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Tequila Komos is known for its luxury expressions, but the latest release takes the ultra-premium category to a new high. XO was aged for more than a decade—an extremely long time for a tequila—so the brand named it after the Cognac designation indicating a spirit at least 10 years old. We got a first look and taste, and we can report that it’s an excellent tequila.

Komos was founded by Richard Betts, who was responsible for other agave spirits brands like Astral Tequila (now owned by Diageo) and Sombra Mezcal (now owned by Davos Brands). There are other expressions in the Komos lineup, although notably there is no blanco, or un-aged, tequila. Instead the Komos portfolio consists of Reposado Rosa (aged in red wine barrels), Anejo Cristalino (aged in French oak white wine barrels before filtration), Extra Anejo (aged in French oak white wine and American whiskey barrels), and Anejo Reserva (aged in wine, bourbon, and sherry casks). Add XO to the list, a tequila matured for a decade in bourbon barrels and then finished in red and white wine and sherry casks for nearly two years.

We spoke to Betts about the new XO expression, and he said while he would like to see that age designation applied to tequila, it probably won’t happen anytime soon. “Three years [for extra anejo] being the limit is like a historical tequila artifact,” he said. “We’re borrowing the idea [from Cognac], but we’re really thinking of it to get people’s attention. For us, it’s the idea of ‘extraordinary origin,’ as opposed to just ‘extra old.’ We hope that this is a subtle and classy way to get people to think about it.”

Betts describes all of the expressions in the Komos lineup as being “purpose-built,” with the maturation length and types of barrels used all having a specific reason. “For XO, I wanted a symphony, or an orchestra, or a chorus. Whatever you want to call it, but lots of different elements,” he said. “I wanted to do a subtle shading with each of the elements that we use.” The brand is produced at the Orendain Distillery, where Betts came across some very old barrels of tequila that he felt were not overtaken by wood influence and could stand up to a secondary maturation. Indeed, this tequila is full of flavor, but not dominated by tannic oak and char. There are notes of dried fruit, espresso, vanilla, chocolate, and dark berries on the palate, but the agave character still shines through, something that is not always the case even with a tequila aged for half the time that XO is.

Komos XO is a new standard of luxury tequila even for this already high-end brand, and one that seems ready to compete with the likes of Clase Azul or the priciest Patron bottles. The liquid comes in a clear crystal decanter, unlike the ceramic bottles that the other expressions come in, which is inside in a blue display box. The price tag for this new tequila is $2,000, and it will be available globally in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can find the rest of the Komos collection at websites like ReserveBar.

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