We have to say, when it comes to Cognac, nothing ever happens quickly. So when the BNIC first mooted the change to the age classification of the XO quality of Cognac back in the year 2011, it’s taken a while to come to fruition.
But the change is now imminent, meaning that as from 01 April 2018, an XO Cognac will have to be aged for a minimum of 10 years. And in the case of a blend, this means that the youngest element in the blend must be at least a decade old for it to qualify.
The BNIC has said that the change “aims to align the regulation and the market reality”, because it’s already the case that many XO blends on the market today contain eaux-de-vie well exceeding this 10 year age limit.
Currently the age of an XO is a minimum of six years. However, there is going to be a transitory period until 31 March 2019, so such Cognacs can still carry the classification of XO until then as long as they’re bottled before 31 March 2018.
The other age classifications of Cognac remain unchanged.
Read more about Cognac age classifcations and aging.
Sources: bnic.fr, thespiritsbusiness.com