Cognac: XO classification to rise to 10 years

12 January, 2018

The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) has announced that all XO Cognac brandy will be classified as 10 years old from April 1, 2018.

The BNIC says this is in accordance with the provisions of its Cognac specifications. This means that the youngest eau-de-vie included in a blended Cognac labelled XO* must have been aged in barrels for at least 10 years, instead of the six years previously required.

The bureau says in practice, there are already many XO* cognacs on the market with the youngest eau-de-vie exceeding 10 years of age. The new measure aims to align the regulation and the market reality, and also to extend the quality positioning of XO*.

The measure was first confirmed by the BNIC in 2011, allowing brands time to anticipate the change. To support the producers in the transition, Cognac’s generic body has put into place a system that allows cognac XO spirits, classified as six, seven, eight and nine years, pre-packaged (labelled or not) by March 31 at the latest and in accordance with BNIC provisions to be marketed as XO until March 31 2019.

To be able to take advantage of this lead-time, the operators must send the BNIC a statement of the pre-packaged XO eaux-de-vie stocks concerned by March 1, 2018, using a stock declaration form available from the BNIC. 

* 'XO': 'Out of Age”' “Extra”, 'Ancestral'. 'Ancestor', 'Gold' and 'Imperial'

The designation 'Napoleon' remains six years minimum

To find out more about the implementation methods, visit:

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