Complex Cognac

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

It takes both confidence and pride to launch an hors d’age Cognac—especially one blended with eaux-de-vie ranging from 30 to 50 years—without any labels or other identifying markings on its crystal decanter. But that is exactly what Cyril Camus, fifth generation of the last family-owned Cognac house in France, has done with Camus Extra Elegance ($390). Only the understated Camus (pronounced kah-moo) “Extra Cognac” lettering embossed on the matte metallic silver neck band hints that this is something not just “extra,” but extraordinary. There is even a soft cloth in its mirrored display case for wiping off fingerprints.

But it is the Cognac itself that shines. Deep burnished gold in color, its pungent floral bouquet is a prelude to the rich flavors dominated by wines from Borderies, which are enhanced by grapes from the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne regions. Cedar, tobacco, dried violets, and leather fill the mouth and linger long after the last sip. Already the best-selling Extra-designated Cognac in Asia, Camus Extra Elegance has finally come to America. It is by far the most complex and elegant digestif produced by the House of Camus in its 149-year history. (www.camus.fr)

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