Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cognac Review: Rémy Martin XO

Rémy Martin XO
"XO" stands for 'extra old.'  Specifically, no eau-de-vie (distilled wine) making up this spirit is less than 10 years old.  In fact, Rémy Martin XO is comprised of eau-de-vie that ranges from 10yrs - 37yrs and is a blend of 400 eau-de-vie, which has been aged in French oak.

Natural cork.




Production Note
85% Grande Champagne eau-de-vie.

Nose (undiluted)
Complexity abounds with notes of raising, red wine, saddle leather, dry leaves, roses and peonies.

Palate (undiluted)
Smooth, rich entry of strawberries, orange spice, vanilla, dark plums and a little Canadian maple sugar.

Finish (undiluted)
Good length leaving mellow cinnamon, cardamom tea, drying oak.

General Impressions
As one of my viewers astutely pointed out, Scotch whisky and other whisky fans are probably going to find the flavor profile of cognac rather muted.  It is less, how shall we say, spicy and vibrant than single malts and say other whiskies like bourbon.  So, adjust your expectations if you want to try Cognac.  It is much smoother.

That being said, it is enjoyable and is a big step up from the VSOP level.  This spirit is balanced, dry, and profoundly drinkable, especially when paired with dark chocolate or a great cigar.


Jason Debly


  1. Of the three big cognac producers, I think Remy Martin has the best XO. It's much more sophisticated and nuanced than the Hennessy XO (which is overpriced and a bit overbearing) and much more flavorful than the Courvoisier XO (which is the lightest of the three). Remy is the happy medium, IMO.

    I haven't tasted Martell Cordon Blue, but I hear that's the best of the mass produced cognacs, and of course the cognoscenti claim that the smaller houses offer much better bang for your buck.

    1. Yes, the Hennessy Xo is certainly more robust in flavor that is a preference of whoever is enjoying cognac. Smaller producers do indeed put out greater quality but the problem is locating their product.

      Thanks for commenting!