Cognac D'USSE launched not long ago, with a VSOP blend developed especially to stand out in cocktails. I wrote a detailed post about how D'USSE is made in 2012. This spring they released the new XO.
The brand comes from the Chateau de Cognac, which is a Bacardi-owned facility (castle, actually), that also produces Barton Otard cognac for other markets.
Now they've launched an XO, sold in the Darth Vader of liquor bottles. It is aged for a minimum of 10 years, but probably with a quantity of older cognac in the blend. The flavor profile is rich and juicy on the palate, with notes of spicy dried apricot or even peppery Curacao orange peels. The finish on it is what really stands out- dry and wood-spicy, and it goes on and on.
I spoke with the producers of this cognac at a launch event in New York last month. I asked about how one goes about making a new cognac brand. They tell me that they have an advantage at Chateau de Cognac, as they specialize in older rather than younger cognacs so they have adaptable aging stock- though they're not just robbing from Baron Otard's barrels. They plan a long time in advance, and have stock aging for D'USSE for projected sales into the future.
I asked if there is any concern about aging cognac that doesn't sell, but they told me that nothing goes to waste, and they can utilize it in an older blend, for example. "We will always use it at some point," they said.
The new XO is doing a slow roll-out in select markets, so you may have to look around a bit. Learn more about the brand here.