What are the best brands of Calvados brandy?

by Spirits

Calvados is an apple-based brandy originating in the French region of Normandy. It is a sweet and fragrant spirit, made from cider apples and aged in oak barrels. Calvados is a popular choice among connoisseurs, as it has a smooth and mellow flavor that pairs well with many different kinds of food.

When it comes to choosing the best brands of Calvados brandy, there are a few names that stand out from the rest. These include:

  • Chateau du Breuil
  • Christian Drouin
  • Tessendier & Fils
  • Domaine Dupont
  • Boulard

Each of these brands has its own unique flavor profile and style, so there’s something for everyone when it comes to Calvados. The best way to find out which one suits your taste is to try them all!Calvados is a type of brandy that is produced in the Normandy region of France, specifically from apples grown in the region. The particular brandy is made from apple cider that has been distilled and then aged for two to three years. It is a medium-bodied spirit with an aroma of apples, spices, and oak; its flavor is described as being smooth and slightly sweet. Calvados is most often enjoyed on its own as a digestif or after-dinner drink, though it can also be used in mixology and cooking.

The production of Calvados begins with the pressing and fermentation of apple cider, which then undergoes double distillation in copper stills. The resulting eau de vie must be aged for at least two years in oak casks before it can legally be called Calvados. While some producers may choose to age their spirit for longer periods, most will bottle their product after three years. The spirit’s flavor will continue to develop even after bottling, making it a great choice for cellaring or aging.

Popular Brands of Calvados Brandy

Calvados is an apple brandy made from cider apples in the Normandy region of France. The production process is complex and requires aging in oak barrels for at least two years. As such, it has developed a devoted following among connoisseurs who appreciate its unique flavor. There are many different brands of Calvados available, each with its own distinctive style. Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Christian Drouin: Established in 1930, this family-run business produces a wide range of Calvados that are aged for up to 20 years. Its award-winning Vieux Calvados is aged for more than 15 years and has a deep, rich flavor with hints of apple, honey and spice.
  • Boulard: This renowned producer has been making Calvados since 1825. Its most popular expression is the Grand Solage, which is aged for at least four years in Limousin oak barrels. It has a smooth taste and subtle aromas of dried fruits and spices.
  • Busnel: This producer has been making Calvados since 1820 and today offers a wide range of expressions from young to old. Its specialty is the Vieille Reserve, which is aged for at least 20 years in Limousin oak barrels for an intense flavor profile.

No matter which brand you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product that will satisfy your taste buds. So pick up some bottles today and find out why Calvados has become so popular!

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The History of Calvados Brandy

Calvados Brandy has a long and storied history that extends back hundreds of years. It is a spirit distilled from apples, and it has been made in Normandy, France since the 16th century. The region is renowned for its fertile apple orchards, and the local farmers have been fermenting cider and distilling it into brandy for centuries. The name Calvados comes from the French village where it was first produced in the early 19th century.

The production process for Calvados Brandy involves pressing apples to make cider which is then fermented to create alcohol. This alcohol is then distilled twice and aged in oak barrels for at least two years before being bottled as brandy. The aging process gives Calvados its characteristic flavor profile which includes notes of apple, oak, spices, and caramel.

Calvados Brandy is often enjoyed neat or on the rocks but it can also be used as an ingredient in cocktails like the classic Sidecar or a French 75. It is also used as an accompaniment to desserts like crème brûlée or tarte tatin. With its rich history and unique flavor profile, Calvados Brandy has become an essential part of French culture and cuisine.

Types of Calvados Brandy

Calvados is a type of Brandy made from apples and pears from the region of Normandy in France. It is aged for at least two years in oak barrels, giving it a distinct flavor and aroma. Calvados comes in various types, each with its own unique characteristics.

The most basic type of Calvados is the unaged version which is known as ‘eau de vie’. This type is bottled directly after distillation, giving it a light and fruity flavor profile, with notes of citrus, green apple and pear.

The next type is ‘Fine’, which must be aged for at least two years in oak barrels. During this aging process, the brandy acquires a deeper and more complex flavor profile, along with aromas of toasted oak and vanilla.

The third type is ‘Vieille Reserve’, which must be aged for at least three years in oak barrels. During this aging process, the brandy acquires a deep golden color along with notes of dried fruits such as figs, raisins and apricots. The aroma has strong notes of toasted oak, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Finally there’s the ‘XO’ or ‘Extra Old’ Calvados which must be aged for at least six years in oak barrels. This aging process gives the brandy an even deeper golden color along with intense aromas of toasted wood and spices such as nutmeg and clove. The flavor profile has notes of dried fruits such as figs and raisins along with hints of caramelized sugar and walnuts.

No matter which type you choose, Calvados will always bring a unique complexity to any cocktail or spirit-based drink that you make with it!

Distillation Process of Calvados Brandy

Calvados Brandy is a traditional French spirit made from apples and pears. The distillation process of Calvados Brandy is complex and involves several steps in order to achieve the desired quality. First, the apples and pears are harvested and crushed to obtain the juice. The juice is then fermented for around two weeks with the addition of yeast to convert the sugar into alcohol. After fermentation, the alcohol is then distilled in copper pot stills to separate it from the other components in the mixture. This distillate is then aged for at least two years in oak casks before it can be bottled as Calvados Brandy.

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The length of aging will depend on the desired flavor profile as well as on the type of cask used. During aging, oxygen present in the wood helps to soften some of the harsher flavors while also allowing more complex aromas and flavors to develop over time. A variety of different apple and pear varieties can be used in the production of Calvados Brandy, which helps to impart unique flavor characteristics that define this type of brandy. Once bottled, Calvados Brandy can be enjoyed neat or as an ingredient in various cocktails or culinary dishes.

Aging and Blending of Calvados Brandy

Calvados brandy is a traditional French spirit made from apples and pears grown in the Normandy region of France. The apples and pears are harvested by hand and then pressed to extract the juice. This juice is fermented and then distilled twice, resulting in a strong brandy. The Calvados brandy is then aged in oak barrels for at least two years in order to develop its unique flavor profile. After aging, the distiller may choose to blend different batches together, creating a unique flavor combination that reflects the terroir or “taste of place” of the region. This blending process gives Calvados its distinctive flavor and aroma, which can range from light and fruity to rich and woody.

The aging process of Calvados brandy can vary depending on the distiller’s preference. While some distillers age their brandy for only two years, others may let it age for much longer, up to ten years or more. During this time, the spirit will gain complexity as it picks up flavors from the oak barrels it is aged in. This aging process also results in an amber-colored brandy with a smooth finish on the palate.

In addition to aging the Calvados brandy, many distillers also choose to blend different batches together in order to create a unique flavor profile that reflects their individual style. This blending process involves combining different batches of brandy with varying levels of oak influence, alcohol content, fruitiness, sweetness, acidity and tannins. By carefully selecting specific batches for blending, distillers can create unique flavor combinations that reflect their own preferences or those of their customers.

The final step for producing Calvados brandy is bottling and labeling. Distillers will often apply their own labels or use those provided by local authorities or organizations such as AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée). These labels provide customers with important information about where the product was produced and what type of apples or pears were used to make it. In addition to providing details about production methods and ingredients used, these labels also help customers identify authentic Calvados brandies from those produced using inferior methods or ingredients.

In conclusion, producing high-quality Calvados requires careful attention at each step of production – from harvesting apples and pears to aging and blending different batches together – in order to produce an authentic product that reflects the terroir of Normandy France while offering consumers a truly unique drinking experience.

Production Regions for Calvados Brandy

Calvados is an apple brandy produced in Normandy, France. It is made from a blend of cider apples and is aged in oak barrels. The production of Calvados is strictly regulated, with only certain regions of Normandy able to produce it. These production regions include the departments of Manche, Calvados, and Orne. Each region has its own distinct terroir which contributes to the unique flavor profile of each Calvados brandy.

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Calvados is typically divided into three different categories: Fine Calvados, vieux calvados (aged for at least two years), and vintages (aged for at least four years). Each category has its own set of requirements that must be met in order to be considered as such. For example, Fine Calvados must be made from a blend of at least two different types of cider apples and must have an alcohol content between 40-45%. On the other hand, vieux calvados must be made from a blend of at least three different types of cider apples and must have an alcohol content between 42-48%. Lastly, vintages must be made from a blend of at least four different types of cider apples and must have an alcohol content between 45-50%.

The production region has a major influence on the flavor profile of each Calvados brandy produced there. For example, Manche produces more floral notes while Orne produces more herbal notes. Additionally, each region has a unique soil type which contributes to the taste and aroma profiles as well. As such, it is important to understand where your Calvados was produced in order to get the most out of your tasting experience.

Calvados Brandy Flavor Profile

Calvados brandy is a delicious French spirit made from apples and pears. It has a distinct flavor profile that is sweet, complex, and fruity. The aroma of Calvados has notes of apple and pear, with a hint of vanilla and other spices. On the palate, the brandy is smooth and mellow, with flavors of apple and pear, as well as hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is long and sweet, with lingering notes of apple pie spice.

Calvados may be enjoyed on its own or in creative cocktails. It makes a great addition to recipes that call for brandy or whiskey such as an old-fashioned or Manhattan. Calvados can also be used to enhance desserts by adding a unique flavor profile that will bring out the sweetness of the dish.

Overall, Calvados brandy is an excellent spirit to enjoy year-round due to its complex flavor profile that offers something enjoyable for everyone. From its sweet aroma to its smooth finish, Calvados will add complexity to any drink or dish it’s added to!


In conclusion, the best brands of Calvados brandy are those produced by the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) region in France. These brandies have been carefully crafted over generations and are renowned for their flavor, complexity, and balance. Some of the most well-known AOC Calvados brands include Rémy Martin, Boulard, Busnel, and Christian Drouin.

Apart from AOC-certified Calvados brands, there are many other excellent options available on the market. Brands such as Applejack, Dupont, and Chateau du Breuil offer quality products that stand on their own merits.

No matter what type of Calvados brandy you choose to drink, it is important to remember that quality should always be your number one priority. With a bit of research and tasting experience under your belt, you can find the perfect Calvados for you!



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