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Calvados

The Calvados region is located in Basse-Normandie (Lowe Normandy), where apple cider was brewed perhaps as early as the 8th century and, today, Calvados is one of France’s best loved brandies, though unlike the grape brandies Cognac and Armagnac, Calvados is distilled from cider.

Whilst the popularity of French apple brandy grew, taxation and prohibition more or less contained it within the Calvados area, and after the French Revolution when the area was properly identified, the term Calvados was already in common usage when referring to apple brandy. The phylloxera outbreak during the 19th century ruined so many vineyards that Calvados experienced a boom of popularity – it being unaffected by the pest.

Calvados is a very popular digestif, and in France it is enjoyed as part of a “café-calva” – a hot coffee served with a glass of Calvados.

Calvados is distilled from a number of different apple varieties (over 200 are legally permitted), and it is not uncommon for there to be over 100 different varieties used to make a single Calvados. A combination of sweet, tart and inedible bitter apples are used to attain the right balance of flavour.

The apples are usually picked by hand, and are pressed and fermented to make cider. This is then distilled; either twice in a traditional Alembic, or singly in a continuous column still. The former still produces complex, well-ageing Calvados and the latter accounts for fresh, tangy, approachable Calvados.

The spirit is aged for a minimum of two years in oak casks, though it is not unusual for it to be aged for substantially longer – often decades.

Did you know?... ...Calvados is often enjoyed as part of “le trou Normand”, in which a small glass of Calvados is taken between courses in a meal, often with sorbet, as a palate cleanser.

Calvados

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Kentucky Oak Barrels
This is a delicious 12 year old Calvados produced at the Domaine de Semainville in the heart of the Pays d'Auge. The spirit is aged in oak barrels which are never more than 75% full. This increases...  More info
$122.79
Aged for between 40 and 50 years, Adrien Camut distil this the family's stills, one of which was made in the 1920s! The spirit enters the barrels at 62%abv, and after maturation this offers up notes...  More info
$466.18
Aged for between 15 and 18 years, this is a wonderfully aromatic Calvados from Adrien Camut.  More info
$151.63
Another very fine, and very old calvados from Adrien Camut. This is a rich, aromatic spirit with oodles of complexity, as you might expect from a calvados composed of spirit aged for between 35 and 50...  More info
$291.55
Aged for between 20 and 25 years, this is a voluptuous, complex Calvados from top producers Adrien Camut. The ultimate digestif? Quite possibly…  More info
$216.72
Berneroy Fine is a beautiful Calvados with notes of fresh apples and buttery vanilla.  More info
$39.26
This is a half bottle of Fine Calvados (Calvados aged for over 2 years), it's a fruity, buttery, creamy spirit from Berneroy.  More info
$27.71
From the heart of the Calvados region, Berneroy aged this VSOP in Limousin oak for around 8 years. It has a great flavour and they recommend it with the cheeseboard, chocolate, or even as an...  More info
$43.20
An XO Calvados from Berneroy - situated in the heart of the region. This is Berneroy's premium expression, a blend that features Calvados which has been well aged in oak casks. It is brilliantly...  More info
$59.58
After seven years of crafting, Boulard finally settled on the recipe for their Boulard Extra, made with a selection of very old and elegant Calvados. It was certainly worth the time, as this supremely...  More info
$506.72
Boulard Grand Solage is a sweet, rich Calvados made with cider that has been double-distilled. The eaux-de-vie used in the Grand Solage ranges between 2 to 5 year old. The Boulard Calvados company has...  More info
$50.04
This XO Calvados from Normandy distillery Boulard is named in homage to their founder, Pierre Auguste. All the way back in 1825, he opened the house, and since then, the great Calvados has been...  More info
$239.32
Chauffe Coeur VSOP
(70cl, 43%)
Made using fruit from the orchards near the village of Cambremer, in the heart of Calvados. Chauffe Coeur VSOP is aged in 120 litre Limousin oak barrels for 6 years.  More info
$72.57
A delectable 14 year old Calvados from Château du Breuil. There are 22,000 apple trees surrounding the Château.  More info
$111.58
Château du Breuil guard the secrets to this, their top of the range Calvados, very closely. We're told that it's very old, and that the blend is painstakingly crafted with great skill by the Cellar...  More info
$263.55
This Calvados from Château du Breuil is aged for 2 years before bottling, this was awarded a silver and "best in class" at the 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition and a Bronze at the 2009...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$41.77
Réserve du Château is an 8 year old Calvados from Château du Breuil, carefully matured for a wonderful aroma of walnut, almond and vanilla. Awarded a silver and a "best in class" at the International...  More info
$69.43
Daron Fine
(70cl, 40%)
This is a delicious Calvados produced by the Daron company, made a the fifth generation family distiller. This is distilled from the first press juice, and very small pot stills are used.  More info
$38.04
Domaine Dupont 1997
(70cl, 42%)
Made by Domaine Dupont in the heart of the Pays d'Auge region of Calvados, this is a lovely 1997 vintage, made with a mix of 30% sweet apples, 30% bitter and 40% acidic. Perfectly rounded.  More info
$88.78
Aged for between 10 and 12 years in Loire valley oak casks, Domaine Dupont themselves recommend this as a good spirit for pairing with dark chocolate cake.  More info
$85.50
The 30 hectare Dupont estate in Normandy has become recognised worldwide for the quality of the calvados produced there. This 17yo is no exception and like all bottlings from Dupont, really reflects...  More info
$138.37
This delectable VSOP Calvados was created by the Etienne family in the heart of the Calvados region. Domaine Dupont VSOP is juicy, crisp and fruity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$65.04
A very tasty Calvados, Henry de Querville offers fresh, crisp apple notes, with a beautiful rounded sweetness. It may contain a bit of sediment so it's best to decant it before drinking.  More info
$41.60
Domfront, at the south of Calvados, is home to the Lemorton family. They create their elegant, fruity Calvados with a blend of 70% pears and 30% apples. They age the cider in oak for almost a year...  More info
$756.18
Produced by Pere Magloire, the famed French Calvados that was previously owned by Veuve Clicquot. Made, of course, by distilling cider, it's been aged for 12 years to combine those happy apples with...  More info
$78.10
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