Martell, the grandfather of cognacs, dates back to 1715 and is one of the four biggest houses.
Baked banana dipped in vanilla, cigar traces, citrus, roasted nuts and a variety of dark fruits is what you can expect from this XO. It is much more on the fruity side compared to Hennessey XO but still has some masculine features in the form of spices, traces of cigars and an ash fade. It is more comparable to Martell Cordon Bleu I would say. Still while Cordon Bleu is a closer resemblance there is also a significant gap between these two. Martell XO is fruitier, spicier and not as soft as Cordon Bleu. Even though there is more depth to the XO I still prefer Cordon Bleu or, if I had to choose between other XO’s from the big houses, Hennessy XO.
VERDICT: It definitely deserved its silver medal at the IWSC last year (2012) but I still don’t think it can compete with Hennessey XO or even Martell Cordon Bleu.