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Calvados

Apple brandy was probably used during the Napoleonic wars as both an antiseptic and anaesthetic; it was certainly supplied to many of the French ships for their sailors when they called into the Normandy ports but the appellation “Calvados” is a much more modern term officially given to the appellation in 1942 although the name was given to a Normandy department in 1790.

Driving from the Normandy ports in a southerly direction one passes the apple and pear orchards of the Pays d’Auge, a land famous for its cheese and cidre, the basis of the calvados spirit. Like cognac, calvados must be double-distilled in pot stills and aged in oak casks but because the industry is small and has not grown significantly since the war, vintages are relatively scarce and hard to come by, anything before 1960 is considered “old”. At Brandyclassics we do stock a few older ages but it is increasingly difficult to find rare, vintage Calvados.

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