National Calvados Week

National Calvados Week takes place in the UK between October 14 and 20.

The organisers say bars, restaurants, wine merchants and supermarkets in the UK will all be offering a taste of the spirit of Normandy. There will be competitions, prizes, tastings, cocktail presentations, and cookery recipes all using Calvados.

For those who do not know, Calvados is a brandy made solely from cider apples grown in Normandy. The cider is distilled (sometimes twice) in traditional pot or column stills and then aged in oak barrels.

To qualify for the Appellation Contrôlée ‘Pays d’Auge’ (highest ranking in Calvados), the apples must be grown exclusively on this land and the producer must use a double process copper still for double distillation, where the second heating is known as ‘la Bonne Chauffe’. The Calvados is then aged in oak casks before being blended to produce a rich, smooth, complex apple tasting brandy.

Calvados is always a blend, the age mentioned on the bottle being the youngest brandy of the assembly. Thus the ’20-year-old Calvados’ can also contain 30 year old and older brandies.
Calvados ‘Fine’ – ‘Three stars’ – ‘Three apples’ – ‘VS’ (Very Special) - Matures at least two years in oak barrels.
Calvados ‘Old’ or ‘Reserve’ - Matures for at least three years in oak barrels
Calvados ‘VO’ (Very Old) – ‘Old Reserve’ – ‘VSOP’ (Very Superior Old Pale) - Matures at least four years in oak barrels.
Calvados ’Extra’ – ‘XO’ – ‘Napoleon’ – ‘Hors d'age’ - "Very Old Reserve" – ‘Very Old’ - Matures at least six years in oak barrels.
Calvados ‘Millésimes’ (vintages) guarantee the year of harvest. They do not guarantee the duration of ageing, except when specified.

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