Decent well made cognac. For someone who doesn’t want the usual suspects in a VSOP
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 VSOP 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. Two of their other release that we are reviewing are the 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 red/gold color, leaves thin coat on swirling which develop into strikingly symmetrically spaced thin legs. Could be mistaken for a young whiskey in color.
Taste: Slightly sweet and floral entry , then drying pleasantly. Light body, with a fair amount of flowers and fruit notes. Not a lot of the usual oaky notes, relatively light with a 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.
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 band type label with smaller red and white ribbon printed on it. White letters “VSOP” 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 red 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 to medium bodied cognac, fruity and subtle, with a minimum of oak impact. A moderate value in terms of price/quality ratio and getting easier to find
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.