By Andy Young
Today sees the St Agnes Distillery release the second bottling of its ultra-premium XOs, following a sell-out response to its first bottling just under a year ago.
The St Agnes XO Imperial 20-Year-Old and St Agnes XO Grand Reserve 40-Year-Old are released today and in the future the two XOs will be officially released on 8 August each year. The date marks third generation winemaker and distiller Tom Angove’s birthday and this year is the brand’s 91st birthday.
Richard Angove of the St Agnes Distillery is Tom’s grandson and is excited about this release and the prospect of raising the awareness and appreciation of brandy, not just in Australia, but globally.
“We were truly excited and humbled by the amazing sell out success of the first releases of the St Agnes XO 20YO and St Agnes XO 40YO last year. We are extremely lucky my grandfather had the patience and foresight to put away seriously good parcels of XO brandy in the early 1970’s so that we have the ability to craft these rare spirits today. We have a clear purpose, – to do one thing brilliantly, to show the world another face of Australian produce excellence by crafting iconic Australian spirit of world-class standard,” Angove said.
“As with last year, this year’s St Agnes XO releases represent a uniquely Australian take on the timeless luxury and prestige of XO. We can’t wait to show them off to Australia and the rest of the world,” Angove continued
The ultra-premium XOs are joined by the popular XO 15-Year-Old, which has already collected a number of trophies at competitions are the world.
In terms of tasting notes the St Agnes XO 15-Year-Old is described as “light orange amber in colour, with quince, marmalade and orange peel notes with hints of cedar wood and pine. The palate is opulent with a warm complexity, finishing fresh with a persistent orange cake, caramel and a cocoa fade that returns late with surprising intensity”.
The St Agnes XO Imperial 20-Year-Old is “deep amber in colour” and “boasts a nose that is a myriad of crème caramel, toffee apples, and Christmas cake with underlying chocolate, apricots and almonds. The palate is long with ethereal rancio characters of truffle, walnut, chocolate and poached pear”.
And finally the St Agnes XO Grand Reserve 40-Year-Old is “dark, dense amber in colour, with a nose of dried figs, hazelnut, orange candy and prunes. The aromatics continue with cocoa, vanilla cream and smokey oak from over four decades in small oak. The palate is endlessly complex; chocolate truffles, hazelnut, prune, almond and cigar box tobacco.”
The St Agnes XO range is available at leading independent retailers nationally as well as online and at selected Dan Murphy’s stores.