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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.

Calvados

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Daron Fine
(70cl, 40%)
This is a delicious Calvados produced by the Daron company, made a the fifth generation family distiller. This is distilled from the first press juice, and very small pot stills are used.  More info
$36.22
Berneroy Fine is a beautiful Calvados with notes of fresh apples and buttery vanilla.  More info
$37.38
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
$38.60
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
$39.61
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
User Rating: 
$39.77
From the heart of the Calvados region, Berneroy aged this VSOP in Limousin oak for around 8 years. It has a great flavour and they recommend it with the cheeseboard, chocolate, or even as an...  More info
$41.13
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
User Rating: 
$43.18
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, exciting...  More info
$44.55
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
$44.84
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 before...  More info
$45.74
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 a...  More info
$46.85
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 has...  More info
$47.64
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
$49.99
VSOP Calvados from little-known producer, Pacory. Very light and easy-going with plenty of fruit up-front.  More info
$52.95
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
$56.73
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
$57.34
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
User Rating: 
$61.92
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
$64.15
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
$66.10
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
$68.15
Chauffe Coeur VSOP
(70cl, 43%)
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
$69.09
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
$74.35
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
$77.83
15 year old Calvados, bottled by Alchemist. This is produced at Domaine Christian Drouin, a Calvados producer of legendary esteem.  More info
$78.40
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
$81.40
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