My family has always been keen on Calvados and Normandy, and I'm no different, sometimes hankering for a good apple brandy. I've had Drouin bottles before and find them always rather rich. At any rate, I've been in the mood for Calvados for some time (despite having given away a bottle of younger stuff as a gift recently) and thought it a good opportunity to re-taste this one.
Nose: Red apples (obviously), vanilla, subtle dry mushrooms, and there's a sticky and syrupy quality to it. There is a distinct sweetness, and a cool stony character, much like walking into an underground cellar that has some barrels of old apples, as well as apple essence that has been trapped in the very walls. Brown spice led by cinnamon, and faint dry wood. There's still some acidic green apple floating around, but it's always dominated by the reds.
Palate: Thick and rich. Honeyed in texture and taste, red apples, and more wood influence. Clearly an older calvados, less acidity and bright green (flashy) apples. Spices are less noticeable here, but the wood gains more influence. Despite being honeyed and the sweet aroma, it's sweet, but not overbearingly. Creamy, baked quality - apples being baked for pie filling.
Finish: Off-bitter dry note, rancio. There's clearly apple, but also more wood than even on the palate. One doesn't often get that rancio and mushroomy/stone-cellar quality in Calvados unless the liquid is over-oaked and the fruit gone. This manages to keep the fruit, and the dryness actually brings out more of the acidic green-apple flavors that were perhaps caught in the wood. With all this, it's still a very rich sense in the mouth. It's also interesting how the wood influence becomes more prominent at each phase. I like it, and really adore this Calvados. My notes this time around were extremely similar to those from before, though I did pick up on more wood. Again, it's all on apple, and some might find that a bit simplistic, but, if you want a good apple brandy, this is it. I love it, though maybe not quite as much as I did last time(A). This time around, it's A-/A.
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Great stuff!! Now that the cooler weather is upon us, it may be time for me to get back into some Calvados. TPS has the CD Hor's D'age which is a 15 year old. I liked it a lot, though it didn't seem to go well with a cigar. Even people who do not drink spirits fell in love with the aromas. It's puts a REALLY nice twist on a hot toddy!
Yeah, I had a bottle of it, too! Though I wound up giving it away to a relative who adores Calvados and got me onto the stuff. It's really a great bottle. I'm not sure how well the Calvados flavor profile goes with a cigar at all - the nut/wood in cognac and the dark spice in bourbon would stand up to or enhance a cigar, but Calvados seems like a really funky mix