Yes, most probably your XTOL was dead. XTOL can easily be stored 12 months or longer if stored properly and the water did not contain too much impurities (iron seems to be a problem with ascorbin developers).
There's an easy sanity check: just place a drop of the developer on the film leader when preparing the solutions. It should turn the leader black in 10 minutes. The film leader is perfect to determine the clearing time in the fix.

I had no XTOL failure in 13 years.
If you tend to sloppy technique XTOL probably is not the best choice.

Here's seven years old XTOL in action.