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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.

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
$150.32

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
$135.72

Berneroy Fine Calvados

70cl, 40%
Berneroy

Berneroy Fine is a beautiful Calvados with notes of fresh apples and buttery vanilla.  More info

Berneroy Fine Calvados
$27.19

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)
$169.67

Adrien Camut 6 Year Old Calvados

70cl, 40%
Adrien Camut

The Camut family has been making calvados for nearly two centuries. This is a delicious spirit created in pot stills, the oldest of which dates back to the 1920s. The result is a big, spiced apple…  More info

Adrien Camut 6 Year Old Calvados
$56.57

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
$59.23

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
$160.17

Boulard Grand Solage Pays d'Auge Calvados 50cl

50cl, 40%
Boulard

A 50cl bottling of Boulard's scrummy Grand Solage Pays d'Auge Calvados, made with eaux-de-vie which has been matured for 2 to 5 years before blending and bottling.  More info

Boulard Grand Solage Pays d'Auge Calvados 50cl
$24.27

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
$33.94

Boulard VSOP Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Boulard

VSOP Calvados Pays d'Auge from one of the most well-known and well-loved producers of the spirit - Boulard. Their VSOP is made with spirits that have aged for 4 to 10 years before being crafted into…  More info

Boulard VSOP Calvados Pays d'Auge
$37.44

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
$34.60

Père Magloire - Fine Pays d'Auge Calvados

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

Père Magloire's Fine, or VS, from Normandy. A delicious entry level Calvados.  More info

Père Magloire - Fine Pays d'Auge Calvados
$25.28

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
$30.70

Pere Magloire Calvados Duc de Normandie

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

A simple, elegant Calvados from Pere Magaloire, a well-known producer of top quality Calvados. Enjoy as an after-dinner drink, or try your hand at using it in a tasty, refreshing cocktail.  More info

Pere Magloire Calvados Duc de Normandie
$22.58

Roger Groult Vénérable

70cl, 41%
Roger Groult

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…  More info

Roger Groult Vénérable
$81.93

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)
$58.19

Busnel VSOP Calvados Pays d'Auge

70cl, 40%
Busnel

The VSOP expression from Pays d'Auge Calvados producer, Busnel. Following its double distillation, this Calvados spends at least 4 years in oak casks before being bottled, resulting in a depth of…  More info

Busnel VSOP Calvados Pays d'Auge
$36.65

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
$62.41

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
$44.91

Boulard Hors d'Age Pays d'Auge Calvados

70cl, 43%
Boulard

Hors d'Age Calvados from renowned producer, Boulard. Made with a selection of Pays d'Auge Calvados, which have been matured between 10 and 20 years, this expression strikes a great balance between…  More info

Boulard Hors d'Age Pays d'Auge Calvados
$66.59

Pere Magloire VSOP Pays d'Auge Calvados

70cl, 40%
Pere Magloire

A VSOP Calvados from Pere Magloire, made with apples taken exclusively from the Pays d'Auge area of Normandy. For the VSOP, Pere Magloire aged this Calvados in oak casks for at least four years…  More info

Pere Magloire VSOP Pays d'Auge Calvados
$32.61

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
$79.19

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
$518.74

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
$60.67

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
$107.98

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