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French Hors D'âge Calvados

Hors d'âge Calvados, a distinguished expression of French brandy, is a testament to the artistry and tradition of Normandy's distillers. Calvados, a brandy distilled from cider made from specially grown and fermented apples, has a storied history in the Normandy region of France. The term "Hors d'âge," meaning "beyond age," is reserved for Calvados that has been aged for a minimum of six years, though in practice, these spirits are often much older, carrying with them a depth and complexity gained through prolonged maturation.

The journey of Hors d'âge Calvados begins in the orchards of Normandy, known for their rich variety of apple (and sometimes pear) cultivars. The fruit is harvested, fermented into cider, and then distilled, typically in a column still. This initial spirit is a clear, apple-flavoured eau-de-vie which is then aged in oak barrels.

During its time in the barrel, Calvados undergoes a remarkable transformation. The spirit not only develops a deeper colour, shifting from a pale gold to richer amber hues, but it also gains a complexity of flavour that only time can bestow. The wood imparts notes of vanilla, caramel, and spices, while the slow oxidation process helps to round out the apple's sharpness, bringing forward subtler, more nuanced fruit flavours.

A tasting of Hors d'âge Calvados reveals a symphony of flavours and aromas. Expect a harmonious blend of mature apple character with undertones of dried fruits, nuts, and a hint of toasty oak. The texture is often velvety and smooth, with a warmth that gently unfolds in the mouth. The finish is usually long and satisfying, leaving a lingering taste of its rich and layered profile.

Hors d'âge Calvados is more than a fine spirit; it's a reflection of Normandy's cultural heritage and the meticulous craftsmanship of its producers. This type of Calvados is typically enjoyed neat, often as a digestif, allowing the full breadth of its flavour to be savoured. It appeals to spirit enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate the intricate balance of fruit, age, and wood that Hors d'âge Calvados so elegantly encapsulates. Each bottle is a celebration of the time-honoured traditions of Calvados production, offering a unique and memorable tasting experience.

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