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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.

Château du Breuil Réserve du Château

70cl, 40%
Château du Breuil

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

Château du Breuil Réserve du Château
$48.38

Lemorton 1979 Vieux Calvados

70cl, 40%
Lemorton

A long-aged Calvados from Lemorton's range of vintages, stretching back into the 1970s. This particular bottling was made with Calvados exclusively distilled in 1979 - the same year that Fleetwood…  More info

Lemorton 1979 Vieux Calvados
$193.58

Boulard Grand Solage Pays d'Auge Calvados 70cl

70cl, 40%
Boulard

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…  More info

Boulard Grand Solage Pays d'Auge Calvados 70cl
$36.30

Pere Magloire Extra Héritage

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

From Pere Magloire's delicious range of Calvados Pays d'Auge comes the Héritage Extra, a deluxe expression comprised of spirits which have aged for 20 years. A fantastic way to finish a rich meal...  More info

Pere Magloire Extra Héritage
$117.35

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados

70cl, 40%
Roger Groult

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

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados
$37.72

Domfrontais 12 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 41%
Pacory

This Calvados from the Pacory distillers was aged for 12 years before it was bottled, resulting in a flavour profile which is well balanced between expressive fruit and bold, oak-y spice.  More info

Domfrontais 12 Year Old Calvados
$53.54

Henry de Querville Calvados

70cl, 40%
Henry de Querville

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

Henry de Querville Calvados
$29.50

Christian Drouin Réserve des Fiefs Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Christian Drouin

This is Christian Drouin's Réserve des Fiefs Calvados, crafted with spirits which have been matured for at least three years. Refreshing and vibrant, with hints of spicy oak peeking through on the…  More info

Christian Drouin Réserve des Fiefs Calvados Pays d'Auge
$49.44

Berneroy XO Calvados

70cl, 40%
Berneroy

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

Berneroy XO Calvados
$42.98

Lemorton Vieux Calvados 1985

70cl, 40%
Lemorton

A vintage Calvados that reaches far back into the warehouses of Lemorton - this particular bottling is made exclusively with Calvados distilled in 1985! Impressively old stuff.  More info

Lemorton Vieux Calvados 1985
$163.73

Pere Magloire 20 Year Old Calvados Pays d'Auge

50cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

20 year old Calvados is a rather rare, pleasing sight indeed - oh look, there's some right here from top producer, Pere Magloire! The oak influence on this 20 year old Calvados Pays d'Auge is…  More info

Pere Magloire 20 Year Old Calvados Pays d'Auge
$95.20

Adrien Camut Privilège

70cl, 40%
Adrien Camut

Aged for between 15 and 18 years, this is a wonderfully aromatic Calvados from Adrien Camut.  More info

Adrien Camut Privilège
$109.86

Adrien Camut Reserve de Semainville

70cl, 40%
Adrien Camut

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

Adrien Camut Reserve de Semainville
1
$152.93

Chauffe Coeur VSOP

70cl, 43%
Chauffe Coeur

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

Chauffe Coeur VSOP
$39.19

Pere Magloire 12 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

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

Pere Magloire 12 Year Old Calvados
$53.95

Christian Drouin Sélection Calvados

70cl, 40%
Christian Drouin

Sélection is the entry level expression from Christian Drouin's range - a young but flavoursome Calvados from the Domfront region, packed with vivid fruit notes. Suitable for use in cocktails and as…  More info

Christian Drouin Sélection Calvados
$33.99

Domfrontais VSOP Calvados

70cl, 42%
Pacory

VSOP Calvados from little-known producer, Pacory. Very light and easy-going with plenty of fruit up-front.  More info

Domfrontais VSOP Calvados
$38.42

Boulard La Cuvée Vincent

70cl, 40%
Boulard

The La Cuvée Vincent expression from Boulard's Calvados range is made with a blend of spirits that have been aged between three to six years in oak casks before being bottled. With a vibrant,…  More info

Boulard La Cuvée Vincent
$32.32

Domaine Dupont Millésime 1980

70cl, 42%
Domaine Dupont

A long-aged Calvados from the respected distillers at Domaine Dupont - this vintage offering was distilled back in 1980! Would make for a superb aperitif or pair handsomely with a dark chocolate…  More info

Domaine Dupont Millésime 1980
$138.08

Le Clos d'Orval Calvados 12 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Le Clos d'Orval

12 year old Calvados from Le Clos d'Orval - rich and complex with fragrant, vibrant apple freshness combined with classic oak-y spices. An excellent aperitif, and could also make for an interesting…  More info

Le Clos d'Orval Calvados 12 Year Old
$60.37

Le Clos d'Orval 2 Year Old Fine Calvados

70cl, 40%
Le Clos d'Orval

A 2 year old Calvados from Le Clos d'Orval - with its bright, lively, aromatic qualities, it makes for an excellent cocktail ingredient.  More info

Le Clos d'Orval 2 Year Old Fine Calvados
$31.12

Boulard XO Auguste Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Boulard

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

Boulard XO Auguste Calvados Pays d'Auge
$165.32

Lemorton Rareté Vieux Calvados

70cl, 40%
Lemorton

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

Lemorton Rareté Vieux Calvados
$527.73

Domaine Dupont Plus De 17 Ans

70cl, 42%
Domaine Dupont

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

Domaine Dupont Plus De 17 Ans
$98.50

Pére François VS Calvados

70cl, 40%
Pére François

This is the VS Calvados from the Père Francoise, a good entry level expression for those of you looking for a yummy alternative digestif spirit. This has been aged in Limousin oak casks.  More info

Pére François VS Calvados
$39.02

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