A very different but excellent XO cognac. Recommended for those who want something different but very nice.
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 XO cognac and their other offerings. 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 releases that we are reviewing are the V.S., V.S.O.P. is from a number of vineyards, while the Camus XO Borderies is drawn from private family reserves and distilled on small lees.
First Impression: Subdued floral, fresh and dried fruits, vanilla, anise, touches of leather and oily nuts with some understated oak. A demi sec, concentrated champagne or delicate jelly like-like smell to it with an admixture of fruit and floral scents.
Appearance: Lovely baltic amber gold/red color, leaves thin coat on swirling which develop slowly into thin legs. Could be mistaken for a older whisky 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.
Drinks: Very subtle and lovely nuances to any cognac drinks. Tailor your drinks as this has less wood and is more flavor forward than most.
Bottle: Clear glass in that classic or signature XO and above bottle shape with ribbed top and bottom (like gathered or waisted fabric). Since we only have a smaller bottle we can’t comment on any other points.
Final Thoughts: A decent light to medium bodied cognac, fruity and subtle, with a minimum of oak impact. A good 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.