
With Eaux-de-Vie aged between 16 and 24 years old this well-matured cognac has been seasoned for a generation in older, seasoned, casks which help to develop its aromas and rancio character. Stunning balance and finesse.
Rich and full-bodied, yet still exceptionally smooth, this luxurious XO contains long-aged eaux-de-vie from Grande & Petite Champagne for grace & flavour, plus a little Borderies for structure and depth. A perennial award-winner. IWSC 2012 - Silver Outstanding Medal - Cognac
An elegant fruitbomb, this medium-bodied Vieille Reserve from respected single estate producers Guillon Painturaud is quite a feminine cognac, delicate and approachable with ripe raisin & fig flavours.