While many spirits have seen some modern updates, vodka and rum come in many flavors, whiskies and bourbons come in new finishes, and wines are made with fruits other than grapes; one spirit that hasn’t much changed is Cognac. Until now! Until CAMUS Caribbean Expedition Cognac! Cognac is a brandy variety specifically made from wine that comes from Cognac, France. It is required to meet certain production methods and legal requirements and CAMUS Caribbean Expedition Cognac does meet all those requirements but it offers something a bit more. Something other cognacs do not offer, a double maturation in Oceanic and Tropical climates.
Camus Caribbean Expedition is a one-of-a-kind small batch Cognac. It is stunningly amber-colored with golden highlights. You will immediately pick up on its fruit and spicy aromas of banana, pear, cocoa bean, and nutmeg. Side note: We’re looking forward to a later edition of this cognac will be after extensive aging in the barrels. Upon the first sip, this cognac opens up with a noticeable kick but then rounds out to an elegant mouthfeel. Expect lots of aromas, soft tannins, and more exotic fruit with this divine spirit.
The journey to this unique cognac is an adventurous one. In its 4th year of aging, 10 sealed casks were loaded on the De Gallant ship, which then sailed the Transatlantic route to Barbados. For 45 days, the cognac in these barrels was exposed to multiple environmental factors, like motion and variation in temperature, humidity, and air pressure, enhancing its intensely aromatic notes. A nod to the 18th and 19th centuries when the Cognac trade around the world was made by ship? During those times, oak barrels left their cellars in France and reached their final destinations after months of sailing. Here’s a breakdown of the ways motion, Oceanic climate, and air pressure affected the liquid.
- The continuous movement of the ship while sailing, amplifies the contact between each molecule of the liquid and the wood staves, accelerating the extraction of aromatic components from the barrel.
- As the ship crossed different climatic areas, entering into very warm zones, some of the crucial processes of maturation, such as oxidation with the formation of aldehydes, had the chance to happen sooner.
- Lastly, the continuous change in the atmospheric pressure increased the mechanic effect of contraction and expansion of the oak wood staves, accelerating the process of oxygen consumption. While most of the 10 casks were loaded in the hold of the ship, two of these (no.5 and no.8) were deliberately tied down on the bow, in the open air, to maximize the exposure to external atmospheric agents.
At the end of those 45 days, the Cognac was entrusted to the tropical conditions of Foursquare Master Distiller Richard Seale for 1 year of further maturation. The very unique climate of Barbados accelerated changes in color and flavor profile; this created a Cognac with a distinctive, highly aromatic taste that is an absolute first in the history of the category. The casks were kept in traditional Bajan cellars, stacked one on top of the other vertically. In the Bajan climate, the tannins from the barrels gave greater structure and complexity to the cognac compared to a cognac of equal maturation in a continental climate. The result is a cognac with higher aromatic components, more fruit and spice on the palate, and an array of flavors no European cognac possesses.
This unprecedented and special finish in the highly distinctive environmental conditions is the fruit of an experimental vision by CAMUS; the brand is looking at exploring the boundaries of Cognac-making to enhance the intensity of aromas. This limited edition cognac is a must to experience, especially if you’re a cognac connoisseur. Forewarning, only 4500 bottles of CAMUS Caribbean Expedition Cognac are currently available and it’s been obtainable since September 1st. To add the groundbreaking cognac to your home bar, visit the CAMUS e-shop, www.camus.fr.