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CAMUS VSOP Elegance(Cognac)

Review: CAMUS VSOP Elegance    (89.5/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published December 10, 2014

CAMUS is the last of the major Cognac Houses that is entirely family run, and the House has been that way for five generations. Cyril Camus who represents the fifth generation of the Camus family currently remains in sole control of the company which currently has employees on three separate continents responsible for sales of cognac in almost every country of the world.

The construction of the CAMUS VSOP Elegance begins with a selection of particular aromatic eaux-de-vie which are partially distilled on the lees. These include eaux-de-vie from the famous Borderies cru which are selected to strengthen the aromatic character of the VSOP Elegance as it ages. The aging barrels selected for this VSOP are medium toasted rather than lightly toasted which helps to maintain the original characteristic aromas of the eaux-de-vie.

The ages of the varies blended Cognac in the VSOP Elegance must be (by law) a minimum of four years of age, although to maintain a consistent flavour profile from year to year, it would not be unusual for some of the specific Cognac in the blend to be aged longer.

Camus VSOP Elegance SAM_1344In the Bottle  5/5

As you can see from the image to the left the CAMUS VSOP Elegance arrives in an elegant black cardboard display box. When the spirit is removed from the display box we see that it is housed in an equally splendid medium tall long-necked bottle, the bottom of which is fluted which gives the bottle the look of a decanter and also allows you to easily grip the bottle for a quick easy pour.

The bottle’s closure is a long plastic screw cap which has, as part of its design, a red compression ring at the bottom which ensures that the bottle is resealed properly after each pour. The long screw cap is round at the bottom where it seals against the compression ring, but tapers to an eight sided octagon at the top which allows easy gripping and therefore easy opening of the bottle. This closure also happens to be manufactured such that it contains exactly one shot of spirit, which (if you cannot find your jigger when you are making a cocktail) is very nice indeed.

In the Glass 9/10

When I poured the Camus VSOP Cognac into my tulip shaped glencairn glass I saw the spirit displayed itself as an appealing golden/amber coloured spirit. When I tilted and twirled my glass, the crest of cognac on the inside slowly dropped some medium-sized leglets which formed trails of thickened spirit which ran back into the cognac at the bottom.

The initial aroma of from the glass brings forward a very nicely fruited mixture of green grape, apricot and raisin all of which are melded nicely into the rising scents of fine oak spices. There is a gentle sweetness in the breezes represented by indications of sweetgrass and butterscotch. As the glass sits I sense a light herbaceous quality within the air with hints of camphor and menthol tickling the senses. A bit of leather and tobacco join with hints of citrus zest adding both a touch of refinement and a touch of youthfulness to the aroma.

In the Glass 53/60

The initial delivery brings forward much of what the nosing of the glass revealed earlier. Fresh fruits (green grape and apricots) have merged with lightly sweet butterscotch and those flavours are accented by light indications of cinnamon and menthol. All of this is underscored with fine oak spice and touches of leather. There also is a hint of saltiness brought forward which once noticed seems to linger coyly not being aggressive, but not quite shying away either.

A second sip brings me stronger indications of dry fruit and raisins, and a bit of milk chocolate seems to ooze from the leather and oak.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The finish is both exotic and floral with exotic impressions of camphor, lemongrass, and anise and floral suggestions of blue iris, and lilac. A lingering coolness of menthol works very well to compliment these impressions.

The Afterburn 9/10

As you can probably tell from the review, I have formed a very positive impression of the Camus VSOP. It is a very nice sipping spirit with enough complexity and depth of flavour to keep me interested all the way to the bottom of the glass. I also had a lot of fun mixing cocktails, and I have shared one of the most interesting as my suggested recipe for the Camus.

You may click this link to read some of my other Brandy and Cognac Reviews


Suggested Recipe

Champs Élysées SAM_1383Champs Élysées

2 oz Camus VSOP Cognac
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
3/8 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
lemon wedge

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice
Garnish with a wedge of lemon

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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