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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.

Christian Drouin 1989 Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 42%
Christian Drouin

Long aged Calvados from Christian Drouin, distilled back in 1989 and finished in Sherry casks!  More info

Christian Drouin 1989 Calvados Pays d'Auge
$161.97

Lemorton 1972 Vieux Calvados

70cl, 40%
Lemorton

A 1972 vintage Calvados from the Lemorton range. Lemorton have a different vintages of Calvados reaching back into the 1960s, as well as some very well-aged expressions - top-quality stuff for sure.  More info

Lemorton 1972 Vieux Calvados
$252.32

Christian Drouin - Calvados XO Pierre Pivet

70cl, 42%
Christian Drouin

A handsome release from Christian Drouin's range of Calvados - this is an XO expression presented in a carafe and named after Pierre Pivet, Drouin's first distiller.  More info

Christian Drouin - Calvados XO Pierre Pivet
$142.21

Pere Magloire Calvados XO

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

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

Pere Magloire Calvados XO
$76.64

Château du Breuil 14 Year Old

70cl, 41%
Château du Breuil

A delectable 14 year old Calvados from Château du Breuil. There are 22,000 apple trees surrounding the Château.  More info

Château du Breuil 14 Year Old
$77.08

Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Boulard

After seven years of crafting, Boulard finally settled on the recipe for their Boulard Extra, made with a selection of very old and elegant Calvados. It was certainly worth the time, as this…  More info

Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d'Auge
$371.57

Roger Groult 8 Year Old

70cl, 41%
Roger Groult

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

Roger Groult 8 Year Old
$60.40

Calvados Morin 10 Year Old

70cl, 42%
Morin

This is the 10 year old expression from Calvados Morin, who have been producing their splendid apple-based deliciousness in Normandy since 1889! This'll make for a tasty after-dinner treat...  More info

Calvados Morin 10 Year Old
$60.54

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
$71.45

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
$43.66

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
$32.53

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
$194.25

Berneroy Fine Calvados 35cl

35cl, 40%
Berneroy

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

Berneroy Fine Calvados 35cl
$21.02

Christian Drouin Hors d’Age Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 42%
Christian Drouin

The Hors d'Age Calvados Pays d'Auge from little-known producer Christian Drouin, spends 15 years matured in oak casks before it's ready to be enjoyed. Following its long maturation, this intense…  More info

Christian Drouin Hors d’Age Calvados Pays d'Auge
$86.61

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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