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Tiffon XO Cognac

Highly Recommended 85 /100

see 3 reviews

Cognac age
Growth area
Bottle size

Taylor C.

Reviews written: 37 (see reviews)

Average Score given: 86

Review Overview: Best & Most rated, All Reviewers & Reviews


French wine, and the concept of terroir, captured my interest early on. Naturally, curiosity took me to spirits, in particular Cognac. Today I'm proud to be a member of the Cognac Expert team managing B2B projects, working on Cognac Expert Originals, and writing bottle reviews for the English Blog. I love to taste anything and everything - rum/rhum, whisky(ey), Armagnac, etc. - but no other spirit grabs my attention quite like Cognac, and all of its subtleties and nuance. Santé !

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Tiffon XO

Highly Recommended 85 /100

In the glass, the XO also pours a deep amber color but with a slight metallic copper tint.

Dipping my nose into the glass, it is apparent that this Cognac shares the same DNA as the Supreme, but with aromas that are more lifted, more elegant, and more precise. The chocolate, toffee, and vanilla notes are front and center, but this time they are joined by a lovely aromatic tingly baking spice mix. Cinnamon and nutmeg are present along with fragrant cedarwood, or perhaps even precious wood smells. The same date, fig, and raisin fruits are present, but now they too are all infused with the spice and wood elements. Moreover, the vanilla sticks out more and plays a supporting role with the other smells. To be sure, the aromas do not jump out of the glass, but nor do they sink into the glass bowl either. They are just present in all the right places and in all the right amounts. It’s a measured, poised nose; nothing is out of place.

As I sip the Cognac I am quick to remark just how cohesive everything feels. The barrel maturation in Tiffon’s humid cellars have done wonders for this Cognac. Yes, the chocolate, toffee, and vanilla show up as flavors, but this time they are accompanied by fruit flavors that are candied and spice-infused. Please do not interpret candied fruit to mean sweet or sticky in any way. Imagine high quality fruit pastes (“pate de fruit” in French) that perfectly respect the original fruit flavors but deliver those flavors with an extra dose of natural sweetness and concentration. Additionally, I get a trace of fine maple syrup and a slightly cooling finish that adds to the Cognac’s freshness.

The texture on this XO is similar to that of the Supreme but because of the elevated spice notes, the Cognac seemingly feels less fat and certainly less rounded. The mid-palate does not drop off either; the transitions from entry to mid-palate to finish are seamless and perfectly measured. The spices assert themselves especially on the finish, but they never venture into territory I’d consider to be hot or spicy. Spicy can be thought of in two ways: spicy as in hot spicy food, or spicy as in containing lots of spices, in this case baking spices. This XO is the latter spicy.

There is a word in French, patissier, which refers to any and all things pastries and desserts. I’d sum up this Cognac as being very patissier. It smells and tastes as one would expect the dessert tray at a fine Michelin star restaurant to smell.

I’ll be the first to admit guilt of speaking romantically about terroir and its impact on the Eaux-de-vie. I’d posit that terroir is present in this Cognac, but I do not see it as the focus; if it was, the producer would have done more on the label to indicate as such. Here, the work of the blender must not be understated. This is a timeless XO blend that is perfectly measured and perfectly executed. It faithfully respects the XO category and so does not come off as an Extra or Hors d’Age Cognac. On the other end, no one would mistake this for being a VSOP either. It’s just a masterful XO blend. It’s got rich seductive aromatics; it’s got deep spicy flavors, and it has an overall texture and finish that slowly fades away, comforting the palate as it goes. I’d even say that the 40% abv works just fine for this Cognac. As mentioned before, everything is dialed in.

Lastly, if one considers the Cognac Aroma Wheel this Tiffon XO is a poster child for the Autumn Spice portion of the wheel. Anyone in his or her exploration of this great spirit would do well to taste Cognacs that correspond to each part of the flavor wheel. This Tiffon XO will take one from Autumn Spices to Winter Woods with great ease.


  • Candied Fruit
  • Cedar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Fresh Fig
  • Nutmeg
  • Pastry
  • Vanilla


Wood 6/10

Spice 8/10

Fruit 6/10

Flower 4/10

Bottle / Package Design 3/5

Where is the Love? Ordinary Nice Beautiful A sight to be seen!

Value for Money 5/5

Overpriced Low Average Bargain Steal



What aromas do you get when you sniff the Cognac? Do you get hints of fruits or flowers - perhaps it's sweet? Is it intense or rather flat - and most importantly, is the nose coherent to taste and finish? The nose is the most important part when tasting Cognac.


True to category
Array of smells
Intensity of smells
Balance of smells
Presence of ethanol


A small sip: Allow your taste buds in the various areas of your mouth to distinguish the different flavours. This part of cognac tasting is described as ‘the palate’. Don’t just swallow it down; allow the liquid to touch all the regions of the mouth. Doing this is necessary as the taste buds pick up contrasting flavours in the different areas of the mouth; on the tip of your tongue to the sides, for example. Take a tiny sip to prep your palate for the sensory experience to come. Take a second larger sip, and gently roll the cognac around, etting it come into contact with every corner of your mouth. Focus on the perceived textural sensations. Are the sensations round and rich or fresh and elegant? Is the overall mouthfeel intense, balanced, disjointed, or lacking presence? In short, how does the cognac feel in your mouth?


1st impression
Alcohol level


Quite simply, what do you taste as you gently roll the cognac around in your mouth? Pay close attention to any flavors of fruits, flowers, oak, and spices - or a complex combination of those elements. Are the flavors cohesive with the Nose and the Mouth, giving a sense of balance and complexity?


True to category
Complexity of tastes
Distinctiveness of tastes
Intensity of tastes
Balance of tastes


The ‘finish’ is the experience you get after you’ve swallowed the cognac. What flavours can you detect? Is it a flat or rough finish and rather sharp, or is it a slight 'punch' you like? How long does the finish last? Also think about overall balance: How does the finish compare to nose and taste?


Power / “Smooth”

Overall Impression

Consider the Nose, Mouth, Taste, and Finish simultaneously - the cognac as a whole. Is there cohesion between the four categories, or does the cognac shine in some areas and appear dull in others? Quite simply, is the memory from the tasting experience one that will last your lifetime; is the memory good but nothing extraordinary; or is the cognac’s impact entirely forgettable?


Total: 85/100

  • 80-84: Recommended
  • 85-89: Highly Recommended
  • 90-95: Exceptional
  • 96-100: Superlative
Flat Acceptable Fine Excellent Ethereal Thin & weak Disjointed Balanced Exquisite Bland Ordinary Good Excellent Spectacular Non-existent, or rough Acceptable Good Memorable Endless Uninspiring, or rough Ordinary Good Excellent Memorable
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