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30 September 2015

France: Calvados - Roger Groult


Jean-Roger Groult (in fact) is the fifth generation, in inimitable French craft-booze production style, to make traditional Calva (in the local vernacular) at Clos de la Hurvanière; for instance, he still uses the 'double distillation au feu de bois' method, as it proudly says on the bottle (heated by wood fire). You'll find this family distillery in the smaller Pays d'Auge Calvados zone in a place called Saint-Cyr du Ronceray, to the south of Lisieux.
Calvados Pays d'Auge Réserve 3 ans - Obviously has a bit of a kick with 40% abv, but this delicious cider brandy is surprisingly smooth for three years ageing (his youngest one actually: there's 8, 12 and upwards) and is possibly one of the fruitiest Calvas I've tried, with lovely pure apple and real cider flavours resonating through the spirit.

The online price in France is €29 for 70cl, although I sampled a 50cl bottle. Their UK importer is Georges Barbier of London, and Majestic Wine Warehouses list his 12 year-old at £50 for 70cl. Widely exported across the rest of Europe, and Israel, but not to Ireland by the looks of it; and beyond, such as Bock Wine and Spirits in San Francisco, V.O.S. Selections in New York and Heavenly Spirits in Maine; Crimson Imports in Alberta or La QV in Montreal; also Japan, Thailand, Australia... More info @ www.calvados-groult.com.

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