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First, what is the best brand of Calvados in Normandy, second, can you recommend a really interesting Calvados producer to visit?

First, what is the best brand of Calvados in Normandy, second, can you recommend a really interesting Calvados producer to visit?

Mar 24th, 2006, 09:53 AM
  #1  
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First, what is the best brand of Calvados in Normandy, second, can you recommend a really interesting Calvados producer to visit?

Hubby would like to have a little fun trying out Calvados in Normandy - is there a particular distillery that offers a superior product? We would also like to stop at an "atmospheric" place, like maybe a manufacturing chateau that might offer a tour or display. Any suggestions as to what your favorites are?
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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I recently saw a Samantha Brown (Passport to Europe) episode on Normandy where she visited a Calvados factory -- it looked very friendly! I can't find mention of it on her website, but if you can track down that episode, it's worth it
GreenDragon is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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I was lucky enough to wander into a Calvados shop in Honfleur and when I told the owner I'd never had it he sat me down for a tasting. What I came away with was a Chateau du Breuil "12 ans d'âge" that I loved. It was the best I could afford and the quality was evident after tasting others. Here's the website. Apparently they offer tours.

http://www.chateau-breuil.fr/
shellio is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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The "best" calvados is considered to that of the AC Val d"Auge; it will say so on the label. There are other regions of Normandy in which it is produced but this is considered superior.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 24th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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I went on a quest for my family roots last year and stayed with relatives with same surname as me despite our common ancestor being born in 1600.
In fact the man we stayed with had exactly the same name as me.


When we left they gave me two bottles of 40 year-old Calva made by a farmer and wouldn't take any money for it.
zotique is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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This is great. Green Dragon - I went to the Travel Channel website. That Samantha Brown will re-air on April 10 - 4 days before we leave! Perfect!

We will be in Honfluer too. Shellio, do you recall the name of the shop or will we be tripping over them? I love the look of the Chateux to tour - exactly what I was thinking of.

ekscrunchy - will be on the look out for AC Val d"Auge, is that a specific geographic area (pardon my ignorance)? If so, where exactly?
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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zotique - that is too cool! Hubby has Alsace-Lorraine in him, but no Normandy, more's the pity!
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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It is the area close to Deauville, I believe. Pere Magloire is the name of a top maker who also allows visitors.

http://www.pere-magloire.com/front/index2.php5?idp=261
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 24th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Opportunities to taste Calvados in Normandy are like wine tasting in other regions. You can go to large, well-known makers, such as Pere Magloire, which was mentioned or find small, "mom-and-pop" places along the backroads. Each experience has something to offer.

A few years back on our way to Honfleur, my husband and I stopped at a little farm with a sign posted out front for Calvados tastings. A very old man came out from the barn to serve us. We felt obliged to buy some Calvados (maybe just our guilt from pulling him away from his work) but we had no regrets. It was some of the best we tasted.

At another stop, we visited a larger "factory" type place. This was wonderful, too. Not only did they offer Calvados tastings -- a great variety, by the way -- but also had Pommeau, which was a new experience for me. Shipping from France back to the U.S. was also offered, but the fee was quite hefty as I recall.

You'll be tripping over opportunities to taste Calvados all over Normandy and I recommend trying the small as well as the larger, well-known names, just for the different experiences.

Have a wonderful trip.
Diane
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Mar 24th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Happy, I don't recall the shop name, but it was on a pedestrian street not far from the Vieux Port, on the side opposite St. Catherine's church. And by the way I second Diane's recommendation of Pommeau. It's delicious and very difficult to find outside of Normandy.
shellio is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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HappyCheesehead, this site should help you. Be sure to bring back a few bottles because here in the states, most taste like firewater unless you spend over fifty dollars.

http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/drink_feat_calvados.asp
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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If you get a chance, try a Crème de Calvados. Imagine a Cream liqueur tasting of the freshest apples ever! Delicious.

We bought ours just outside of Lisieux at La Domaine St. Hippolyte. You can visit the entire working co-op, take a walk through the apple orchards, visit the old cider press etc. and if you time it right, see them milking the herd of cows or making the Livarot and Camembert. It was a wonderful visit!
klondike is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for the responses, will be making room in the suitcase for Pommeau and the Creme de Calvados.

We will be taking one afternoon to drive through the countryside to look for spots to stop and taste both cheese and calvados. Pere Magloire and Chateau Breuil are aleady marked on the map!

Thank you all!
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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Hi Happy!! Just North of Honfleur on the coast about 1/2 hour is a lovely little village of Fecamp -- we had a nice tour of the Benedictine Monestery where they make Benedictine & B & B. Also nearby is Etretat which is a great place for lunch.
Budman is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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OMG Budman - I will HAVE to go there. My mom LOVES B&B. Just last weekend she was visiting, and while we were in the grocery store liquor dept (picking up a case of Guinness for John's birthday)she picked up a bottle of B&B and said "if you are ever trying to think of a present for me this will do nicely!"

Only a half hour from Honfleur you say?.... Ok - if I leave Paris at 6 am Sat morning I will have time to get there!

All my souveniers are going to be booze!

THANKS!
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Ohh, I like B&B too... *makes note to self, must put Normandy higher on list*
GreenDragon is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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LOL, Green Dragon - I keep thinking I need more days!
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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As a bar manager in a top French restaurant here in the states (), I can say this is the FINEST CALVADOS for your buck (granted you can spend a crap load...but usually it is not worth it):

BUSNEL

In the states, the bottle you get is about 40 bucks wholesale for Hors d’Age (the 12 year old...and considered the best aged Calvados), however the taste is much different IMHO than Calvados at the facility.

Here is an amazing stat: 16 pounds of Calvados go into 1, yes 1, bottle of Calvados.

If you like Pears, no doubt try Belle de Brillet an unreal Pear Brandy. It is made with Brillet Cognanc and William Poire Pears (often its own elixir which smells like fire water but has a sweet taste...called Poire William). Fantastic drink with Chocolat'

Most calvados will go well with cheese (another super specialty at our restaurant are hard to find cheeses...we have over 60 in house at all times). Sensing you like cheese based on your screen name (or you are a Packer fan in the alternative), you should sample the calvados with cheese if offered the oppty.
pmgoosed is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Actually, Diane said that pommeau "was a new experience," though maybe she intended that as a recomendation. I din't care for it.

Between cider and calvados I had 10 bottles in my luggage coming back from France. When security in the US insisted on opening my suitcase after passing through customs, I didn't think we would ever get it closed again!

Keith
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Mar 27th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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How did you get all 10 bottles back...usually the confiscate some....I NEED TO KNOW THE SECRET!!!!!!
pmgoosed is offline  

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