Brandy - Traditional

E&J Distillers XO Ultra Smooth Brandy

From: California, United States Liquor Review Category: Traditional Brandy

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Brandy category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Wine Enthusiast

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Proof66 Notes

E&J Distillers is part of the Ernest and Julio Gallo winery, the world's largest family-owned winery. E&J Distillers is best known for a line of brandies but they also create a line of "Cask and Cream" liqueurs.

E&J XO Brandy is their premium expression, though still priced much lower than is generally the case in XO class brandy.

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Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 6 ratings and 6 reviews.
KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (191)
Rating: 4.5 (2016-10-12)
A great "bang for your buck" spirit. Beautiful nose and full of flavor. Great in a Brandy Manhattan as it mixes with vermouth seamlessly. Makes a great sipper on its own after a nice meal. And only at $14 in my area, it's one of the best values out there!
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jaketaz jaketaz (204)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-12-17)
Way better than what the price and the brand signify. Makes a great Brandy Alexander, good for cooking, fine for sipping... generally an all-around treat for cheap. I actually used it as a base spirit for homemade Cointreau-style orange liqueur and it came out GREAT, I offered it to guests when I ran out of Cointreau halfway through making a bunch of margaritas, all of them preferred my liqueur. All that to say that it is a quality product with many uses.
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Muncher Muncher (575)
Rating: 3.0 (2014-10-01)
Interesting and unique. I can definitely taste the vanilla and maple notes, but I'm also getting a hint of black licorice too. It's a bit too unrefined to have the designation XO in my opinion, but for what you get it is worth the price.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - Thrain II up voted your review on 2016-10-13.

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UpInSmoke UpInSmoke (4)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-03-27)
This is a very close competitor to the Paul Masson VSOP I recently reviewed. The Paul Masson wins in bouquet, but the E&J has a smoother finish. It is also a mellower drink overall, presumably because it is aged 7 years versus Paul Masson's 4. Over time I did find the Paul Masson more interesting ("involving" if you will.) I strongly disagree with the reviewer on another website who said this reminds him/her of "cough syrup." I find this no sweeter than a number of Cognacs or single malts. I do agree with the reviewer who called American brandys the greatest spirits bargains and attributed that (rightly so) to the still common notion of the American brandy as "cheap." No longer! As an aesthetic sensory experience, I rate this, and the Paul Masson VSOP, almost as highly as the last Cognac I tasted and liked, the Courvoisier Exclusif VSOP.
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PiggDogg PiggDogg (13)
Rating: 5.0 (2013-05-20)
This might be one of the best buys in all of distilled-spirit-dom. [1] Aroma: delicious, glorious sweet vanilla; [2] taste: smooth, chocolate, full for a brandy; [3] finish: light, but substantial, complete, & most pleasant, in line with a fine brandy; [4] balance: well rounded and full. Indeed, don’t expect a big malt whisky type taste or finish. [5] Accessibility: most everyone, even your wife, your girlfriend, your next door neighbor’s wife, or you cocktail-phile friends will find this a fine treat to taste neat. [6] Price: unbelievably low (750 ml: $15 + tax/shipping, 1.75L: $22 + tax/shipping). When all of this brandy’s characteristics are considered & combined, this is a solid 5 star and a best buy. Buy it. You won’t be sorry.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - Phizbin up voted your review on 2013-05-21.

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old_vic old_vic (6)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-04-24)
Ernest and Julio have created a deliciously warm and smooth tipple with E&J XO, at a price any brandy drinker can afford.  On a cold day, a snifter of this inexpensive warmer-upper certainly will satisfy — and satisfy just as well as brandies five or six times more costly.  This is a brandy to drink straight up.  If you're mixing stingers or whatever, the VS will do the trick quite nicely.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - PiggDogg up voted your review on 2013-05-20.

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  • 085000009154
  • 085000018828
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