Caribbean Expedition
Caribbean Expedition

Caribbean Expedition

The beauty of being a family owned and run cognac house is the freedom to experiment and innovate. The house’s most exciting project to date is the Camus Caribbean Expedition.

Finishing is a term used to describe a final ageing period in casks previously used to age another spirit or wine. Rather than simply finish cognac in rum casks, Camus has undertaken its Caribbean Expedition to push the boundaries of finishing in a quest to add extra layers of complexity.

Throughout the 18th and a good part of the 19th-century, cognac was shipped around the world in oak casks by boat, arriving at its destination after months of sailing with the extended voyage dramatically impacting the character of the cognac. As shipping in glass bottles replaced shipping by cask, so this period of oceanic maturation was lost.

producers 19 image

The Camus Caribbean Expedition reintroduces oceanic maturation, exposing ten specially selected cognac casks to the continuous motion of a tall sailing ship, shaking and stirring the cognac inside the barrels, so amplifying wood contact. Climatic changes during the 45-day voyage through the transatlantic route to Barbados will also accelerate the ageing process as the ship crosses different climatic areas to dock in the Caribbean heat.

The maritime climate is expected to impart iodine and salty flavours. Changes in atmospheric pressure during the voyage will also increase the mechanic effect of contraction and expansion of the oak staves, so absorbing and then forcing out the cognac from the wood’s pores.

producers 60 image

Expedition update 10 January 2019 - Arrival in Barbados

After their one and a half month's voyage, crew and barrels of the Caribbean Expedition arrived safely at Bridgetown, Barbados late evening on 10th January 2019.

The great news also welcomes the next stage of the adventure. The ten barrels will now begin their one-year maturation under tropical climate conditions, overseen by Richard Seale, Master Distiller of the historic Foursquare rum distillery. Along with the cognac samples taken before departure, there will be others taken throughout the maturation process.

The casks will then be returned to France where the contents will be bottled to become the first cognac double aged in oceanic and tropical conditions. This one-off experimental series will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 bottles (subject to a reduction of liquid during the expedition) released by the end of 2020 with 1,000 of these bottles available for a sale en primeur.

producers 79 image

Tropical maturation

Temperatures in Barbados vary between 21°C and 30°C with an average humidity of 72% reaching a peak of 99% during the wet season from June to November. Aging in this tropical heat causes around 10% evaporation of spirit compared to 2% in cooler climates so accelerating the maturation process by a factor of 2.85 (e.g. 6 years of ageing for a rum in the Caribbean correspond to 17 years of ageing for a whisky in Scotland from the point of view of the cask fill level).

producers 41 image

Oceanic maturation

Camus’ ten 350 litre casks containing eaux-de-vie already at their 4th year of ageing at 48% alc./vol. set sail on their transatlantic Caribbean Expedition on 23rd November 2018 from the port of La Rochelle. Depending on the trade winds, they are expected to arrive in Bridgetown by the 10th of January 2019.

The sailing ship chosen is the De Gallant, a haring logger sailing boat built in 1916 in Vlaardingen, Netherlands and mostly used for fishing. The De Gallant is now owned and operated by TOWT, a company specialising in the transport of goods by sail, reviving an environmentally friendly mode of transportation to addresses current and future environmental issues. Wind energy allows the transport of goods, both regionally and internationally, while considerably limiting CO2 emissions compared to conventional modes of transport.

Caribbean Expedition image 1 Caribbean Expedition image 2 Caribbean Expedition image 3 Caribbean Expedition image 4 Caribbean Expedition image 5 Caribbean Expedition image 6 Caribbean Expedition image 7 Caribbean Expedition image 8 Caribbean Expedition image 9 Caribbean Expedition image 10 Caribbean Expedition image 11 Caribbean Expedition image 12 Caribbean Expedition image 13 Caribbean Expedition image 14 Caribbean Expedition image 15 Caribbean Expedition image 16 Caribbean Expedition image 17 Caribbean Expedition image 18 Caribbean Expedition image 19 Caribbean Expedition image 20 Caribbean Expedition image 21 Caribbean Expedition image 22 Caribbean Expedition image 23 Caribbean Expedition image 24 Caribbean Expedition image 25

Camus Cognac

Status: Operational
Established: 1863
Owner: Family owned
Capacity: Not supplied
Visitor Policy: Visitors welcome throughout the year
Tel: +33 5 45 32 28 28
Website: Camus Cognac
Address: 29 rue Marguerite de Navarre, Cognac, 16100
Camus Very Special image

Camus Very Special

One of a new range of Camus cognacs produced using their ˝Instensity˝ distillation process to produce intensely aromatic cognacs. Launched in April 2019,

Camus VSOP image

Camus VSOP

Launched in April 2019, Camus VSOP is one of a range of Camus cognacs produced using their ˝Instensity˝ distillation process to produce intensely aromatic

Camus XO Intense image

Camus XO Intense

Camus XO is one of a new range of Camus cognacs produced using their ˝Instensity˝ distillation process to produce intensely aromatic cognacs launched

Camus VSOP Borderies image

Camus VSOP Borderies

A limited edition single-cru and single estate cognac made exclusively with grapes from Camus owned vineyards in Borderies.

Camus XO Borderies image

Camus XO Borderies

A limited edition single-cru and single-estate XO cognac produced using grapes from the most prized vines in Borderies vineyards owned by Camus.

Camus Extra image

Camus Extra

Originally released to celebrate the Millennium, Camus Extra is blended from cognacs between 30 and 50 years old and is presented in an elegant crystal

Camus Extra Dark & Intense image

Camus Extra Dark & Intense

Released in 2015, Camus Extra Dark and Intense is a blend of Cognacs, particularly from Fine Champagne and Borderies crus, aged between 30 and 50 years.

Camus Île de Ré Fine Island image

Camus Île de Ré Fine Island

A cognac made from grapes grown on Île de Ré, an island off the west coast of France in the Bois à Terroirs cru, the most westerly region of the Cognac

Camus Ile de Ré Double Matured image

Camus Ile de Ré Double Matured

The eaux-de-vie are first matured in a damp cellar on Ile de Ré then transported to Cognac where they are re-casked in very old barrels which have been

Welcome to Difford's Guide

All editorial and photography on this website is copyright protected

© Odd Firm of Sin 2024