XO Cognacs Tasting Notes

Three XO cognacs

3 XO cognacs to start this new week. Cheers!
Three XO cognacs tasting notes

XO COGNACS : ANOTHER BIG MATCH

MARANCHEVILLE vs GIBOIN vs PARK 

3 XO, 3 different brands. A Grande Champagne, a Borderies and a multi-cru (blend). Let’s go!
 
  • Marancheville 10yo: Grande Champagne, 40%, 10yo 
  • Giboin XO: Borderies, 40%, distilled on the lees, blend of 10yo+ cognacs.
  • Park XO: Blend of the 6 crus. 40%, 20-25yo.

Colour

  • Marancheville 10yo: Gold, green lights. Regular medium tears. 
  • Giboin XO: Old gold, green lights. Regular medium tears. 
  • Park XO: Amber, gold lights. Irregular heavy tears.  

Nose 

  • Marancheville 10yo : It begins on sugary and spicy notes. A tad of rustic shades, especially on cider apple and sawdust. Caramelized pears. Nice spicy scents on nutmeg and cloves underlines by honey tones. A bit of verbena smells in the background. Hints of orange peel too. 
  • Giboin XO : Orchard and floral notes at first. Hay and potpourri scents then. A tad of olive oil smells too. Shy vegetables shades, light carrot and pumpkin scents in the background. Slightly honeyed. A tad of indistinct herbal notes. 
  • Park XO : Fruits and citruses at first. Various spicy notes in the background. Grapefruit juice. Orange zest marmalade. A tad of coffee beans and dry nuts scents. Toasted notes with more air. Maybe the one that seems the oldest with the nose. 

Three correct nose but it lacks something to reach 80pts. Let’s see if the palate gives something better. 

Palate

  • Marancheville 10yo : Apple/pear juice. Nice freshness in a second time. Correct mouth length on spicy and woody notes. It ends on caramel sweets.
  • Giboin XO : Sweet texture. Fruity/sugary aromas. Tiny spicy notes. Definitive lack of mouth length. Shy poached pear aromas. It ends on cider apple and herbal notes. 
  • Park XO : Sweet texture with a tad of acidity. Citruses juice, candied orange aromas. Correct mouth length on sugary notes. Wood shades in the aftertaste on linseed oil and brand new wood. Tiny rancio notes on leather and cocoa powder. 

Some interesting things on the palate but always a lack of strength. Why 40%? 

Last Notes

  • Marancheville 10yo : Shy raisins and nougat notes with more air. Various indistinct wood scents. Still some spicy and peppery shades. Orchard and elderflower back on the palate. A tad of acidity. Light plums aromas. Quick end on menthol and nutty notes. A tad too much tannins in my humble opinion but it remains much more convincing with more air. 
  • Giboin XO : Some floral (jasmine) notes with more air. Nice tangerine and apricot shades. A tiny spoon of nutty scents, mainly on dry hazelnut. Orchard fruits again on the palate. Heather and hay notes too. It ends on walnut oil and fresh lemon juice.
  • Park XO : Oak scents with more air. A tad of spiciness and sugariness, mainly on bourbon vanilla. Humid wood in the background. Back on the palate, you find a nice mix of toffee, caramel sweets and tinned citruses. A tad of tinned plums too. It ends on cinnamon and cardamom. 
     

Finally, I’m a bit disappointed. The Marancheville XO is probably the most convincing, but it’s a narrow victory over the Park XO. Two different expressions of this age statement, one old multi-cru, one young G.C, two great cognacs but I actually missed complexity and mouth length in these XO cognacs.  About the Giboin XO, it’s a correct Borderies XO with delicate aromas but there’s a definitive lack of strength and taste in my humble opinion. 

My very subjective notes (/100):

  • Marancheville 10yo : 83
  • Giboin XO : 78+
  • Park XO : 82 

After this XO Cognacs match, find here another Hors d’Age comparative tasting session!

Thanks Max & Sophie for the samples!

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