Extra Old (XO)

Definition - What does Extra Old (XO) mean?

Extra Old or "XO" refers to the blend of Cognac (brandy) which is stored for a minimum of six years. This was the original minimum, however as of 2016, that new minimum for aging is ten years. Extra Old Cognac may also be referred to as Napoleon.

This is one of four grades of Cognac according to the Bureau National Interporfessionnel du Cognac (BINC).

WineFrog explains Extra Old (XO)

Cognac (generically referred to as brandy) is a distillation of wine made from the Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard grapes. The region of Cognac is found in Southwest France and is designated as an AOC (Appellation d'origine controlee). It must be distilled twice in copper stills and aged a minimum of two years in French oak barrels from the regions of Troncais or Limousin. It then matures in the similar manner as whiskies.

There are four grades of Cognac:

  • V.S - (Very Special) a blend of Cognac that has been stored for a minimum of two years in cask
  • VSOP - (Very Superior Old Pale) - also called "Reserve", a blend that is stored a minimum of four years in cask
  • XO - See definition above.
  • Hors d'age - (Beyond Age) it is considered equal to XO according to the BNIC, however it is a term used to market a higher-quality Cognac beyond its official aging scale
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