Sometimes, dear reader, words fail me. I’ve been looking at the decanter for OG XO for days now, unable to form a coherent thought about how it makes me feel.
OG, as any hipster, ’80s child, and thug knows, stands for Original Gangster. And now that cognac has become popular in the world of hip-hop and rap music, it only stands to reason that brandy manufacturers would attempt to extend their brands into said world.
How does one do that? By partnering with a musician, of course. Ludacris was the first, with Conjure. And now things have sadly taken a turn for the blatant with Ice-T’s OG. Original Gangster isn’t technically cognac, but it is “French brandy,” produced not in the Cognac region but rather in Languedoc and aged 10 years before bottling at 80 proof.
The results: Ice-T, to be honest, has pulled off something that isn’t half bad. Not too sweet and cloying, like Conjure, it tastes like legitimate cognac. No, it isn’t complex: Straight, lightly sugary liquor with apple, citrus, and toffee notes. Dessert-like on the finish, if it is marred by more heat than it ought to have at this age, plus a slight lack of balance. It can certainly get by without a mixer, too.
If you can get past the garish bottle and horrifying name (hint: pour it into another decanter and no one will ever know the difference), OG is really not half bad. The price tag is what seals the deal. At 25 bucks a bottle, OG practically pays for itself!
B+ / $25