WTN: Boulard Calvados

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WTN: Boulard Calvados

Postby Jenise » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:29 pm

We're not brandy drinkers. We like it but especially at the egregiously expensive higher end, and find most of the affordable brandies somewhat harsh so have never so far as I can recall owned a bottle. But last week I bought some Waterford snifters on ebay, so a few days ago I bought a bottle of the apple-based equivalent of brandy, Calvados, to initiate the new glasses with. Bob has never had Calvados, and I had some in Holland years ago that I quite liked.

Last night we opened the bottle. It took a few minutes for the heat to dissipate somewhat and/or to immerse ourselves in the flavors we're not used to--I'm not sure which occurred, maybe both--but Bob found the apple vs. grape aspect immediately apparent on the nose and quite appealing. On the palate, something reminded him of cinnamon, though I would suggest that was wishful apple-pie thinking. On the palate, the flavor was lightly peachy, and I found red apple skin and persimmon too. The finish was very good: smooth without losing focus or being overly soft or unfocussed. Quite good for $40.
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Re: WTN: Boulard Calvados

Postby Hoke » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:28 pm

Welcome to the world of Calvados, Jenise!

I like the Boulard as well---but I should warn you that there are other brands/producers, and of course some of them collect rabid followers, so I expect you'll get plenty of suggestions of favorites. :D

I think Bob was right...I often pick up cinnamon notes from a good calvados, along with nutmeg, sometimes faint clove, and I can definitely see someone calling "apple pie spices".

What you had was a "Pays d'Auge" Calvados, which means that it was likely a blend of apples and pears (I believe in that designation it can have up to thirty percent pear).

When I drink Calvados, I do it the same way you guys did: hold the glass in your hand for a while to let it warm up while losing a bit of initial harshness, then sniff delicately and sip lightly.

And now that you have the Boulard, I know you'll eventually get around to cooking with it. It's great for that. It's excellent, of course, for things like making a ham glaze, but you might also try a nice pork roast or pork loin with a Calvados sauce. Simply stewing some apples and raisins with spices and a sposh of Calvados can have some superb results!
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Re: WTN: Boulard Calvados

Postby Otto » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:10 am

Hoke wrote:What you had was a "Pays d'Auge" Calvados, which means that it was likely a blend of apples and pears (I believe in that designation it can have up to thirty percent pear).


I think you are right that Boulard only makes Calvados from the Pays d'Auge appellation, but I am quite sure that they don't use pears there. The pear orchards are in Domfront and the regulations for Calvados Domfrontais require a minimum of 30% pears.

I tend to prefer my Calvados relatively young as I don't like it when the oak aromas overpower the fruit (what a surprise coming from me...) If you see it, do try Eric Bordelet's 1994. Awesome Calvados!
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: WTN: Boulard Calvados

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:59 pm

I look forward to trying others. Unforunately reccomendations may not do much good--the Boulard was the only one currently available in the state liquor store, to whom we are beholden for such things (groan).

Oh wait, friends are in Palm Springs and planning a day trip to Hi Times in Costa Mesa, and have offered to bring back anything we need. They were thinking wine and I'd be reluctant to have anyone driving wine for me unless they were beating a path straight here, which people driving an RV on vacation like these friends will be aren't wont to do: but distilled stuff is another matter.

Okay, I'm officially available to take reccomendations.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Boulard Calvados

Postby Hoke » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:12 pm

Well, then, if you can score a hors d'age version, Jenise.

Trade off though---as you get the older aged versions the nature of the calvados can change from fruit-focused to the spice zone to the wood zone. It's interesting to follow the differences, but as usual you''ll have to sample to find the baby bear version for you.
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