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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 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
$26.23

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
$81.57

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)
$176.30

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
$48.98

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
$61.55

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
$166.44

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
$100.05

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
$46.66

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
$39.24

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
$29.58

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
$72.97

Le Clos d'Orval 25 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 40%
Le Clos d'Orval

This Le Clos d'Orval Calvados spends a quarter of a century resting in oak casks before being bottled! 25 years is a long time, but the cider-based spirit from Le Clos d'Orval stands up to it very…  More info

Le Clos d'Orval 25 Year Old Calvados
$96.62

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
$54.98

Le Lieu Chéri 10 Year Old Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 42%
Le Lieu Chéri

A 10 year old Pays d'Auge Calvados from apple aficionados, Lieu Cheri. A delicious postprandial drink.  More info

Le Lieu Chéri 10 Year Old Calvados Pays d'Auge
$49.22

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
$40.54

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
$109.77

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
$539.01

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
$55.10

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
$97.23

Pere Magloire Calvados XO (50cl)

50cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

XO Calvados here from the famous Pere Magloire range - just the ticket if you're looking for an alternative to whisky for you after-dinner drinks. The XO spends at least 9 years ageing in oak casks…  More info

Pere Magloire Calvados XO (50cl)
$60.46

Pere Magloire Calvados XO Mémoire

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

A delicious Pere Magloire Calvados which has been created using spirits that have aged for at least 15 years. Enjoy neat or over ice, as the distillers recommend.  More info

Pere Magloire Calvados XO Mémoire
$82.29

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
$119.86

Pâpidoux Fine Calvados

70cl, 40%
Pâpidoux

The entry-level Calvados from well-known producer, Pâpidoux. Refreshing and juicy, though not without depth of spicy, oak-y qualities. A wonderful alternative disgestif if you're looking for a change…  More info

Pâpidoux Fine Calvados
$29.01

Père Magloire Carte Jaune Calvados - 1970s

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

'Yellow Card' Calvados from Père Magloire, who really know their onions apples. This bottling is thought to date from the 1970s.  More info

Père Magloire Carte Jaune Calvados - 1970s
$132.27

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
$35.26

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