Maison Gautier was founded in 1755. For ten generations, it remained in the Gautier family until 1995 when the production was bought by Marie Brizard, which later was bought by the Belvedere Group.
Gautier XO is a blend of distillates made from grapes grown in different regions of the Cognac area. It’s aged in oak barrels for at least ten years. It’s bottled in a massive decanter, which is an experience in itself. Even the cap of the bottle weighs so much that a frailer person’s hand starts to tire. The Gautier XO was priced in the store at the offer price of €58.99.
I can immediately feel from the nose that this is not any young stuff. The nose is thick, leathery and slightly fruity. The deep aroma of the roasted oak barrel is mixed with spices and slightly floral notes. The mouthfeel is thick and pleasantly oily. The well-ripened taste has a little sweetness, dark chocolate, toasted oak, caramel and dried fruits. A little peppery spiciness comes in the aftertaste.
The Gautier XO is very different from the same producer’s VSOP and especially VS versions. While both youngsters were light and fruity, XO roars with a thick mass like a caterpillar. Gautier is the first XO series cognac I’ve tasted. At first it didn’t really convince, the taste was indeed well-ripened, but also surprisingly sharp. However, careful and sparing use of the bottle gave plenty of time for oxidation and the last third was already very pleasant. So there is no need to rush while enjoying XO cognac. If someone had the patience to wait more than 10 years to mature it, you can very well wait a few weeks/months also for enjoying it patiently. Gautier XO was a great experience, but perhaps not on the scale that 3 times the price compared to good VSOP class cognacs would suggest. Gautier XO is a kind-of thrill of its own, and the purchase is worth it especially because of the special packaging. However, it’s not worth paying a ridiculous price for it.