XO Alambic is a Washington craft distillery with a curious name.
XO universally stands for hugs & kisses, and simply for reading this, we lovingly send those to you. In spirit-speak, however, it is shorthand for extra-old, but we like to think that it means extraordinary.
The term alambic refers to the traditional style of distillation that relies on a batch technique in a single pot still, the ultimate in artisanal production. It is contrasted with continuous distillation most commonly associated with large-scale spirits production on a what is termed a Coffey or patent still. The pot still at XO Alambic is a 2000-litre, dual-kettle, pot-and-column hybrid still, referred to as a Figgins Reciprocator, a technical innovation brought to life by the distillery's founder.
It's about agriculture. It's about alchemy. It's about time.
Agriculture. Alchemy. Time. These three elements are conspicuously on display at XO Alambic. As the pursuit of excellence in craft-distilled spirits involves all three, all of them conspire in the climb toward the creation of perfect spirits. Farm-grown fruits and grains, once fermented and then double-distilled, are slowly matured to become worthy of the XO badge. Considering that the distiller's own Washington brandy and whisky has been secretly maturing for the past eight years, the distillery's first releases have definitely caused quite a sensation!