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Calvados Recommendation

changy

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I tried Calvados for the first time tonight and found it quite enjoyable. Can someone recommend a good starter bottle to sip on?
 

Huntsman

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We have some serious Calvados fans here, like iammatt, and if they chime in, I'll defer to them, but as a starter bottle I'd suggest the Busnel Hors d'Age. http://www.bestinwine.com/shop/Calva...ml-p-6188.html Read the wiki article to learn Calvados' unique naming conventions for the ages - the Hors d'Age is roughly equivalent to an XO cognac. ~ H
 

itsstillmatt

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Most calvados is bottled like Cognac as far as age. Coeur de Lion bottles individual vintages, but they are hellishly expensive. It is a very nice drink, both young and old, but young Calvados doesn't taste much like old Calvados. The younger ones taste of apples and pears (both are used) while the older tastes very much like old Cognac or Armagnac. I like both a lot. Some Calvados is labeled "Domfrontais" which means that it is from a particular sub-region in which more pear (30%+) is required. It is very good young. Nice and crisp. Valle d'Auge is the "best" area in Calvados, then there is also Calvados AOC. Finally, Pommeau is a aperitif with less alcohol, little aging and a lower price. I love it.

You can do well with $$ on calvados if you skip very old bottlings and skip vintage. As far as producers go, there are a few good ones whose bottlings are relatively widely distributed. I'd look for Groult, who makes good, well priced Calvados and Camut, who makes wonderful, expensive Calvados. Lemorton will be your best bet from Domfrontais. Don't get trapped into thinking older is best. Calvados offers a lot of different profiles, and all can be wonderful. As Huntsman says, the Hors d'Age level is often very good, and some hors d'age will also have a year aging, like 30 y/o etc. Explore and enjoy.
 

changy

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Thank you for the detailed explaination. The drink I had was one of the cheaper/younger Boulards (sp?) and I was positively surpirsed by the fruitiness. What would you consider a "young Calvados"? I can imagine a 6 years being quite different from a 12 year, even though they are both hors d'Age.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by changy
Thank you for the detailed explaination. The drink I had was one of the cheaper/younger Boulards (sp?) and I was positively surpirsed by the fruitiness. What would you consider a "young Calvados"? I can imagine a 6 years being quite different from a 12 year, even though they are both hors d'Age.
It is hard to say an age for young versus old. It has more to do with the flavor profile with young having more primary aromas of apples and pears, and old having more rancio, wood and leather from aging. You have to get out there and try things to know. I guess I would say that anything younger than 20 years will be pretty young in my book for Calvados, but that's just my rule, and I just made it up now.
 

Huntsman

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Most sig worthy quote I ever saw here.
 

Thracozaag

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I'll have to double-check the last bottle I got on a nice recommendation from the spirit shop near Lincoln Center, was very pleased with it. Coeur de Lion, of course, is reliable but pricey.
 

changy

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Gotcha. Finally, what's the proper way to pronounce Domfrontais? Dom-faun-tay? I'm not even gonna attempt Pays d'Auge.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by changy
Gotcha. Finally, what's the proper way to pronounce Domfrontais? Dom-faun-tay? I'm not even gonna attempt Pays d'Auge.
Dorky video, but helpful. He is a very good importer, douchiness aside.
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changy

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Dorky video, but helpful. He is a very good importer, douchiness aside.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

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FTFY - Link wasn't working

Interesting videos, although his snifter is a little over the top.
 

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