Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Cognac XO age classification increases to 10 years

Published:  15 January, 2018

The Cognac industry has increased its XO age classification from the current six to 10 years.

Taking effect from 1 April this year, in accordance with the provisions of the Cognac specifications, all XO Cognac brandy will be classified as 10 years old, trade body the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) has confirmed.

This means 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 changes would be introduced to “extend the quality positioning” of the category, said the BNIC, which first announced the amended law in 2011, but is implementing the change this year in order to give producers longer to mature their stocks.

In addition, with many XO Cognacs on the market with the youngest eau-de-vie exceeding 10 years of age, the new measure would “align the regulation and the market reality”, added the BNIC.

To support producers with the transition, the BNIC has put into place a system that allows Cognac XO spirits, classified as six, seven, eight and nine years, pre-packaged by 31st March 2018 and in accordance with BNIC provisions to be marketed as XO until 31st March 2019.

To be able to take advantage of this lead-time, producers must send the BNIC a statement of the pre-packaged XO* eaux-de-vie stocks concerned by the 1st March 2018.

In November last year, the BNIC unveiled a new brand identity for the Cognac region designed to highlight its authenticity and heritage, while it launched the first cognac and food-pairing app in December.