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Jason Perlow

Calvados

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Is there a good Calvados in the $20-30 range for mixing?....

Erik,

I like the Daron Fine and the Coeur de Lion "Selection". I use them for Calvados Sidecars mostly but my palate isn't so sophisticated that I'm offended by either as a straight tipple.

YMMV.

Kurt

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I asked about Calvados at one of my favorite local liquor stores, PlumpJack Wine Store, and they steered me in the direction of Calvados Roger Groult Réserve 3 years old. It's around $30 bucks and quite a bit nicer than the Morice, (which may head to the cupboard of misfit booze until a Calvados punch rears its ugly head.) It's got some of the hard cider funk; but, it is much more restrained and civilized. I'd say it is as sip-able as any of the American Apple Brandies I've tried with much more interesting apple character.

One thing that puzzles me about the Clear Creek Apple Brandy is that they brag on the bottle that it is made from "Golden Delicious Apples." Is there a single more pathetically flavorless and uninteresting apple than the Golden Delicious? I can't think of one. Why would you make anything using Golden Delicious apples? I mean, without question, it is a fine Apple Brandy; but, why use those apples?


Edited by eje (log)

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I asked about Calvados at one of my favorite local liquor stores, PlumpJack Wine Store, and they steered me in the direction of Calvados Roger Groult Réserve 3 years old.  It's around $30 bucks and quite a bit nicer than the Morice, (which may head to the cupboard of misfit booze until a Calvados punch rears its ugly head.)  It's got some of the hard cider funk; but, it is much more restrained and civilized.  I'd say it is as sip-able as any of the American Apple Brandies I've tried with much more interesting apple character.

One thing that puzzles me about the Clear Creek Apple Brandy is that they brag on the bottle that it is made from "Golden Delicious Apples."  Is there a single more pathetically flavorless and uninteresting apple than the Golden Delicious?  I can't think of one.  Why would you make anything using Golden Delicious apples?  I mean, without question, it is a fine Apple Brandy; but, why use those apples?

the golden delicious might just have the right acidity or something. harold mcgee claims that the best flavor of the apple is contained in its skin. that might be a big defining part in distillation. i more or less gave up on true calvados. i never thought it lived up to the money. i only drink laird's.

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I asked about Calvados at one of my favorite local liquor stores, PlumpJack Wine Store, and they steered me in the direction of Calvados Roger Groult Réserve 3 years old.  It's around $30 bucks and quite a bit nicer than the Morice, (which may head to the cupboard of misfit booze until a Calvados punch rears its ugly head.)  It's got some of the hard cider funk; but, it is much more restrained and civilized.  I'd say it is as sip-able as any of the American Apple Brandies I've tried with much more interesting apple character.

One thing that puzzles me about the Clear Creek Apple Brandy is that they brag on the bottle that it is made from "Golden Delicious Apples."  Is there a single more pathetically flavorless and uninteresting apple than the Golden Delicious?  I can't think of one.  Why would you make anything using Golden Delicious apples?  I mean, without question, it is a fine Apple Brandy; but, why use those apples?

This might be a bit of marketing fluff, too. Does it say that it is made only from Golden Delicious? If not, they may be mentioning that variety as it is a known quantity to many people. The average consumer may not know many varieties of apples, but everyone knows GDs. There may actually only be a small quantity used, or it may be the base for the distillation with the flavor coming from other varieties.

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Ooops! Sorry for my little rant about Golden Delicious apples, there.

I grew up in Midwestern apple country, so I have strong opinions about apple varieties.

I just think they are a pretty boring apple, not typically even used for cider or juice.

From Clear Creek's website, it does appear that they use at least some portion of Golden Delicious Apples they grow themselves.

We crush and ferment the whole apple, using Golden Delicious apples from our orchards on the northeast slope of Mt. Hood, and distill.

I have only had a cocktail made with some portion of the Clear Creek 8 Year, and it came across as very oaky.

I have to admit I am intrigued by apple spirits and cocktails made with them. I'm going to have to find a bar with a decent selection of Calvados and see if I can't get them to pour me some tastes.

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I am making Sally Schneider's recipe for pate de campagne whichs calls for Calvados. I'd like to buy a moderately priced bottle that will work well in this recipe, but will also be good for experimenting with in cocktails.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!

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The Daron 'Fine' is always a solid choice. I didn't care much for the Drouin ones I've tried. If you are never ever going to want to sip it on its own, the Pere Ferand is serviceable for the kitchen and the odd Widow's Kiss and such, and a bit cheaper.

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This is helpful. Thank you. I don't want something "just for cooking" and am happy to pay a little more for something I can use in drinks as well.

I'm curious: are there any apple brandies made outside Normandy that are worth looking into, or is a true Calvados a totally different product? Thanks.

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This is helpful. Thank you. I don't want something "just for cooking" and am happy to pay a little more for something I can use in drinks as well.

I'm curious: are there any apple brandies made outside Normandy that are worth looking into, or is a true Calvados a totally different product? Thanks.

Yes there are, and yes it is. The consensus seems to be that most apple brandies on the market are tasty in their way, though they all have their own distinctive character. You'll find lots of fans on this board of the Laird's line of apple brandies (particularly the 100 proof version) from New Jersey, though they tend to be more whiskey-like in character and are best when treated that way. A snoop around the board should dig up some other topics on apple distillate if you are so inclined.

edit: grammar


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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For pate I'd stick with Calvados, which is sweeter and, as Andy sez, is more brandy-like in character; Laird's would be quite a different influence in a classic pate.

I often find Daron in a 375ml bottle, which is easier on the wallet so long as you don't guzzle it at breakfast, lunch and dinner as they do in Normandy (not that I think there's anything wrong with that, mind)

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Bump.

Eric Bordelet's '94 calvados is the first example of the spirt that I've enjoyed. Calvados has, in the past, to me smelt great but tasted like rot gut. The Bordelet, as much as it's a touch over 50% APV, actually tastes like apples. And that sounds odd, yeah. Apple drink tasting like apples. But most apple-based beverages (i.e. a lot of those Scadanavian ciders and some of the really sweet Australian ones that are stupidly popular at the moment) just don't like apple at all. The Bordelet is expensive but it is a beautiful beverage. I think I want a bottle of my own.

I've had two of his ciders, too: one of the entry-level apple ones and one of his expensive poire ones (made with pears from 300 year old trees). Both very nice examples of French cider (which, really, overall and everything, is as good as cider gets).


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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How ironic that this topic re-appeared. Tommorrow I'm doing a Roast Pheasant with Calvados and Sauteed Apples. The sauce is a mix of Calavdos, hard cider and cream with a dab of Dijon mustard. I'll be serving it with the sauteed apples, some glazed pearl onions and spaetzle with bacon and toasted hazlenuts.

While I'm using farm-raised pheasant, the wild ringneck pheasants here in Eastern, WA, love to scrapple through the apple orchards after the harvest.

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I have some calvados Cardinal, it has no vintage on it,found it in the back of the cabinet,been there for couple years,at least,didnt know it even was vintage sensitive...

Bud

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I sort of figured that a '94 Calvados is a bit like a, say, '96 Distiller's Edition Talisker or a '11 special addition whateverwhisky. Essentially a batch number rather than a vintage like you'd have with wine (as it doesn't age in the bottle, after all).

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The Bordelet is the only Calvados I've had that was nice enough to remember the name and chase it down. Even if it is prohibitively expensive - I think it retails for AUD$200+ :\

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It's not Calvados because it's not Norman, heck it's not even French, but Lairds' 7-1/2 year old apple brandy tastes greatly of apple. I enjoy it at least as much as a young calvados ( I find the younger ones more apple-ly, the older ones akin to to traditional aged grape brandies.) Just avoid the applejack, which is a lesser brandy blended with neutral spirits. From America's first licensed distillery.

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It's not Calvados because it's not Norman, heck it's not even French, but Lairds' 7-1/2 year old apple brandy tastes greatly of apple. I enjoy it at least as much as a young calvados ( I find the younger ones more apple-ly, the older ones akin to to traditional aged grape brandies.) Just avoid the applejack, which is a lesser brandy blended with neutral spirits. From America's first licensed distillery.

True, and a bit disappointing at least to me. I find the 12 yo Lairds to be much more straight brandy in nature and the 7 1/2 yo to have more apple flavor.

Not sure I would drink Laird's Applejack neat with any regularity but I think it still has a place as an ingredient in certain drinks.

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I started buying cheap and unaged Calvados for mixing, I was moving up to the more expensive ones. This fall I went to Normandy and ofcourse I had to make some stops. The best one I picked up was Pierre Huet "tradition" it's been aged for 15 years.

Link

I usually drink it straight or in an Old Fashioned, I love Calvados Old Fashioned. I tried an "Coronation" the other day, maybe it was the Vermouth that was old but I didn't enjoy it.

½ shot Sweet Vermouth (Martini)

½ shot Dry Vermouth (Noilly)

½ shot Calvados (Pierre Huet Tradition)

Dash of Peach bitters. (Fee Brothers)

Would really like to have some more Calvados-cocktails in my repertoire. Recommendations?

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Another one that feels very much like a Corpse Reviver No. 1 in structure and feel - Le Esquire (Remy Savage) with Daron XO calvados, Charbay walnut liqueur, green Chartreuse, salt, St. George absinthe. I altered the ratios to 0.75 / 0.5 / 0.5 because equal parts would have seemed overly cloying. It was rich as expected, and flavorful. I like the idea of infusing sweet vermouth with nuts, so I will have to try that sometime.

 

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A delicious Corpse Reviver No. 1 with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Boulard VSOP calvados, Margerum amaro, Angostura bitters. Ratios from the Bartender's Choice app. I am very happy with this bottle of Calvados so far (that I found at BevMo for $50).

That drink has the perfect vibe for fall.

 

Corpse Reviver No.1 (Harry Craddock) with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Boulard VSOP calvados, Margerum amaro, Angostura bitters

 

 

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