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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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Rich and very tasty 25 year old Calvados from Lemorton, the top producer in the Domfrontais region.  More info
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A French delight that bursts with fresh apple flavours, Père Magloire Pommeau de Normandie is made using a mix of their fantastic Calvados and apple cider must, which is then aged for 3 years. Serve...  More info
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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
$85.34
Although Calvados is made using distilled cider, it's not the type of drink you're going to hear The Wurzels singing about in a Somerset pub. Calvados must be aged over 6 years to be graded XO, but...  More info
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15 year old Calvados from Pays d'Auge, made by Roger Groult, a highly respect name in the Calvados industry. We imagine he's quite proud of his produce, not unlike the chap on the presentation box...  More info
$97.94
Roger Groult produces Calvados in Pays d'Auge, France, using over 30 varieties of apple for a complex, intriguing flavour profile. Although the laws in Pays d'Auge say you are allowed to use pears in...  More info
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The Roger Groult family distillery can be found in the hills of the Pays d'Auge, where they've been making their Calvados for 5 generations! Distilled twice in traditional direct-fired stills, this...  More info
$57.38
A premium expression of Calvados from Roger Groult in Pays d'Auge. Using Calvodos which has aged for at least 18 years, there's no mistaking that this is an exquisite drink. While Groult only uses old...  More info
$131.85
Fine Coquerel is distilled using the continuous distillation process, and matured in small oak barrels. It's an apply calvados blended from spirit aged two years minimum.  More info
$33.27
This calvados is distilled in a still using the continuous distillation process and is matured in small oak barrels. Vieux is based on a blend of different apples.  More info
$46.09
A deliciously soft, rich and fruity Calvados made with spirit aged for between eight and fifteen years in oak. For the first part of its maturation, Calvados Coquerel is rested in new oak barrels...  More info
$47.94
A 1994 vintage Château du Breuil, distilled from apples grown on the company's 22,000 apple trees in Normandy.  More info
$108.25
Château du Breuil VSOP is distilled from fruit from the 42 hectares of hillside orchards before maturation in Troncais or Limousin oak. Soft and rounded.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$45.38
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
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Distilled at Domaine Dupont in 1977, this calvados is bottled at cask strength to maximise its complexity and concentration. It is distilled from 80% bittersweet apples, and 20% tart apples, which are...  More info
$264.53
1989 Vintage Calvados from top producer Domaine Dupont, aged in 400 litre casks from the Loire valley. Dupont use a selection of apples, 30% sweet, 40% highly acidic and 30% bitter. The result is a...  More info
1989 vintage from Domaine Dupont, aged in 400 litre casks from the Loire valley. Dupont use a selection of apples, 30% sweet, 40% highly acidic and 30% bitter. The result is a wonderfully balanced...  More info
A half bottle of Domaine Dupont's 1997 Calvados. They make this with a mix of 30% sweet apples, 30% bitter, and 40% highly acidic apples. The result is a great deal of complexity and balance.  More info
$57.36
Produced in the heart of the Calvados region, this is a fine, aromatic spirit, with notes of butterscotch, apple and spice.  More info
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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
$44.37
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