The taste-active compounds of a Camembert cheese selected for its intense bitterness defect were investigated. The water-soluble fraction (WSE) was extracted with pure water and fractionated by successive tangential ultrafiltrations and nanofiltration. The physicochemical assessment of these fractions led to the construction of a model WSE which was compared by sensory evaluation to the crude water-soluble extract, using a panel of 16 trained tasters. As no significant difference was perceived, this model WSE was then used directly or mixed with other cheese components for omission tests. Among the main taste characteristics of the WSE (salty, sour, umami and bitter), bitterness was found to be due to small peptides whose mass distribution was obtained by RPHPLC-MS (400–3000 Da) and whose taste properties are discussed.