Definitely one of the better ‘value’ priced cognacs out there and great for mixing.
Notes: Camus is a rather interesting house, founded in 1863, it uses grapes from one of the smallest growing regions in the Cognac region, Camus only uses grapes grown from the Borderies Cognac area for this, their VS offering. Quite well known in virtually every other country other than the U.S. it seems, Camus was in the States in the 1960’s through the 70’s if memory serves, then disappeared from the scene for a bit. Now they are relaunching in the U.S. and making more of a push to gain a foothold again.
Distilled in small classic alembic charentais copper stills the resulting eau de vie is then aged in Limousin oak barrels with fewer tannins to let the personality of the original eau de vies shine through rather than be subsumed by the oak. Camus offers a number of different cognacs to fit ones taste and/or budget within their portfolio.They are the only house that I know of that do a number of distinct Borderies releases. Three of their other release that we are reviewing are the Camus VSOP which is from their Borderies growth vineyards, Camus XO is from a number of vineyards, while the Camus XO Borderies is drawn from private family reserves of their Borderies Vineyards cognac stocks.
First Impression: Subdued floral, fruit, leather and some oak. A relatively light and subtle bouquet that smells lovely.
Appearance: Attractive gold color, leaves thin coat on swirling which develop into thin legs. Could be mistaken for a young whiskey in color.
Taste: Slightly sweet and floral rose like entry , then drying pleasantly. Light body, with a fair amount of flowers and fruit notes and some nice touches of vanilla. Not a lot of the usual oaky notes, making it a bit more floral , fruity with the vanilla as the final notes in a relatively light mouthfeel pleasant drying finish. The bouquet was more seductive than the actual taste.
Drinks: Works nicely if you are looking lighter more floral cognac than usual. Think of it as a whisper rather than a shout. It is very subtle for a VS and certainly cheap enough to mix with. Great for swapping out in bourbon drinks fro a slightly lighter, smoother and more fruity spirit.
Bottle: Somewhat bell shaped clear glass bottle with a gathered bottom that gives it a impression of faceting – (actually shaped somewhat like a datura flower) Simple black label with yellow letters “VS” outlined in silver on black field. A somewhat simple, spare and slightly elegant design.
Other: An interesting screw cap of black plastic with metallic flakes is used in that it is a 1 oz ( 20 cl) measure also.The yellow seal of the cap acts as a easy to see level mark – which is great in low light places such as bars.
Final Thoughts: A decent light bodied cognac, fruity and subtle, with a minimum of oak impact. A excellent value in terms of price/quality ratio and getting easier to find. One of the few VS Coganacs I can recommend and a bargain, to boot!
A somewhat slow loading,with large amounts of history, pictures, recipes, etc. Relatively straight-forward and easy-to-navigate compared to some but loaded with information. Code of ethics document is a interesting addition to the usual website info.