In 1989 we obtained a beautiful copper still from Normandy. Josephine has been turning our award-winning cider into apple eau de vie ever since. In 1993 she was joined by the slightly smaller and slightly faster Fifi and in 2019 Isabelle. You can see these French ladies working during the winter months. It takes eleven litres of cider to make just one litre of pure apple spirit (eau de vie) and more than 7 tonnes of apples to fill just one small barrel.
It is the apples, the soil and the climate of Somerset which give our Cider Brandy its unique character but the barrels also play a hugely important role in the ageing process. These are carefully selected for the qualities and flavours they impart. In the barrels the spirit mellows and grows richer. While taking on the complex flavours of the oak it loses a small amount of the more volatile alcohol through the wood – ‘the angels’ share’.
XO has been aged in small oak barrels and each bottle can be traced back to it’s source orchard.