Style: Calvados (apple brandy)
Calvados is a brandy made from distilled apples produced exclusively in the Normandy region in France. Founded in 1820 by Ernest Busnel, the distillery is the oldest of the major Calvados producers. It was completely destroyed during World War 2, later rebuilt and reopening in 1952. This Calvados has been aged for 4 years in oak barrels. Pays d’Auge is a region of Normandy to the east and have very restrictive requirements in order for the Calvados to carry that label.
So this is the first time I’ve ever had a Calvados in one of my cider tastings. I thought it would be really fun to try, as it fit the theme and the perfect way to end the tasting. Of course, we have to judge this Calvados very differently from how we judge beer or cider. This was honey coloured with a silky, thick body that coated the glass when swirled. Intense apple and alcohol aromas were detected, with hints of cloudberry and peach in the background. There was an intense fruity taste, with a big boozy hit that warmed the throat instantly. It left a warming stone fruit intensity in the back of the throat that lasted a long time.
Smooth but hard hitting, I enjoyed the intensity and rich flavours of this brandy. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually tried Calvados properly before this tasting, but I’m glad I have now as I thought this was delicious. Fruity, warming and packing a punch, I think this would be an excellent night cap after a long night of ciders. I look forward to trying it again soon!