New To Calvados? No Problem!

It's French apple brandy, and it is absolutely delicious!
Apr 19, 2016
  • 10
    10 Roger Groult Calvados Reserve 3 Ans
    87
    Roger Groult distills Calvados in the Pays d'Auge region of France, in Saint-Cyr-du-Ronceray. The cider base is comprised entirely of apples and aged for one year prior to distillation in copper pot-stills. After two distillations, it is aged in old Limousin oak barrels for a minimum of three years, with some older Calvados blended in as well.
  • 9
    9 Christian Drouin Sélection Calvados
    88
    For his entry-level calvados, Drouin chooses apples and pears from the Domfront region, and single-column distillation (as opposed to the double-distillation in a pot still used for his other spirits) to create a lighter, earlier-maturing spirit. This young calvados is intended as an aperitif or to be used in cocktails.
  • 8
    8 Château du Breuil Réserve du Château 8 Ans d'Âge
    89
    This Calvados from the Pays d'Auge is produced in Le Breuil-en-Auge, in Lower Normandy. As is required of this region, the Calvados is double-distilled in copper pot stills. It is aged in French oak at the Château for at least 8 years.
  • 7
    7 Calvados Berneroy VSOP
    90
    Berneroy Calvados allows the freshly pressed apple juice to spontaneously ferment using only the ‘wild’ yeasts present on the apple skins. The cider is fermented over a period of about four weeks to complete dryness. The dry cider is distilled only once using an antique copper-column still. The single distillation results in a highly fruity and aromatic spirit and differs from the nearby AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge and AOC Calvados Domfrontais regions. It is aged exclusively in older, ‘seasoned’ (aka used) barrels for a minimum of 4 years for the VSOP as required by law. The Berneroy Master Blender then combines the barrels of various ages and characteristics to create the house style.
  • 6
    6 Christian Drouin XO Calvados
    90
    For their XO product, Drouin incorporates a portion of ex-cognac casks into the usual mix, otherwise dominated by ex-Bordeaux barrels. The youngest spirit in this bottle is eight years old, but it includes some far older stocks as well.
  • 5
    5 Christian Drouin Hors d'Age Calvados
    90
    Like all Drouin Pays d'Auge bottlings, this is made from 100% apples, and distilled in wood-fired antique stills over direct flame. The wood policy relies heavily on reconditioned ex-Bordeaux barrels, but sometimes adds shades of complexity by using sherry, port, and cognac casks, as well as some more exotic choices. Their Hors d'Age is aged over 15 years.
  • 4
    4 Calvados Adrien Camut 6 Year
    92
    The Camut estate grows a staggering 800 types of apples on their bucolic property in the heart of the Pays d'Auge region of Calvados. This, and the maturation in large semi-full oak barrels, creates a spirit with surprising complexity and softness for a relatively young brandy. The Pays D'Auge AOC requires double distillation in copper pot stills, but the Camuts go a step further by using wood fire to power the still the old fashioned way.
  • 3
    3 Roger Groult Calvados 12 Year
    93
    In 1860, Pierre Groult first distilled his cider and aged the eau de vie in oak barrels, starting a five generation tradition of producing in the village of Saint-Cyr du Ronceray in Normandy. Now overseen by Jean-Roger Groult, their Calvados is still double-distilled in pots over wood fires. Their cider, using 30 apple varieties, ferments and rests on the lees for a full year before the first distillation. After the final distillation, the eau de vie ages in large barrels most of which are more than 100 years old which are never fully emptied. Bottling is done on the estate without chill filtration.
  • 2
    2 Christian Drouin VSOP Calvados
    94
    Christian Drouin, père, began distilling Calvados in 1960 after purchasing a farmhouse and surrounding orchards, only to find little demand for his apples. Luckily a family friend with his portable still came to the rescue. The mobile stills built in 1947 are still in use at the Drouin estate, where they found their permanent home. The VSOP bottling is a blend of eaux-de-vie that have aged between five and twelve years.
  • 1
    1 Calvados Adrien Camut 18 Year
    97
    This is the calling card of the fantastic Camut estate located in the Calvados "Grand Cru" Pays d'Auge. Here, a complex system of two pot stills creates a very fine distillate that will be aged for almost two decades in the Norman countryside. The secret of Camut's incredible lush and rich spirits is that only 2/3-3/4 of the barrel is filled leaving lots of room for oxygen to interact with the aging brandy. The interchange causes the alcohol to evaporate and concentrates the natural apple flavor making for brandies with incredible texture, length, and richness.