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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 15 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 41%
Château du Breuil

15 year old Calvados, produced for Château Du Breuil's scrumptious range of expressions. This is a double distilled Calvados, which spends a decade-and-a-half ageing in Normandy, before being…  More info

Château Du Breuil 15 Year Old Calvados
$62.61

Château du Breuil Calvados Royal

70cl, 41%
Château du Breuil

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

Château du Breuil Calvados Royal
$184.69

Château du Breuil Fine Calvados

70cl, 40%
Château du Breuil

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

Château du Breuil Fine Calvados
2
$26.00

Château du Breuil Réserve des Seigneurs XO

70cl, 41%
Château du Breuil

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

Château du Breuil Réserve des Seigneurs XO
$81.02

Château du Breuil Réserve des Seigneurs XO (2L)

200cl, 41%
Château du Breuil

A 20 year old Calvados from the excellent Château du Breuil. Full bodied with oak tannins, this premium Calvados from Normandy is best served at room temperature. This is a splendidly sizeable 2…  More info

Château du Breuil Réserve des Seigneurs XO (2L)
$175.11

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
$48.65

Château du Breuil VSOP Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Château du Breuil

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

Château du Breuil VSOP Pays d'Auge
1
$30.51

Domaine Dupont Hors D'Age

70cl, 42%
Domaine Dupont

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

Domaine Dupont Hors D'Age
$61.13

Domaine Dupont Millésime 1977

70cl, 42%
Domaine Dupont

A 1977 vintage very well-aged Calvados from top producer Domaine Dupont!  More info

Domaine Dupont Millésime 1977
$165.31

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
$140.07

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
$99.37

Domaine Dupont VSOP Calvados

70cl, 42%
Domaine Dupont

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

Domaine Dupont VSOP Calvados
1
$46.35

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
$47.22

Domfrontais 20 Year Old Calvados (40%)

70cl, 40%
Pacory

Calvados makes for an excellent alternative to after-dinner whiskies or Cognac, and this 20 year old expression from Pacory would certainly round off a fine meal perfectly.  More info

Domfrontais 20 Year Old Calvados (40%)
$72.76

Domfrontais 3 Star Calvados

70cl, 42%
Pacory

This is Pacory's 3 Star Calvados, which has been aged for three years before bottling. Bright and lively with fresh apple notes throughout.  More info

Domfrontais 3 Star Calvados
$33.00

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
$38.98

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
$29.38

Le Clos d'Orval 18 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 40%
Le Clos d'Orval

A well aged expression from Calvados producers Le Clos d'Orval. This Calvados has been matured in oak casks for 18 long years, developing exceptional, refined notes throughout. They've done those…  More info

Le Clos d'Orval 18 Year Old Calvados
$72.48

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
$28.89

Le Clos d'Orval 4 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 40%
Le Clos d'Orval

From Le Clos d'Orval comes a 4 year old Calvados, rich in well-rounded sweetness. Yummy stuff. Ought to go well with mulled wine if you're looking for an alternative to brandy.  More info

Le Clos d'Orval 4 Year Old Calvados
$34.08

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
$54.61

Le Lieu Chéri 5 Year Old

70cl, 42%
Le Lieu Chéri

Five year old Calvados Pays d'Auge from Lieu Cheri, who have 4 generations of experience of general apple deliciousness behind them. Great as an aperitif, or as an alternative to an after-dinner…  More info

Le Lieu Chéri 5 Year Old
$40.27

Lemorton 20 Year Old Vieux Calvados

70cl, 40%
Lemorton

20 year old Calvados, produced by the Lemorton family. While Calvados is often seen as a mostly cider-apple-based spirit, Lemorton use a rather high percentage of pears in their expressions - not…  More info

Lemorton 20 Year Old Vieux Calvados
$109.03

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
$535.37

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
$54.73

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