What is Calvados

Что такое кальвадос

Calvados - a strong alcoholic drink of the French region of lower Normandy, obtained by distillation of Apple cider, followed by aging in oak or chestnut barrels. It's basically a fruit brandy. The fortress of Calvados is about 40 degrees. The fate of Calvados is partly similar to that of Armagnac. Being in the shade of cognac, these drinks have avoided excessive commercialization and for centuries, as beloved children, were brought up in the silence of small farms.

The first mention of the production of Calvados is associated with the name of Gilles de Gouberville, who in 1553 in his "Diary," mentions the practice of distillation of cider. The drink got its name from the name of one of the departments of Normandy — first in spoken language in the middle of the XIX century, and later was enshrined in the rules of "Appellation d'origine Controlee" (AOC) in 1942. The place of manufacture of Calvados is limited to the French departments of Calvados, Manche, Orne and parts of the departments of air, Mayenne, Sarthe and air and Loire.

Normandy is an Apple country. Its humid cool climate is ideal for Apple trees. For the production of cider, from which after distillation and obtained Calvados, specially bred 150 varieties. Odnomodovogo Calvados does not happen. The unique bouquet of Calvados is obtained due to the fact that in certain proportions mixed sweet, bitter, bitter-sweet and sour varieties of apples. Sweet (usually 40%) give the drink sugar and alcohol, bitter and bitter-sweet (also 40%) are responsible for tannins, acidic (usually 20%) report acidity and freshness. Producers use only small apples with a strong aromatic intensity.

Pressed juice from them by natural fermentation, without the addition of yeast, turns into cider – low-alcohol basis for Calvados. Further technology is very similar to cognac: distillation, aging, blend – the only difference in raw materials.

Cider distilled in cylindrical, or as they are called, columnar cubes. When it is subjected to distillation for the first time, the output is obtained alcohol, the maximum strength of which can be equal to 27%. After passing the secondary distillation, it reaches a fortress of 75%. The resulting colorless drink can not yet be called Calvados. Amber shade Calvados will give oak barrels during aging, and degrees will gradually fall to 40%: firstly, due to natural evaporation, the so-called proportion of angels (although accountants companies usually say that this is the proportion of the devil), secondly, by adding distilled water. At the same time, it is important to preserve all the flavors, to ensure that Calvados, barrel and water interact.

Like cognac, Calvados - the result of blending. During aging drinks continue to mix. For example, to more tannin is added more fruity. After 10 years of aging, it is decided which Calvados to withstand further, and some less interesting – to mix with others. And the masters of blending combine in a single bouquet of different samples to achieve the most harmonious taste.

Depending on the duration of exposure, Calvados may belong to several groups:

1. Fine, Trois pommes (translated from French - "three apples") or Trois etoiles ("three stars") — the most inexpensive varieties of Calvados. Their period of exposure does not exceed two years. This Calvados has a sharper taste than the more seasoned varieties.
2. Vieux or Reserve-Calvados with aging in wooden barrels for a period of three years.
3. V. O. or VO (Very Old) and Vieille Reserve — four-year Calvados.
4. V. S. O. P. or VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) — such an inscription on the label indicates the period of stay in the oak barrel for five years.
5. X. O. or XO (Extra Old), Napoleon, Extra, Age Inconnu and Hors d'age — Calvados with six-year exposure.
6. Age 12 ans or 12 ans d'age — this inscription indicates that the drink has matured for more than six years. Its exact age will be indicated by the number included in the designation.
7. 1946, 1973 vintage Calvados. Drinks from these rare series have a year of manufacture on the label.

Of the most popular types of Calvados, you can highlight the drink plants Busnel, Boulard, M. Dupon. Calvados brands père Jules and Leon Desfrieches are also considered elite.

Usually Calvados drink with friends after a meal to fully appreciate its taste. However, connoisseurs of this drink noticed that a Cup of Calvados before meals or in between meals causes a feeling of hunger, improves appetite and promotes digestion.

Calvados harm: do not forget that 40% of this drink is ethyl alcohol. Its use has a toxic effect on a number of organs. Therefore, regardless of the quality of the drink, you do irreparable harm to your health. With the abuse of Calvados, like any other alcoholic beverage can develop alcoholism. Take care of your health!!!

Other strong alcoholic beverages

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