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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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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
$28.44
Berneroy Fine is a beautiful Calvados with notes of fresh apples and buttery vanilla.  More info
$35.67
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)
$40.87
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
$41.67
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)
$45.09
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
$46.67
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
$50.30
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
$57.93
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)
$65.72
Daron XO Extra
(70cl, 40%)
Daron is made in the very heart of the Pays d'Auge in Calvados, and the company has been operated for five generations of the same family. Today, only the very first pressing of juice is used and the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$67.26
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
$69.78
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
$74.48
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
$80.15
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
$81.35
15 year old Calvados, bottled by Alchemist. This is produced at Domaine Christian Drouin, a Calvados producer of legendary esteem.  More info
$84.51
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
$84.96
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
$89.74
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
$91.98
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
$109.62
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
$113.49
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
$113.87
A delectable 14 year old Calvados from Château du Breuil. There are 22,000 apple trees surrounding the Château.  More info
$114.51
Réserve des Seigneurs XO is a 20 year old Calvados from Château du Breuil in Normandy. This is a very rich and supple spirit.  More info
$116.64
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
$123.83
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
$136.27
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